Monday, 21 March 2011

Port Stephens is the 'sharkiest' place to fish

My last post covered the recent shark attack at Port Stephens, where 24-year-old Lisa Mondy was  mauled on the face and arms by a great white shark after she fell off a wakeboard at Jimmys Beach. She underwent 15 hours of surgery to re-attach a severed left arm.

I have lifted the following facts from David Lockwood's weekly fishing column in The Sun-Herald. It does help explain why Mondy was attacked.

Lockwood writes that of all the places he's fished over the years Port Stephens, on the NSW mid-north coast, is the 'sharkiest'.

'Stand on the basalt rocks at Tomaree Headland, one of the sentinels to Port Stephens, and you can see the sharks shadowing the vast migrating sea mullet, Australian salmon and slimy mackeral schools,' he writes.

Lockwood claims to have spotted 27 sharks during a low-altitude flight over the Hunter coast, which encompasses Port Stephens.

He talked to an aerial shark-spotting tour operator who said a fatality from a shark attack was 'imminent'. Lucky Lisa.

A local fisherman said he saw a 'white shark' (I assume we're talking about GREAT whites) 'leap out of the water and take a seagull just metres from where he was surfing', while another bloke photographed great whites feeding in water 'less than waist deep'.

Autumn is the peak season for sharks on the Hunter coast, where schools of baitfish trace the beaches and headlands during their northerly migration. The 50 kilometres along the coast from Stockton to Seal Rocks is also a well known great white nursery.

The most recent news report is at:

Lockwood advises readers to 'play if safe in Port Stephens'.

I'll take that onboard and stay there.

Photo of Lisa Mondy from story (link is above).

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