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Game season promising
  |  First Published: December 2011



Narooma is famous for its offshore game fishing, with a plethora of species available in the Summer. If the early indications are anything to go by, we are in for some memorable angling over the coming months.

There's already been a handful of decent yellowfin tuna caught, with the best a solid 71kg fish taken while trolling. I've heard of a handful of 50kg fish with a few bigger models lost also.

This is great news for the game fishos so early in the season and it won't be long before the first marlin hits the deck.

Most of these fish have come wide, past the continental shelf to the second drop-off, with the Tuross Canyons region productive.

Trolling is certainly the go, with green pushers up to 12” long working well.

Local fisho Pete Davies has been having a ball on albacore to 12kg, which have been prolific some days.

Pete's been trolling them up, then reverting to cubes to get the albacore at the back of the boat and then jigged them up on kingfish tackle. Now that's a whole lot of fun in my books – jigging albacore in 200 fathoms.

There's been the odd mako shark cruising with the albies and with the rising water temperature, some large hammerhead sharks should turn up.

At Montague Island it's all systems go with kingfish and bonito taking a wide range of offerings, especially jigs and live bait. When using the livies, be mindful of the exclusion zones at the northern end of the island.

A lot of the kings have been caught at the Fowlhouse Reef on the western side.

Good numbers of kings are also off Brou Reef and Potato Point so if the island is a little slow, those spots are worth a look.

ESTUARIES

The estuaries continue to fire with Wagonga, Tuross, Mummaga and Corunna producing.

There's a stack of flathead in Mummunga although the average size of 38cm to 42cm is smaller than in the other estuaries. At this size they are great for the plate and ideal for the kids as they are pretty easy to catch.

Catches of up to 30 fish per session are the norm with mid ranged plastics and blades working.

Just remember to take what you need for a feed. I have seen some pretty greedy people lately with the odd under-sized fish – not what anyone wants to see.

At Wagonga the main basin has solid salmon and tailor with the odd mulloway on plastics and live bait. We've managed fish to 11kg over the past few weeks so put in the effort and the reward may just come.

There are some cracking big flathead around the weed-fringed margins, with a few close to the magic metre mark but not quite. These big girls certainly pull on even slightly heavier tackle.

It's time for surface fun for bream and whiting with poppers and walk baits. Narooma and Tuross are great if this is your type of angling.

Water temperature will determine where to fish but the upper reaches of both systems fire early in the season.

Those after bass will do well on surface plugs and spinnerbaits above and below Commerang at Tuross. It's been good there for weeks already and should only get better.

ROCK PELAGICS

For the rockhoppers, pelagics have been happening for weeks with bonito, salmon and smaller kingfish on most local platforms. Mystery Bay and the Golf Course Rocks in town are the hot spots.

These species have responded well to chrome lures up to 50g wound flat chat.

A few of the kings have pushed 6kg and the odd larger model will take a live bait.

For those after a feed there will be the odd blackfish and drummer in the washes but you may find them a little slow. I'd be concentrating on the southern breakwall or Dalmeny headland with fresh cabbage and prawns.

On the beaches there have been increased gummy shark captures. One visiting estuary client told us he had been getting plenty up to 9kg on Blackfellows Beach on fresh salmon strips on a paternoster rig.

You could expect a lot more gummies and mulloway to be caught now with warmer evenings making it more comfortable to fish after dark.

Other beaches to try include Brou and Coila and, to the south, Tilba.

If the bigger species elude you, you should be able to get a feed of bream and whiting. Use a lighter running-sinker rig with a pipi or beachworm and just fish past the shore dump.

You don't need a huge cast when targeting these species. Those who berley sparsely will also increase their catch rates; don't use too much or the stingrays and banjo rays will play havoc with you.

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