The rain has finally stopped and it couldn't have come soon enough if you ask me. All the local estuaries have received a decent flush with both Tuross and Narooma now getting back to something close to normal. With the fresh behind us some pretty good winter angling can be had.
The Council opened up Coila Lake and that's only the second time I have seen that in the last dozen years or so. Tuross has been good and it's seen an influx of smaller mulloway between 50-70cm, not big but still a lot of fun on the right tackle.
I know of a local that captured five jewies in a session on plastics and lost a couple of better models so there are bigger fish there. A few of these jewies came from relatively shallow water so don't underestimate water three meters deep and less.
There's still some solid flatties being caught with the River sections a good place to start. Further upstream expect big winter whiting plus some good-sized yellowfin bream over the flats. Anglers using live squirt or blood worms will fare best though using blades should also work in the slightly deeper gutters, which are everywhere upstream.
It's been a great winter already at Wagonga even with the dirtier water with salmon, tailor, trevally, bream and snapper all chewing at times. The upper reaches is the place to fish, and concentrate your efforts around whitebait schools, which are plentiful everywhere. I expect this solid winter action to continue for a month or two at least.
In the main basin salmon and tailor are the main species to target, and throwing a chromed lure or soft plastic has been deadly. There's been the odd decent flattie coming from Foster's Bay too.
Those fishing the beaches continue to smile as salmon numbers are ridiculous at present. These hard fighting fish are everywhere with all beaches fishing well. Beaches that don't even look fishy are producing so if it's some non-stop fun you’re after, get down there. Almost any technique will work including casting shiners, paternoster rigs with a bait/popper combination and even fly casting.
Beaches that are fishing the best include Tilba, Narooma Main, Brou and Coila. There's been reports of gummy sharks getting caught off both Brou and Coila beaches, with the best l heard of going 13kg. That's a solid fish from the sand! It was caught on a slab of tailor intended for mulloway. If you can handle the cold of night an after dark session on the beach may just be the go.
Outside sport fishers are having a great sessions with the SBT in great numbers. The fish are continually moving though the 1000 fathom line seems to be the best concentration of them. There's been some massive fish caught withthe best I've seen a 130kg jumbo. These lads actually lost a bigger fish after 2.5 hours at the boat and said it made the 130kg job look small!
There's been a smattering of other 100kg+ fish being caught but the majority of fish seem to be in the 30-50kg bracket. At that size they are good chewing and are a lot more manageable on the cleaning table.
A lot of crews are trolling first, hooking up then reverting to cubes to keep the tuna at the back of the boat. It doesn't always work and quite often you will get the school fish up but not the jumbo models. From reports most of the bigger fish have fallen to trolled pushers and bibbed minnows so it really depends on what you’re after to what technique you try.
At Montague Island things have certainly slowed up on the kingfish front. There's been sporadic catches of smaller fish down south around the shallows but certainly no mass amounts of them.
If you’re after some decent table fish then snapper is the go. A few locals have been cleaning up on the reds with fish to two kilo mainly taken on fresh squid and pilchards. Snapper have been fishing well all winter and that will continue this month. The fish have been concentrated, so when you come across a patch it's all systems go. Better reefs have been Potato Point in 50-60m and the southwest corner of the Island in 20-25m.
Off the rocks the pelagics like salmon and tailor have kept most fishos happy. Casting lightly weighted pilchards on ganged hooks just past the wash zone has been popular and getting the desired results.
Even with the coolish 16ºC water some solid bonito continue to chew and now I think this speedster is a year round proposition. There seems to be plenty around which is awesome to see and not bad on the plate if looked after accordingly. Better spots include Mystery Bay to the south at High Rock or the Golf Course Rocks in town.
Those targeting the more preferred bread and butter species like drummer, blackfish and bream are faring ok but it has been a little slower this season. Those that are doing well are using the freshest of baits in conjunction with berley and fishing the right tides. I've found the falling tide best when rock-hopping, and it makes bait gathering a lot more easier. Ledges like Dalmeny Headland and the northern end of the Golf Course Rocks should see you get a decent feed.Reads: 1051