Something for everyone at Wagonga Inlet
  |  First Published: November 2008

Wagonga Inlet comes to life this month with an array of species available on a variety of different techniques.

Whether you’re fishing with lures or bait from a boat or walking the flats, there’s certainly something to catch for everyone.

November is the time to target monster flathead in this system, with fish to 90cm regularly encountered. Most of these bigger fish will be found in the various bays from the power lines upstream to the edge of the drop-off in the main basin.

Most anglers will target them on bigger soft plastics, although fishos using live poddy mullet will catch their fair share.

I’d be concentrating in water from 6m to 9m if using softies, with lures anywhere from 70mm to 125mm on relatively heavy jigheads. These bigger flathead can be lazy so keeping your presentation close to the bottom will be advantageous.

Just remember, these breeding fish are very important to future stocks so please do the right thing – take a quick photo and let the big girls go. You will catch plenty of school fish up to 55cm if you’re after a feed.

Mulloway also can be expected, with fish to 14kg possible. Again, plastics will account for a lot of the fish; concentrate around whitebait schools or working tailor.

If throwing lures isn’t for you then a fresh squid or live fish could pay dividends. I’d be fishing late afternoons into the dark and if you can coincide a tide change within that period, your chances will increase further.

The channels have fished quite well lately and will only get better as the water warms further. Whiting and bream are the main targets with live bass yabbies and squirt worms the gun baits.

Anchoring up and fishing back downstream is the best method, particularly around the new and full moons when the tidal flow is more prevalent. A little berley won’t hurt here, either, but keep it minimal or all you’ll do is attract the pickers.

Tuross has slowed down but that should change this month. Flathead will gradually begin to chew with the warming weather, especially in the lower sections.

Bream have been good around the racks on hard-bods and plastics, with the surface action just about to start.

Further upstream, estuary perch and bass will be available with the EPs being quite good all Winter. There are a lot of smaller fish around 26cm to 28cm but if you keep at it, a decent model will come along. Hard-bodies have worked best for us lately and spinnerbaits are accounting for the bass.


Anglers fishing offshore will be full of anticipation if the past few seasons are anything to go by. Last November produced some outstanding game fishing with yellowfin tuna to 60kg and countless albacore to 20kg caught.

The continental shelf and beyond was the place to fish although some good yellowfin were taken at the northern end of Montague Island.

Most fish were taken trolling bigger deep divers like Rapala X-Raps. Let’s hope this season starts the same – a lot depends on water temperature, current and bait but all indications look promising.

At Montague Island the kingfish have been a little sporadic but there are quality fish to be caught. I know of a few locals getting these hard-fighting brutes to 8kg on knife jigs around the north-western corner of the island. The boys didn’t have any live bait but said if they did they would have certainly bagged out.

This month usually sees kings and bonito on the surface with the south-western side of the island a good starting point. When the current pushes south over this ledge, it produces a lot of eddies and holds bait.

Trolling smaller bibbed minnows and skirted lures has produced some top fish over the years and it’s certainly worth a go.

Bottom-bouncers after a feed won’t have too many troubles. Flathead on the inshore grounds are prolific with the 30m to 40m line producing good results.

There are still a few snapper around, not as good as a few months back but that’s to be expected when the water warms. I expect more morwong to be caught as the weeks go by.


The beaches have been a little up and down, with a lot depending on the presence of gutters and whitewater. If the two coincide you’re in for some serious fun.

Bream and whiting will make up the majority of anglers’ bags with live beach worms and pipis the preferred baits. Using a lighter outfit for these species will definitely improve catch rates.

Salmon and tailor should also have a chew with tailor numbers and size getting better. Paternoster rigs with pilchards or blue bait should see the rod bend the right way.

Those after bigger prey like mulloway or gummy sharks should encounter a fish or two. Every November a few of each are caught along this coast. Better beaches are Tilba, 1080, Narooma Main, Brou and Blackfellows near Tuross.

On the rocks the surface pelagic action should improve as we head further into the month with kingfish, striped tuna and frigate mackerel all possible. Chrome slice lures should produce early in the morning. Try Dalmeny headland, the golf course rocks in town or Mystery Bay.

Expect a few salmon and tailor on the outer wash zones, particularly early in the morning, with whole ganged pilchards the best method of catching them.

The local blackfish and drummer population should keep you busy. There are still some respectable fish being caught with fresh cabbage and cunjevoi the best baits. The golf course rocks and southern side of the Narooma breakwall have fished well.

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