Big flatties line up
  |  First Published: October 2008

This is prime time to target big flathead at Narooma, with fish over 95cm caught every season.

Using bigger soft plastics, up to 125mm, is the best way to tempt them, with slower presentations a must for consistent captures.

Narooma and Tuross will produce the goods but different strategies will be required to get results.

At Narooma, fishing the deeper, weed-fringed bays from the power lines to the main basin is the go, in 7-8m of water.

At Tuross, fishing the shallower margins in the river and the lower sections will produce the majority of fish. Quite often at Tuross bigger flatties take smaller plastics aimed at school fish so using a leader of 10-14lb is ideal.

Anglers casting deeper diving minnows will also snare a few with the bottom section of lake towards the entrance a good starting point. It’s here that shore-based fishos can get in on the action, casting lures across the channel, especially on the run-out tide.

As the water warms, the whiting action will heat up with anglers using squirt worms and Bass yabbies faring best.

Expect a lot of yellowfin bream to enter the system too, with the weed edges on the southern part of the lower basin holding fish. Bait, plastics and hard-bodied lures will catch fish, with the flooding tide prime time.


Offshore the bottom bouncers have continued to catch snapper and mowies.

The size of the reds has tapered off a bit but that’s to be expected at this time of year. In saying that, the majority of fish are averaging 1kg with the odd one pushing 5kg. Some local charter operators have had great sessions producing upwards of 30 snapper.

Fresh bait like squid and pilchards is ideal with the reefs on the southwestern side of Montague Island holding fish.

Last year, October saw the start of the game fish season with an early run of yellowfin tuna and albacore at the Continental Shelf. I can’t see why this won’t happen again.

There are already tuna up off Sydney and if the currents and water temperatures continue to push south, southern sportfishers could be in for some fun.

Most of these early fish will be caught trolling with skirted and bibbed minnows, though I know of a few local anglers last year having great success on berley and cubes.

The beaches have been quiet, mainly due to the lack of swell. This will improve once we get some decent whitewater but there are still fish to be had for those putting in the time.

Down south, Tilba still has a good gutter, as does the northern end of Blackfellows Beach near Potato Point and reasonable catches of salmon and tailor have come from these two.

This month the bream and whiting should get a little more active, with live beach worms and pipis the best baits.


On the rocks, there will be salmon, tailor and bonito to target.

October usually marks an increase of bonito, with fish to 5kg possible. Most methods work but casting chrome slugs up to 40g accounts for a lot of the fish.

I like using a medium to fast-taper rod loaded up with 4kg braid for maximum fun. It may seem a light outfit for the rocks but you would be amazed at the size of fish that can be caught with it.

Having a long-handled fixed gaff is required if you can’t lift or wash your fish out.

Better ledges to try are the Golf Course rocks in town and High Rock down at Mystery Bay. The latter is a fantastic platform that is safe in all but the biggest of seas; it also has rod buckets cemented into the rocks and is easily accessible through the Mystery Bay camping grounds.

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