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Time for marlin
  |  First Published: March 2011



Fish on the left or right, sometimes both at once, no matter which lure or bait they come up on I never tire of the thrill of hunting a marlin and you will not get a better time than now.

Whether you are on a small trailer boat or a luxurious flybridge cruiser, the excitement in having raised a fish, after reading all the signs to find it, is the passion in hunting marlin.

This month you need to look for some obvious points like water temps (which have been perfect at 22° to 24°) that rich cobalt blue colour, bird activity, where baitfish are congregating, and the signs of predators chasing bait – dolphins, seals or the billfish themselves.

Gannets when diving on bait are obvious signs, but they also may be high in the sky, circling over one area. This often means they are watching bait schools down too deep to dive.

To the marlin hunter this is a sign to work the area over with the sounder to locate the bait schools and the predators.

Striped marlin have been the most predominant, with the odd good blue or a black thrown in. Spots include the Twelve Mile Reef, along the edge of the continental shelf through to The Kink area south-east of Montague Island, and north of Montague around Tuross Canyons.

Or with a good spread of skirted lures you could try for that big blue wider out towards the seamount east of Montague.

If you have only a small boat, don’t despair because there have been some small blacks hanging around the inshore reefs.

The beauty of March is that not only the marlin on the chew, so too is just about everything else.

There has been fantastic kingfish action at Montague Island for months.

Mixed in with the kings are bonito and on the surrounding reefs are snapper, plenty of morwong and, if you anchor and berley, silver trevally up to 2kg.

On the way try trolling lures close to shore for kingfish, bonito or salmon.

SHORE THINGS

The rocks attract passing kings, bonnies and salmon pass within reach of those tossing a lure, while bait will attract drummer, bream, groper or trevally.

The beaches have suffered a little from a lack of reasonable gutters but there are plenty of whiting, bream and mullet taking beach worms.

The prime spots are definitely the estuaries and lakes. They have been full of prawns this season and fish stocks have gorged themselves.

There has been excellent lure fishing in Wallaga Lake, where flathead have been plentiful.

Those using nippers or berleying with tuna for bream have also fared well, particularly east of the bridge.

In the Bermagui River there is plenty of action with all species on the chew.

As we head into Autumn there’ll be only a couple of months left to take advantage of the great bass fishing at Brogo Dam, which has plenty of fish on the chew including some big ’uns.

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