Estuaries a mite tougher
  |  First Published: December 2011

With the holiday season well and truly upon us, local waterways are extremely busy with visiting anglers eager to wet a line.

This time of year can prove a little tough, especially in the estuaries, due to the increased boat traffic.

Those who get on the water early will still catch plenty with Wagonga Inlet and the Tuross system both producing.

Both these estuaries have been fishing OK but they have been harder than in recent months.

I'm not too sure why, because conditions are good.

In saying that, good fishing is still available with some pretty big flathead coming from Tuross.

While guiding there over recent weeks we've managed four flathead from 90cm to 93cm, all released. But there have been a lot of casts to get these results.

You will still get a good feed of mid-sized fish around 45cm to 50cm with the fish widespread from the river to the lower reaches of the estuary.

A lot of the flatties have fallen to soft plastics but I suspect with the water warming that fishos using fresh strip baits and live poddy mullet will be in for a good time.

Those after bream have fared OK around the oyster racks and flats with surface and sub-surface lures.

This month will see the whiting in full swing with live squirt worms, bass yabbies, poppers and walkbaits getting results.

At Narooma the channel on the eastern side of the main highway bridge is a good starting point for the whiting fishos.

The main basin is loaded with chopper tailor and there's been the odd mulloway and some sizeable flathead.

Further south, Corunna Lake has been excellent for eating-size flatties. The place is loaded with them but get there early before the water skiers have their fun.


Beach anglers are having a great time with salmon in plague proportions. I thought they would have tapered off with the warmer water but not so.

Almost all beaches are holding fish, the best being Tilba, Narooma Main, Kianga and Brou. Paternoster rigs rigged with bait and surf poppers are popular.

Tailor numbers have picked up and there are good reports of quality bream from Tilba Beach on live beach worms and tuna cubes fished with a little berley.

More and bigger and whiting should be in the gutters, use light line and cast beachworms and pipis just past the shore break.

After dark, mulloway and gummy sharks are possible on big fresh slab baits in the deeper gutters on a rising tide.

Rockhoppers should be happy with salmon, tailor, kingfish and surface speedsters like frigate mackerel, striped tuna and bonito.

Anglers fishing shiners will fare best with higher geared reels; often the faster you wind, the better the action.

Ledges to try are the Golf Course rocks in town, Mystery Bay and the north breakwall.

Blackfish and bream will be in most washes taking lightly weighted cunjevoi or fresh prawns.


At Montague Island things are in full swing with kingfish belting jigs with gusto. Anglers around the northern end have been getting their bags with relative ease although the seals are playing havoc at times. Most fish are around 4kg with the odd fish to 10kg being caught on live slimy mackerel.

Please be aware of where you fish and the marine park rules because the rangers will be certainly be about.

If live baiting, the Fowlhouse Reef on the western side of the island has been worth a look and early mornings the fish are on the surface.

Anglers fishing the bottom are happy with plentiful snapper to 2kg. Tuross and Potato Point are worth a look in 60m to 70m.

Drifting with paternoster rigs is all that’s required with fresh squid or tuna the top baits. There are also morwong, pigfish and heaps of flatties on the sand/gravel edges.

The flatties have been thick off Kianga with the 40m line loaded.

Marlin, yellowfin tuna, albacore and a host of shark species will be chewing, it's just a matter of what you want to target.

The continental shelf is the place to fish and if you need an updated report before you get into town give Darryl and the boys at Compleat Angler a call.

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