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Everything’s biting
  |  First Published: December 2012



With the Summer crowd well and truly here, there's still a heap of fishing opportunities for visiting and local anglers.

Offshore fishos have it all before them with kingfish, tuna, black and striped marlin, plus a heap of sharks ready to play the game. The water will be hovering around 22°-24°, ideal for these pelagic species.

The kingfish have been a little lately but will improve once we get more southerly current. This is important for kings, especially the bigger fish.

Kings are averaging 5kg-6kg, not huge but still a lot of fun. Live bait and jigs are working and the northern end of Montague Island is fishing best.

Some of the bigger kings have been mixed in with bonito on the surface and have been caught on trolled diving minnows.

This is a great way to target them as you cover a lot of ground. When you hook up, throw in a live bait and you'll be surprised how many times this results in a double hook-up.

The bonito are thick at the island and can be caught on almost every method. A few locals have had a ball casting small metal slugs into the schools on light braid outfits for 3kg-4kg fish.

Wider, the marlin action will be in full swing for blacks and stripes, with the chance of a big blue out even wider. Trollers fare best early in the season, although switch-baiting when bait balls are evident will certainly work.

Anywhere from the 70-fathom line to the Second Drop should have fish but a lot depends on current and bait. There also should be yellowfin tuna to 40kg, albacore and a variety of sharks.

SANDIES, TIGERS

Those after a feed will do well with sand and tiger flathead in great numbers. Fishing in 40m straight off Glasshouse Rocks has been excellent.

Snapper anglers have found it a little harder but once you find a patch, it's pretty good. Ben Boulton from local charter boat Playstation told me his clients had a cracking time on the reds, catching and releasing a heap to 4kg and keeping a few for the pan.

Mixed in with the reds are plenty of morwong, pigfish and the odd smaller kingfish.

Rockhoppers are doing OK, especially on salmon and bonito. Casting shiners around 40g is the go but ganged pilchards on heavier tackle also fare well. There should be solid kings in the next few weeks, especially down at Mystery Bay and the Golf Course Rocks in town.

The warmer water has pushed in bream and whiting on almost every beach with a half-decent gutter. A light outfit with a running-sinker rig baited with live beach worms or pipis will produce some nice fillets for the pan.

Try Narooma main, Tilba and Brou Beach, just north of Dalmeny, which has been exceptional for salmon, tailor and gummy sharks.

ESTUARY

All estuaries firing with the exception of Wagonga Inlet, which was unusually slow until the water warmed sufficiently.

Smaller systems like Corunna and Dalmeny are firing for flathead, with 40cm fish the average. It's quite easy to get your 10-fish limit but remember to take only what you require.

All methods are working, blades, soft plastics and bait.

Tuross has been excellent but may slow a little as we head into the holidays with increased boat traffic spooking fish, as it did last year.

I hope I'm wrong because when guiding there this season we have managed 24 mulloway on soft plastics and many more lost.

It's been the best start to a mulloway season l have seen and l put this down to the deeper entrance, which we have now had for well over a year. Fish recruitment is at a premium so let's hope we have enough rain in the mountains to keep this dynamic system open to the sea.

Flathead, bream, whiting and particularly luderick are abundant throughout the Tuross system with mullet in their thousands.

The upper reaches of Tuross around Commerang have been quite good for bass, with switched-on anglers getting a dozen per session on spinnerbaits and smaller hardbodies during the day and surface plugs and fizzer's around dusk.

Please do the right thing and release these bass, it's only a small pocket of water and to my knowledge everyone fishing there is practising catch and release.

This 45cm cobia was a bit of a shock but at this time of year you never know what will be next.

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