Estuaries clear, fish wary
  |  First Published: September 2012

After the heavy Winter rains we have certainly hit a dry spell which has made the estuaries crystal-clear and cold, making the fishing a little more difficult, particularly in the shallows.

The fish have still been there on the flood tide but tempting them is another thing. We've found that downsizing leader to 3lb, or better still fishing 3lb fluorocarbon straight through, has worked for some solid black and yellowfin bream.

There's been the odd flathead and big whiting succumbing to our hardbodies, too, great fun on the ultra-light tackle and very rewarding.

This shallow action will gradually get easier as the water warms, with afternoon flooding tides certainly best especially in Tuross.

If hardbodies aren't your thing then the deeper water has been reasonably good for flathead and bream. The flatties have responded best to soft plastics fished dead slow on the bottom, with blades the pick for the bream.

Depths of 6m-8m have been ideal with the lower sections of Tuross fishing best. The River has been OK for flatties to 60cm and this month we should see a lot more action as the water warms.

Estuary perch are back on the radar as the closed season is lifted and these fighters will be chewing on most snags. Softies fished deep into the snags on locked-up drag are the go at this time of year.


At Narooma the channels have been excellent for bream, trevally and blackfish. Fresh nippers, worms and cabbage are all working at times.

The inside section of the southern breakwall at the bar has been a hot spot for blackfish.

On the stones the pelagic action has been slow except for salmon but give it another six weeks or so and it will pick up for kings and bonito.

But there are stacks of salmon with all headlands producing at times fish to 4kg on metal slices.

If conditions are safe it’s a good time to get the older kids into rock fishing. They won't get bored, can learn how to handle a loaded rod on the rocks and, most of all, learn the safety requirements needed when landing fish from the stones.

A couple of parents are needed for this but it's a good time when plenty are fish are around.

Blackfish, drummer, groper, bream and some decent snapper will all be available at certain times. The Golf Course Rocks, Dalmeny Headland and Mystery Bay are all top rock ledges where lightly weighted cunjevoi, cabbage, cooked prawns and bread will catch plenty, with a little burley helping things along.

Whole rigged pilchards or fresh squid should get you snapper.


Tuna anglers are doing it tough since the bluefin thinned out, with only the sporadic patch turning up out-wide. We still may see some yellowfin and albacore wide of the shelf but a lot will depend on prevailing currents, temperatures and tidal movements.

Montague Island has been good for snapper and morwong with the kingfish lying doggo but late September traditionally is the start of the jigging season. They’re getting plenty of kings just south of Bermagui so it's only a matter of time before they arrive.


It's a salmon frenzy if a beach has a half-decent gutter. Plenty of fishos are grabbing bream rods and a handful of small chrome slices and having a ball.

You can take the kids and if you like eating salmon then you’re in for a great old time. I like to change the trebles to a single straight shank 5/0 hook to reduce lost fish count when the salmon jump.

Bream, whiting and yellow-eye mullet numbers will gradually get better as the month progresses. Live worms and pipis will fare best, especially in the rocky, protected beach corners.

A little berley will help but not so much stingrays and banjo sharks drive you nuts. Try Narooma Main, Tilba and Brou beaches.

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