Stinker’s Fishin’: Here come the whales and farming on an island

Stinkpot off the Outer Light. Toss out and hang on!

ANCHORED in ‘Stinkpot’, just off the crashing of waves in front of the lighthouse on Fingal Island, is exciting to say the least.

To anchor in such a dodgy spot there are a few variables that come into consideration including the Marine Park Sanctuary Zone, wind direction and strength, current direction and strength, water temperature and the tide cycle, just to name a few.

I am targeting snapper in 30 foot of water just out of the claws of the white water.

With about four loaves of bread, I start a rich berley trail that will interest all fish within cooee.

Once bait fish, yellowtail and slimy mackerel enter the berley stream it is time to get serious.

I have two rods about two metres long loaded up with 20lb line and a 6/0 hook – no sinker!

The preferred baits are freshly caught yellowtail or slimies cut crossways or, as I have recently discovered, a slice of fresh mullet fillet pinned at one end.

Toss the unweighted baits back behind the berley trail and hang on!

My last excursion before the huge sea that we recently experienced, resulted in eight cracker snapper and a spangled emperor from 3-5kg.

At this time of the year there is another consideration to take into account.


As much as I love whales I wish that they didn’t love me as much.

Over the years I have noticed a significant increase in numbers and they are becoming far more inquisitive nosing up to ‘Stinkpot’, which is only three metres long.

I noticed that the official whale season starts on 1 June.

I have decided to jump on board a whale watcher and enjoy the thrill.

I reckon, if you can’t beat them, it is best to join them.

Stinker’s History: Farming on an island

DID you know that a light keeper on Fingal Island, Wilfred Tulk, grew bananas?

Not only bananas but a wide variety of the most beautiful vegetables particularly onions, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Blanch’s cows, which wandered around the island, deposited a regular supply of fertiliser and a freshwater spring kept the plants well-watered.

Beautiful oranges, apples and lemons grew in healthy orchards along the track from the beach to the light.

Being isolated from the mainland since 1898, when the Maitland Gale washed away the finger of land forming the Spit, light keepers were required to become more self-sufficient.

No one was more capable than Wilfred.

By John ‘Stinker’ CLARKE

Light keeper Wilf Tulk could grow anything.

One thought on “Stinker’s Fishin’: Here come the whales and farming on an island

  1. Good to see good old ‘Stinker’ Clarke on NOTA! Please keep up with the fishy stories, we love them!

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