Stayers rewarded
  |  First Published: March 2013

Narooma has come back to some sort of normality now the holidaymakers are gone but for those who have stayed on, there's some exceptional fishing.

The estuaries continue to fire with Wagonga Inlet finally back on the radar after a few quiet months.

Almost all species are playing the game with mulloway and monster flathead high on anglers’ lists.

Both these species have woken up and over the past few weeks I’ve heard of at least a dozen mulloway to 15kg caught. Most of these silver slabs are falling to fresh squid or tailor strips.

Fishing late afternoon and into the dark and concentrating your efforts around tide changes and moonrise seems to be the key for more consistent results. It's a little more work with planning your trip and a bit of research but certainly worth the effort.

The fish are widespread throughout the system but Paradise Point and Black Bream Point have accounted for a few fish.

If lure casting is your go, concentrate around the abundant tailor and whitebait schools. You might lose a few soft plastics to the munching tailor but you have to be where the bait is.

Those after crocs (flathead over 85cm) should be looking in the lower sections of the main basin in 6m-10m; we have been getting some solid fish there, mainly on 100mm softies.

In the channels on the eastern side of the highway bridge anglers are having a ball on whiting, bream, flathead, blackfish, flounder and mullet. This area is alive, especially on the draining tide.

Live worms, prawns, striped tuna strips and nippers are all catching fish.

The best method here is to anchor, use a little burley and fish quite heavy sinkers with long leaders to keep the bait down when it’s running.

Tuross continues to produce flathead in good numbers. The place is loaded with smaller fish up to 36cm, which is great for coming seasons.

It's hard to get away from the wrigglers but when a decent model comes along it's 55cm and over. There seems to be a shortage 40cm-50cm fish, probably from when the system was closed in 2010 and breeding didn't occur.

But you’re a great chance of getting an 80cm-plus model. In recent weeks we’ve managed seven fish over 80cm and countless of 60cm-75cm.

We have found smaller plastics around 70mm best, even on the bigger fish, which is a little surprising. Those using live poddies are getting a few but l think the plastics brigade are getting better results.


Offshore fishers are having mixed results, depending on who you talk to, but the switched-on game crews are doing pretty well.

Some solid striped marlin are being caught from the 70-fathom line to beyond the shelf. A lot depends on bait and current as to where to fish are.

Local skipper Pete Davies had a good day out recently, getting his mate Hoots onto a 100kg striped marlin and a 30kg short-billed spearfish, not a bad release double for your first billfish encounter.

Other crews are getting a few shots per day, mainly trolling lures, but switch-baiting is becoming popular and is highly effective.

Montague Island kingfish have been there one day and off the next.

All we require is some consistent weather. If the current is running from the north, it's on; once it slows or stops the kings turn off. The fish are still there, they just don't feed.

Ben Boulton of Charter Fish Narooma has been using big soft plastics when they’re finicky and nothing else will work. The fish are averaging only 4kg-5kg but still a whole lot of fun on the right tackle.

What is abundant at Montague are bonito, with fish to 6kg hitting almost anything thrown at them. If looked after correctly they’re not bad on the plate.

Beach and rock anglers are getting good results.

The beaches are holding bream, whiting, yellow-eye mullet and salmon with beachworms, pipis and striped tuna doing well. Try Brou, Blackfellows and Tilba beaches.

Off the stones it's been good for lure tossers with salmon, bonito, frigate mackerel, kingfish and tailor all hitting metals. Lures around 30g-50g are ideal for the pelagics.

Most headlands will produce but Mystery Bay's High Rock would be the pick with the Golf Course Rocks in town a close second.

For a feed there will be blackfish and bream on the inner side of the Southern Breakwall taking cabbage and fresh prawns.

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