Nelson Bay is one of Port Stephens' most picturesque locations, offering aquatic adventures to all who visit the town. It offers safe, family-friendly beaches alongside surf beaches with massive waves, providing the best of both worlds to travel parties. Along with this, the town offers diving and snorkelling plus plenty of marine life.

It is the latter that interests keen fishermen and women, and there are plenty of opportunities to cast out a line here and bring home something delicious for dinner.

Why Nelson Bay?

Nestled in Port Stephens, Nelson Bay boasts waterways and beaches that make for excellent fishing. Whether you're after estuary or game fishing, you can find it here. As a whole, the Port Stephens area boasts beach, estuary, rock and offshore fishing opportunities, which means you don't need to have access to a boat in order to catch a fish or two. According to the recreational fishing guide for the area, you have the chance to catch fish such as Australian salmon, luderick, kingfish, snapper, whiting, bream, flathead, leatherjacket and mulloway here.

Where to Go

Soldiers Point is one of the best destinations to throw out a line, with jetties on either side making for comfortable and easy fishing. Try Little Nelson Bay, between Fly Point and Nelson Head, which offers jetties, a boat ramp and a foreshore reserve for plenty of fishing options. In fact, the whole southern shore is popular among fishers of all disciplines, be it rock, boat, beach or even big game. Dutchmans Beach, also known as Dutchies Beach, is also a popular fishing spot. Summer is particularly good for boat anglers looking to pick up some whiting, and the Fly Point rocks are ideal for snagging bream and luderick. You can hire boats or take charters around the area, with locals giving you the inside scoop into the best fishing spots.

The Rules

Whatever your fishing plans involve, make sure they include reviewing the Port Stephens recreational fishing guide. This resource outlines fishing regulations designed to preserve fish stocks and their habitats, and requires you to pay a recreational fishing fee when you're hand lining, spear fishing, hand gathering, trapping, collecting and doing other recreational fishing in the area. Note that you may not spear fish in Nelson Bay Boat Harbour, and you cannot sell your catch if you're a recreational fisher. As always, abide by common water safety rules and tips to ensure you have an enjoyable and safe day on the water.