Discovering the joy of fishing as a youngster gives a passion for life! Teach kids the safety rules and a few secret tips you’ve learned over the years and any girl or boy will have a lifelong love for sitting alone just waiting for that tug or bite, or sharing adventures fishing with friends.

If there is a better fishing spot than the Nelson Bay Breakwall, I would like to know where it is. There is not much that cannot be caught off this man-made, artificial reef. Established in the 80s, the rocky breakwall has steadily improved as a prized habitat for kelp, rock crabs, shellfish and oysters which have continued to multiply and thrive. The rich growth has, in turn, attracted a myriad of small fish which then attract larger fish. Over the past season I have reported a wide variety of fish caught off the rocky wall including bream, luderick, tailor, squire, mulloway, trevally and kingfish.

If you intend targeting kingfish you need to be well prepared as these tearaway fish take off like the last bus to Salt Ash. You will need strong line, a strong back and an octopus strap. When the kingfish strike it is simply a tug o war. When they pull, you pull harder. Just ask young 7 year old breakwall champion Jordan Ridgeway who somehow managed to win the battle with a marauding “kingy”. Oh, the octopus strap. That is to secure yourself to the biggest rock, otherwise you could end up in Tea Gardens. Kingfish can really pull!


Fishing writer, author and radio presenter John “Stinker” Clarke can be heard weekly, throughout NSW, on popular ABC Regional Radio fishing program “The Big Fish”.  Check him out on or send an email to with your information and questions.

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