Greatest game of all
  |  First Published: April 2012

What a game-fishing season it has been, with a host of species getting into top gear.

This action should only get better as we head into April.

Marlin are still exciting fishers with some switched on crews getting eight to 10 shots a day on blacks, stripes and the occasional blue wider out.

Most beakies have been averaging 80kg to 120kg but the blues are certainly bigger.

The stripes have been found from the 70-fathom line to the continental shelf, with the traps up off Tuross with a stack of bait there attracting plenty of fish. Most crews have been trolling skirted pushers but switchbaiting is deadly, especially on the stripes.

The blue marlin have been a lot further out, where the water is a warm 25°. I expect to see a monster blue over 350kg in coming weeks as more crews venture wide with the right tackle.

Trolling larger pushers, up to 40cm long, is the go when targeting these bigger fish.

There have been some solid yellowfin tuna to 60kg captured while trolling for marlin and April usually the start of the official tuna season. Every year at this time some sizable jumbos turn up with fish to 90kg possible.

Mixed in with the yellowfin will be albacore and a host of shark species.

Montague Island has been red-hot with kingfish numbers awesome. It's definitely the best kingfish season we have had for a long time.

The kings have been found anywhere with the northern and western sides the most productive. But when the current is pushing north a look at the southern end around Auginish Rock is the go.

The bigger fish to 9kg have responded better to live bait. There have been plenty taken on jigs and soft plastics as well, though mostly smaller 70cm to 80cm ones.

If the kings are a slow there are plenty of bonito to keep things interesting, as well as some snapper. It's been excellent for the reds and they should continue right through Winter.

We usually get a few snapper at this time of year but not in the numbers we are getting at present. Some crews are bagging out (10 per person) each outing on fish nudging 2kg.


Thanks probably to the rain, Wagonga Inlet has been reasonably slow considering its reputation but that should change over coming weeks.

There certainly seems to be a lack of bait through the system, which may also be a reason. You will still catch some quality fish there but expect to work for them.

Those who have done OK have fished early around tide changes for some nice flathead. Most fish have fallen to live poddy mullet on the deeper drop-offs and I've heard of a few mulloway taken on squid at night.

Up at Tuross it's a different story with bream, flathead, estuary perch, mulloway, whiting and blackfish all responding well at times.

While guiding there we've managed eight mulloway over recent weeks. The fish have been 60cm to 80cm – not huge but great fun on light braid.

Some cracking flatties are taking soft plastics in the shallower areas towards the entrance.

In the river itself there have been heaps of estuary perch while bream and whiting have been over the sand flats.

The rocks continue to fish well for salmon, bonito and smaller kingfish. Chromed slice lures and ganged pilchards are catching plenty.

This month we may see some mackerel tuna turn up along the Golf Course Rocks in town and at Mystery Bay. Use live yellowtail or slimy mackerel; berley and you'll have all the bait you require.

You should also be able to get a feed of blackfish. The southern breakwall at the entrance has been a hot spot with cabbage bait.

A few locals have also done well there for solid bream on tuna strips. Again, berley is the key for consistent results.


On the beaches it's business as usual with salmon in good numbers on most beaches taking chrome lures.

A paternoster rig will work with blue bait and pilchards.

Bream and whiting have been coming from Brou and Blackfellows beaches to the north on live beachworms and pipis.

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