The local estuaries around the Narooma region are really starting to fire up after a lack lustre past few weeks.
Both Wagonga Inlet and the Tuross Lake system are in full swing with most species chewing using a variety of techniques.
Flathead numbers are on the increase in both systems with Tuross a standout. With the slightly warmer weather of late, this has warmed the land up first and in turn the water, especially in the shallows.
Water between 1-3ft is a few degrees warmer than the main flow through the river and this is where the flatties are.
Due to the water being so clear long casts are needed ahead of the boat so as not to spook the fish. If you have a fair bit of wind too you'll certainly increase your chances further.
Smaller soft plastics and prawn imitations are the lures of choice with blades catching fish too. Up towards the main basin there has been a few mulloway caught on plastics with Tom Boyton from Canberra getting a nice 80cm fish. This fish was caught on a relatively small presentation so anglers targeting them only may be in for some fun.
Later this month the surface action for bream and whiting will commence, though I expect it may be harder this season as both species wise up pretty quickly to techniques. You will still get fish but a little more work will be required.
At Narooma it's big flathead time and I for one can't wait. Fish to 95cm and bigger can be expected with both bait and lure tossers getting results.
The lower sections should fish better, concentrate around water depths of 8m or so and use bigger lures.
A few mulloway can also be found; we got a decent 9kg fish out of there a few days ago while guiding. This fish was caught when targeting big flatties on the ribbon weed edges, so there must be a few mulloway in there.
The upper reaches of the inlet have been fishing okay for bream, and will only improve.
Casting smaller hardbodies and lightly weighted plastics around the oyster racks has worked. Those using bait have caught a few but the artificials seem to be working a treat at present.
At Montague Island the kings have fired up with jigs, live bait and fresh squid on flasher rigs all catching fish at times. The north end has seen bigger fish to 8kg, with the Fowl House Reef on the western side producing school fish to 3kg.
One thing to remember with the kingies is they certainly bite best when the current is pushing hard from the north. If it’s only trickling south or no current at all the kingies can be hard to entice regardless on how good your offering is.
If this happens going down a few line classes in the tackle department can pay dividends, you will loose a few fish to the seals but you should also hook more.
Mixed in with the kings are bonito, and lots of them. Some of these speedsters are pushing 6kg – good fish in anyone's books and not bad on the plate if prepared the right way.
Inshore the snapper have been going great guns for months now and this should continue. The close in reef at Brou fires up at this time of year, with fresh squid the best bait. Anchoring up here and using berley will also increase catch rates.
Expect a few morwong and sand flathead if fishing this reef also. The fishos after a feed of flatties should have little trouble with the grounds off Kianga and Dalmeny holding fish.
Fish water depths from 35-40m for best results. These tasty table fish really fire up with the warmer water in November so good bags can be expected.
The beaches have been a little patchy of late; some days are good and others are very quiet, a lot depends on how much white water and gutter formations are present.
Anglers that are doing well have been using fresh bait like live beach worms and pipi. These baits can be collected from most local beaches; while it does require a little work, the end result makes it worthwhile.
Bream, yelloweye mullet and whiting are making up most anglers’ bags with some of the whiting pushing 45cm.
The salmon action has been unusually quiet but this will change once we get the required conditions. There’s been sporadic catches of these fine sport fish, but no quantity to them. Fish that are being caught are averaging 2kg or better.
Expect a few more tailor this month also with mulloway a real chance on those moonlit nights. Beaches like Handkerchief, 1080, Tilba and Narooma main are all worth a look.
On the rocks drummer, blackfish and bream will still call the suds home, but a lot will depend on conditions as to how they feed. Fishing a ledge with white water is ideal; the rocks at Dalmeny are perfect for this especially if the seas are calm.
Using fresh cabbage, cunjevoi, crabs and prawns are great baits and berley is a must. Expect these species to continue to chew over coming weeks with groper also on the cards.
For the guys who target pelagics off the stones, this month is ideal. Bonito, mac tuna, kingfish, salmon and big tailor are all possibilities with lures and live bait the best methods.
Throwing ganged pilchards a long way out and slowly retrieving them will also pay dividends.
Mystery Bay to the south of Narooma would be the pick, but the rocks at the golf course are worth a look too, as is the end of the northern break wall.Reads: 7018