Flatties, mulloway fire up
  |  First Published: November 2012

What a cracking month November is to fish the local estuaries with fishers targeting mulloway and mega flathead faring best.

Both these species are around in good numbers at present and they will get even better as we head further into the month.

When guiding in both these systems lately we’ve managed flatties to 94cm and mulloway to 96cm and I’ve heard reports of bigger mulloway hooked by anglers fishing live bait after dark in Wagonga Inlet. One fish estimated at 20kg was lost boat side after the hook pulled out following a torrid 20-minute fight, better luck next time Pete.

This type of action will continue because both estuaries are full of whitebait and tailor.

Tailor are like jellybeans to mulloway and if you come across a patch, cast your plastics to the edges of the schools and let them drop below. You will catch plenty of tailor and lose a few plastics in the process, but if you do it often enough you will get a decent jewie.

We catch plenty like that and in my books it’s the best way of targeting mulloway in both these systems.

Those after a feed will be rewarded with flathead, bream, blackfish and whiting on bait and lures in the lower reaches. The channels in Wagonga are ideal for bream and whiting.

Fresh bait like striped tuna or squirt worms are ideal.

As the water warms further the sandflats will begin to produce for those who cast surface poppers and walk-baits.

This visual type of fishing is awesome fun and very productive if done the right way. One can expect bream, whiting and flathead with big tailor also getting in on the act.

On the beaches salmon by the truckload are available. Almost all beaches hold good populations of fish averaging 2kg or better. At that size they are great sport especially on light braid outfits and 15g-20g metal slices.

Some decent tailor are in with the salmon with this month the go for those after a decent feed.

Bream, whiting and yellow-eye mullet are there with live beachworms, pipis and cubed striped tuna the preferred baits. A short cast is usually all that’s required so lightly weighted bait is the key.

Try Narooma Main, Tilba, Brou, Blackfellows and Coila.


At Montague Island the kings have fired up with jigs, live bait and fresh squid on flasher rigs all catching fish at times. The northern end has seen fish to 8kg, with the Fowlhouse Reef on the western side producing school fish to 3kg.

Remember kingies bite best when the current is pushing hard from the north. If it’s only trickling south or there’s no current they can be hard to entice regardless of how good your offering is.

If this happens, go down a few line classes; you will lose a few fish to the seals but you should also hook more.

Mixed in with the kings are lots of bonito, some pushing 6kg.

Those after tuna should be rewarded this month, with the odd 30kg-40kg yellowfin being caught around the continental shelf on trolled skirted pushers and bibbed minnows. You can expect albacore to 15kg with them.

Inshore, the snapper have been going great guns for months and should continue. The close reef at Brou fires up at this time of year, with fresh squid the best bait.

Anchoring up here and using berley increases catch rates. You can expect a few morwong and sand flathead around this reef, too.

Those after a feed of flatties should have little trouble, with the grounds off Kianga and Dalmeny holding fish in 35m-40m. These tasty fish really fire up in November so good bags can be expected.

On the rocks drummer, blackfish and bream will still be at home but a lot will depend on conditions. A ledge with whitewater is ideal and the rocks at Dalmeny are perfect for this, especially if the seas are calm.

Using fresh cabbage, cunjevoi, crabs and prawns are great baits and berley is a must.

This month is ideal for targeting pelagics off the stones. Bonito, mack tuna, kingfish, salmon and big tailor are all possible on lures and live bait. Throwing ganged pilchards way out and slowly retrieving will also pay dividends.

Mystery Bay to the south of Narooma would be the pick, but the rocks at the golf course are worth a look, as is the end of the northern breakwall.

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