The Manning Community News

Sharing community news and views



For me, there is no better habitat for dusky flathead than that which exists in Port Stephens . . . (though you might have your own little secret spot. The warm shallows west of Soldiers Point provides the ideal environment for big, lazy “lizards” to nestle into the sand on the edge of the extensive […]


Marine Park on pollies’ radar

It was during September last year that local diver and fisherman Greg Finn and recreational fisherman and Port Stephens Examiner columnist John Clarke met to discuss the state and effectiveness of the Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park. It was agreed that the Marine Park had not been revisited by the authorities since it […]


Skill Is The Real Deal

When it comes to fishing, I am a dinosaur. I haven’t changed my methods since I caught my first fish in the Tweed River many moons ago. Bait on hook, toss out and hang on. I reckon, if it works keep doing it. Well things have changed. In recent years the fishing game has gone […]


Corps de Crab Ballet!

Here they come, tap dancing down the channels and entering the port from the Karuah River, Tilligerry Creek and the Myall system. Blue swimmer crabs right on time for the annual school summer holidays.  For those who are unfamiliar with crabbing there are a few rules and regulations that are unique to this system. Three […]


Stinker Launches another book

Stinker has many talents! He’s published four books and I was honoured to launch his latest children’s book – “The True Adventures of Clarabelle”. It’s a true story based on the 1955 floods when a cow was washed down the river and out to sea to be rescued and taken to Broughton Island. It’s a […]



The most frequent question I am asked – “Are there any sharks in Port Stephens?” – hoping that my answer will be – “No, there are no sharks here”. The truth, of course, is, “Yes there are!” This honest answer brings a fearful reaction.  In fact we had a shark processing  factory in the Port […]



Mulloway are what could be called a prized catch and sit high on recreational fishers “must catch” bucket list. Port Stephens, both inside and outside the harbour, has a very healthy population of thumping mulloway up to a hefty 30kg. These iconic fish swim in the western shallows of the port, throughout the Karuah River, […]


You Beaut Winter Bream

Our fishing guru, John “Stinker” Clarke, recommends finding the best late winter, first of spring, white bream. This is the time of year to head to the beach in the mornings and evenings to chase a winter bream on a rising tide. Winter bream are magnificent. Big, broad shouldered, bright eyed thumpers, tenacious battlers on […]



The rocky coastline provides a perfect habitat for cornering a couple of our very best fighting fish. One is the Rock Blackfish, more commonly known as the Black Drummer. Not to be confused with the Silver Drummer, the Black Drummer, apart from putting up a “no holds barred” battle, is also a much under-rated kitchen […]


John “Stinker” Clarke says snapper is our fishing fave….

What is it about snapper that makes everyone dream about catching one? For me, it’s the excitement of battling a real scrapper that performs equally as well in the kitchen. Beautifully coloured crimson, pink and opal blue, the snapper has earned the reputation that makes it iconic among recreational fishers. There are numerous methods of […]


Magic of the Mullet

Meet John “Stinker” Clarke, our piscatorial correspondent! In other words, our Favourite Fisher! Year after year, for as long as records have been kept, and long before, huge schools of mullet have travelled north along our coastline.  Spawning in the ocean is part of their life cycle, which begins when fertilised eggs develop and mature […]