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Beach salmon are lining up
  |  First Published: July 2013



Cold southerly winds off the snow are the norm at this time of the year, but those anglers braving the conditions have been rewarded with some exceptional beach fishing.

With swells pounding our coast of late, some solid gutter formations are appearing on most beaches.

All the usual beach culprits are being caught, with salmon to 3kg the most prolific. Tailor and bream have also had a chew, with some anglers bagging out on bream, which seems a little odd for this time of year.

Live beach worms is the gun bait for anglers targeting bream, but finding quality beach worms has been an effort in itself. There have been some good patches of worms off Brou Beach, so it's certainly worth a look.

For the salmon and tailor the foolproof paternoster rig is perfect; with a bluebait/surf popper combination you can't go wrong.

Better beaches include Brou, Tilba, Narooma Main and 1080, south of Mystery Bay.

Rockhoppers targeting blackfish have been having a field day, with all local platforms holding fish. Fresh cabbage used as bait and berley has been dynamite, especially after big swells have pounded the rocks for a few days.

Most anglers are bagging out within a few hours on fish averaging 800g and better. Local hot spots have been the Golf Course Rocks and Dalmeny Headland.

You can expect some quality drummer this month. The best way to tempt them is with lightly weighted cunjevoi, prawns and bread pieces.

Big salmon to 5kg have been caught at Mystery Bay on ganged pilchards slowly retrieved through the washes. The odd snapper is also falling to the pillies.

This action will continue right through the colder months.

ESTUARY

Wagonga Inlet has slowed somewhat with most anglers finding it difficult to get a feed in the cold water. It’s crystal clear and the fish are very gun-shy.

The guys who are fishing a little smarter have been doing OK.

If using lures, try lighter leader material and finer gauge hooks on lighter jig heads.

These slight adjustments are paramount to getting more consistent results through Winter. It may be a little more mucking around but it will certainly be worth it.

When the fish have wanted to chew, the upper reaches have been OK without being red-hot. If the bait is there, the fish will play the game; if it's not, look elsewhere or you will be wasting your time.

I've found the flooding tide seems best when the bait (whitebait and glassies) schools up. When the tailor decide to hound the bait schools everything else wakes up and some excellent fishing can be had.

Bream, flathead, trevally and salmon are all possible with some decent pinkie snapper also on the cards.

For more consistent fishing target trevally and bream in the main channel on the eastern side of the highway bridge on the falling tide. This is as close to as a sure thing if everything else fails.

Tuross has been reasonably slow as well. There's been a handful of flatties to 70cm but you do have to work for them. The river is the place to fish throughout Winter with the silo upstream a good place to start.

But blackfish, and lots of them, have been chewing in Tuross. A few of the more experienced locals, who know the pattern of these sometimes finicky feeders, are doing well on fresh weed and squirt worms.

The lower sections around the deep walls near the boatshed are seeing most of the action.

ALBACORE

Fishers targeting the pelagic species like albacore, southern bluefin and yellowfin tuna would be starting to get a little excited as some solid models have already turned up.

The best yellowfin I've heard of lately went 66kg. I'm expecting a top tuna run this season; the long-liners have been doing well and the yellowfin are just inside the continental shelf, which is reachable by most trailer boats off Narooma on the right day.

Those after the SBT will need to travel further. Fish have been sighted, and a few smaller fish caught, 35NM-45NM offshore.

If you venture that far out, make sure your boat is safe and your crew experienced, and preferably go with another boat. That's a long way to get home if something happens.

Better methods to use for both tuna species would be a cube/burley trail, though trolling bibbed minnows and skirted pushers will also produce.

At Montague Island there are still a few kings. Live bait seems to be the best way to tempt one though over coming weeks a lot will depend on tide, current and water temperature. Last season the big hoodlum kings upwards of 20kg were here all July smashing sauries, so let's hope this season is the same.

Those after snapper, morwong and flathead are doing well on most trips but the fish have been a little sporadic and hard to find at times. When you locate them, you will get an excellent feed.

Better areas to try include the south-western corner of Montague, Brou Reef and Potato Point in 55m-60m.

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