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Bluefin disappoint
  |  First Published: September 2013



It's been a disappointing season for those targeting southern bluefin tuna way offshore, with only a few decent-sized fish caught.

The best fish l heard was a healthy 91kg but certainly no giant.

There were plenty of fish about but they were over 80km offshore, making it almost impossible for trailer boats to get there safely.

There were a few yellowfin tuna to 50kg caught, plus some big albacore, but overall not very much.

The best thing with us fishos is that we always pick ourselves off the canvas when the fishing is tough and get back out there and try again.

Those that do will be rewarded in spades.

Over recent seasons the start of Spring has turned up a few solid yellowfin tuna at Montague Island and it wouldn't surprise me at all if this year was the same.

The water has been around 18° and a lot of slimy mackerel schools are active around the island.

It's possible that 40kg-50kg fish will be present but there are a lot of factors that need to go our way. But if the early indications are anything to go by, we just might be in business.

In September we usually see the kingfish turn up, especially the school fish around 3kg-4kg, just on the legal 65cm.

These fish respond best to jigs. You will still get them on livies but jigs will certainly be better.

The kings should be around the western side of the island on Fowlhouse Reef or Aughinish Rock about 1.5km south of the island. They can turn up anywhere but these areas are fairly consistent early in the season.

You can expect bonito mixed in with the kings. These little speedsters are pretty good on the plate if looked after correctly and are awesome smoked.

If the pelagic thing isn't you then you will get your fix on snapper, morwong and flathead. The reefs have been excellent for months now and should continue.

A few locals have done extremely well on sand and tiger flathead, with 40m-50m off Dalmeny a good place to start.

ESTUARIES

The estuaries, particularly Wagonga Inlet, have been slow.

The water is cold and clear – not ideal conditions in this system. It will get better as the months progress, with mulloway possible opponents.

Every September these bronzed marvels enter the estuaries chasing baitfish and tailor. It’s at this time l start to target them with soft plastics, fishing around the tailor schools.

Mulloway to 15kg are possible although you will have to work for them.

The next 6 months are ideal for these majestic fish so let's hope they play the game.

If you’re after a feed, concentrate on the smaller estuaries like Corunna, Mummaga and Brou lakes.

All these systems fish very well for flathead to 60cm. You will catch heaps around 40cm on smaller plastics and blades.

Fish the margins in 2m-4m of water and once you locate a patch, work it over and you could get your bag of 10 if you need that many.

You will catch the odd bream and trevally as well, with small chopper tailor wreaking havoc. Sometimes they are that thick that you just have to move.

Up at Tuross there have been some solid lizards to 80cm, mainly on softies in the deeper holes.

This month we should see a few jewies enter the deeper sections of the river and the lake.

With the lifting of the closed season on bass and estuary perch it's time to chase these iconic sport fish, especially EPs.

You will find them this month in the lower reaches around snags from Horse Island to Canbathan Island. Smaller hard-bods and plastics will work, although you may have to fish light leaders in the clear water.

The perch will only get better as we head into Summer and I can't wait.

BEACHES

When there's little or no swell the beaches have been slow, with just the odd salmon and bream. You have to work hard to get a feed in these conditions but once we get some decent swell things will change for the better.

There are a few beaches that still have decent gutters with Tilba, south of Narooma, and Brou to the north worthwhile.

A lighter outfit should increase catch rates because you won't require a heavy sinker to hold bottom. Sometimes the lighter the better in these conditions.

Anglers fishing the rocks are doing OK on blackfish, drummer and bream. There's been little wash to stir the fish but fishos using burley are getting some results.

Platforms to try include the Golf Course Rocks in town, Dalmeny Headland and the inside part of the South Narooma Wall. Fresh cabbage, cunjevoi and prawns should do the trick, use burley with the mixture and some sand.

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