To my knowledge Port Stephens is the only estuary system along the east coast that regularly produces big snapper kilometres from the entrance to the open sea.
My research, over the years, has uncovered documented evidence of thumpers over 20 kilograms being caught west of Soldiers Point.
No one caught more big snapper inside the port that old professional fisherman the late George Todd.
With a 30 kilogram handline and a 12/0 hook, baited with a fillet of luderick or salmon, George would row out off Dutchies Beach and return home with monsters.
In 1976 a Presbyterian minister from the western town of Coonabarabran was holidaying here when he landed a 19 kilogram snapper at Little Beach.
Other top spots for big snapper inside the port over the years have been the western end of Shoal Bay Beach, Dutchies, Bundabah and all the deep water and channels around Middle Island off Soldiers Point.
In later years an increasing of number fishers have been gathering off the jetty at Little Beach targeting snapper.
Nelson Bay Breakwall is another spot where snapper can be caught particularly around this time of the year when big seas chase the fish into the calmer waters of the harbour.
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