For those diehard fishos after the elusive mulloway on soft plastics, this month signals the start of it all.
This time of year we see more baitfish like frogmouth pilchards, whitebait and glassies enter our estuaries and with them come tailor and, in turn, hungry jewfish.
Narooma's Wagonga Inlet is a renowned mulloway haunt, with fish to 18kg well on the cards. I've found that the bigger fish tend to be caught at the start of the season, when the numbers might not quite be there but the size certainly is.
Over the past six or seven years this has been the case and I can't see why this year will be different.
I like to fish big lures, around 4” to 6” long, and concentrate around dense bait schools or working tailor.
A lot of my mulloway hook-ups have come when casting behind the schools, not in front of them. You can usually work out which way the bait is going or direction in which tailor are feeding just by observing the schools for a short time.
There's not much use in throwing your plastic in front of a ravenous tailor, all you'll get is half-chewed lures and a dwindling bank balance.
If you're using smaller plastics, good snapper, flathead and some sizable bream will also be caught.
The main basin is the place to fish, anywhere from the drop-off to the power lines upstream.
Those fishing the channels have been doing very well on bream, blackfish and whiting. Anchoring up, berleying and fishing fresh bait has been dynamite for bream with big numbers entering the system after spawning out at sea.
This action will continue for a while yet with some big bags likely over coming weeks. Baits to try include bass yabbies, fresh prawns and striped tuna cubes.
It's also a good time to throw plastics in the fast water, with soft stickbaits the stand-outs on a flooding tide.
Up at Tuross it's all systems go with flathead, bream, estuary perch and blackfish all chewing, with most techniques producing fish.
Casting smaller hardbodies around the various weed edges has been good for bream and the snags have been holding plenty of EPs.
The lower sections are good for whiting and flathead. We have already had some cracking sessions there on flathead early in the season with plastics best fished slowly.
The beaches have fired up with salmon averaging 1.5kg to 2kg in plague proportions at times. Not all beaches are holding fish but when you find a deeper gutter you're in for some serious fun.
Quite a lot of anglers are now targeting salmon in the washes on soft plastics with great success, especially when conditions are calmer than you would like when bait fishing. It's just another top way to have some fun on these under-rated sport fish.
Those using the traditional bait/popper paternoster rigs have done well and can expect to continue.
Beaches to try include Narooma Main, Tilba, Brou and Coila, just north of Tuross. Blue bait, pilchards and beachworms are the preferred offerings.
The usual bread-and-butter species like blackfish, drummer and bream should keep the rockhoppers happy and October is a good month to target them.
The inside of the Narooma southern breakwall has been hot for blackfish with bag limits reached inside a few hours at times. I'd be fishing a flooding tide with only the freshest of green weed for best results.
This species can be hard to catch consistently sometimes so it pays to study the older anglers who fish there. That may sound silly but their experience is deep and most of the folk are more than willing to share a secret or two.
If you're after salmon, tailor and the chance of bonito, try the Golf Course rocks in town and down at Mystery Bay to the south casting metal shiners or slow rolling ganged pilchards.
Snapper fishos are still smiling as the outside reefs continue to produce with a few local crews getting 20 to 30 averaging a kilo or so in a session. Most reefs are holding fish, it's just a matter of locating a school.
Mixed in with the snapper are morwong, trevally and the odd rat kingfish. They’re all taking squid, slimy mackerel strips and pilchards.
At Montague Island the water has been very cold but should improve as the month passes. The kings have been slow with just the odd fish caught on jigs.
There's been a few bonito around with jigs again the go; live bait has been hard to get at times.
Out wider, it shouldn't be to long before we see some albacore and yellowfin tuna turn up. In the past few seasons we have seen some nice fish caught around this time.
Trolling is certainly the go with smaller skirted or bibbed minnows the choice. A lot will depend on currents, water temperature and bait concentrations.Reads: 2633