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Better weather, more fish
  |  First Published: October 2011



Weather that’s a bit more stable has really helped, especially for those fishing offshore.

With the calmer seas, crews have really got into the snapper action with some cracking reds to 6kg captured.

These bigger fish have fallen to live baits intended for kingfish but no one is complaining, I'd take that any day of the week as by-catch.

Those who are actively targeting the reds are doing extremely well. Most fish are around 1.5kg to 2kg, ideal for the plate and still good fun on the right tackle.

A lot are falling to fresh baits like squid and lightly weighted whole pilchards fished down a berley trail. The gravel patches off Potato Point and Tuross have been the hot spots.

The snapper action should continue over coming weeks, with kingfish a huge possibility this month, too.

Already some nice fish have been taken from both these areas, mainly on live bait, but jigs have certainly worked as well.

Every day current and water temperatures are different.

Montague Island has been a little slower for pelagics but there are kings and bonito at times. The main problem is the seals, they are everywhere and when you do hook a fish you'll be lucky to land it.

On the bottom there are plenty of morwong, smaller snapper, pigfish and trevally. The south-western corner in 25m has fished well.

ESTUARY

The Narooma and Tuross estuaries have been great and will get even better as the month progresses.

Wagonga Inlet has been a standout for mixed bags. No one species has been red hot but as a whole it's excellent.

Bream, flathead, trevally, big salmon, tailor and flounder have been caught on lightly weighted soft plastics in the shallows upstream of the power lines. We have had some 50-fish guiding days.

The water has stayed relatively warm and there have been huge schools of whitebait. The basin is loaded with small chopper tailor, which will be beneficial for those targeting mulloway.

If these majestic bronzed brutes are your cup of tea, October is the start of it all. Fish near the tailor schools with bigger plastics for best results.

Up at Tuross the flatties have really started to fire up with fish over 90cm captured, which is great to see.

What isn't good is seeing them dead – unfortunately the minority stuff it for the majority. Let the big girls go, there are plenty of smaller eaters to be taken for a feed. Let’s hope it get throughs to some people that these are important fish for the system.

Anyway the river and the basins are holding fish. The river has been good in the shallows, with an afternoon flood tide prime time.

The land heats first on these warmer days and when this transmits to the shallows, they are quite often a couple of degrees warmer and can be the difference between an OK day and a cracking session.

Expect a few bream to be chasing prawns on the flats; smaller hard-bods or lightly weighted plastics should snare these fish.

SALMON RUN

The salmon run continues, with every beach with a half-decent gutter producing. I think it's the best salmon season we have had; they are everywhere.

I know some people regard them as junk fish but to me and many others, they are great sport. They are easy to catch with the right tackle and preparation, fight like caged lions and are great for kids to start out on.

I like using a light bream-style spin stick, casting 20g lures into the suds.

If you’re after more desirable bread-and-butter species we should see some solid bream and whiting this month.

The rocky corners of the beaches will produce with Tilba, Narooma Main, Blackfellows and Jamieson among the better ones. A lightly weighted live beach worm or pipi will suffice.

A little berley won't hurt but don't overdo it or the stingrays and banjo sharks will become a nuisance.

Those fishing the stones will have ample opportunities with salmon, tailor, bonito and rat kingfish all possible. The ledge down at Mystery Bay is worth a look and all the above species could there in numbers at times.

Over recent years the early season bonito have been exceptional. Anglers casting metal slugs, whole pilchards on ganged hooks or live baits will have a lot of fun.

Kingfish should be around; plenty have been in close for the boaties so the rockhoppers should be able to get some.

There will be hordes of salmon to keep you busy.

If a feed is what you’re after, blackfish and drummer should play the game. Fish the washes on the southern side of the ledge or, even better, try Dalmeny Headland or the Golf Course Rocks in town near the third hole. Use cabbage, cunjevoi or fresh prawns.

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