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Marlin, kingie heaven
  |  First Published: March 2011



Those targeting marlin off Narooma are having a ball with big numbers of quality fish to 150kg being captured.

The water offshore is 24°, ideal for marlin, and some game crews are getting a dozen strikes a day and I know of at least seven boats in the past week that have tagged two or more marlin in a day, with the best I heard of scoring five fish. That's world-class fishing in my books.

The majority have been striped marlin averaging 90kg, although some solid blacks have turned up anywhere from close inshore to beyond the continental shelf.

A visitor from out west told me that he put out a spread of skirted striped tuna lures no more than 500m from the Narooma bar and was pleasantly surprised when a 100kg-plus black ate one.

He fought the fish for over an hour before the lighter tuna leader wore through but it does go to show that if the water conditions are right, black marlin will come in close.

Most of the striped marlin have come from the 70-fathom line to the shelf with the Tuross Canyons a good starting point.

A lot of crews are switch-baiting with live baits after teasing the marlin up – good fun but good crew organisation us essential.

There's have been some solid bull mahi mahi to 16kg around the traps near Tuross. A whole pilchard cast on heavier spin gear towards the trap floats should produce some fun.

A few crews have caught yellowfin tuna to 40kg, mostly on trolled skirted pushers aimed at marlin. That’s great by-catch, if that's what you want to call it.

ISLAND KINGS

At Montague island it's all systems go with kingfish plentiful and all techniques working.

Jigs have been dynamite with fish around 70cm most common. There's been the odd better fish pushing a metre, mostly on live bait.

The kings are widespread with the southern pinnacles and Fowlhouse reefs holding plenty. Mixed in are loads of bonito and striped tuna are thick at times.

I've heard of a few black marlin hooked at the rock, mainly accidentally when targeting kings on live bait. It would be great to slow troll a live bait for a beakie but with the soaring seal population, this would be near impossible.

The eastern side of the island has been good for snapper but be careful where you fish with the sanctuary zones nearby.

The inshore grounds off Kianga and Dalmeny are good for flatties with the odd snapper from Potato Point and Tuross.

For rock anglers, Mystery Bay, just south of Narooma, is this region’s LBG hot spot.

Some nice kingfish have come from here lately with big salmon and bonito also falling to live baits. A few smaller snapper have come from the washes at the southern end of the main ledge, with full pilchards on gang hooks doing the trick.

For the bread-and-butter species you’re better off fishing the inside of the southern wall at Narooma, where some good blackfish have been caught on cabbage.

INLET VARIABLE

In Wagonga Inlet some days are good and others plain ordinary.

When it has fired, good flathead have come from the deeper water in the main basin with the whitebait schools attracting some fish to 90cm.

There's been the odd mulloway encounter on plastics but I expect more over coming weeks. The water has warmed nicely and with increased tailor activity a mulloway is possible, especially around the lead-up to full and new moon.

Upstream there have been a few whiting and bream on surface lures but those fishing live baits have certainly done a lot better.

At Tuross things are a lot more rosy with bream, flathead, whiting and estuary perch all chewing at times.

It really depends on what you want to target and how; you will get results any way you choose.

Live bait has done particularly well on bream and whiting in the lower sections, especially after dark on a flooding tide.

This action should continue for quite a while because the entrance is still deep and the water a warm 25°.

Those fishing the beaches are catching plenty of whiting to a thumping 46cm on beachworms on a flooding tide. Most of the local beaches are holding a few fish with Brou and Narooma Main the pick.

The key is not to cast past the close gutters; a short cast on light tackle is all that's required. You will also get the odd bream and quality salmon when targeting the whiting.

For salmon, a paternoster rig with a bait/popper combination will work, as will chrome lures up to 50g, try beaches like Brou and Blackfellows, just south of Tuross.

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