Whiting on the chew
  |  First Published: March 2007

Wagonga Inlet’s extensive sand flats have yielded some quality sand whiting in recent weeks, with bags of 10-15 fish not uncommon. A lot of the fish being caught are around the 35cm mark, with the occasional thumper up to 42cm. The best I have seen was 44cm. This huge whiting weighed in at around 700g, and more closely resembled a small salmon than a sand whiting.

The runout tide has been the best. Look for a deeper channel running close to the sand flats and you should be in business. Don’t be afraid to use heavier sinkers either; the tide runs pretty quick and you want your bait right on the bottom.

The best baits have been live bloodworms, squirtworms and nippers. You should be able to get all the nippers you need down on the flats near the Fisheries office. If you get a nipper that’s full of roe, just put her back and take the ones that don’t have eggs.

Tuross Lake to the north of Narooma is also full of whiting. They have responded well to livebaits and surface lure presentations, especially poppers. Whiting are great fun on the poppers, and you will be surprised at the results that you can achieve.

Quality flathead to 95cm are still being caught in reasonable numbers in both Tuross and Wagonga Inlet, but you have to work a little harder for them now as they have had a fair flogging of late. Live poddies have been working well, with larger soft plastics getting their fair share as well.

Some nice yellowfin bream are up the back of Wagonga around the oyster racks. Very small soft plastics have been doing the damage, with surface lures getting results also, especially in the late afternoon on a hot day.

The mulloway action has still been good with fish to 12kg caught on both bait and soft plastics. We have managed four nice fish around the 8kg mark whilst guiding at Tuross over the last few weeks, so there are still plenty of bronzed marvels to be caught if that’s what you’re after!

The upper reaches of Tuross have also seen some quality bass being caught. Using a canoe is the only way of fishing the upper Tuross as the river is low with no rain. Surface lures like Crazy Crawlers and Jitterbugs have worked a treat close to dark on hot steamy afternoons. Fishing upstream of Commerang should see some quality action.

Offshore has been fishing well with a number of notable captures over recent weeks. We have had quite cold water in close of late but that will change as the water just north of us is warm and full of life. Yellowfin tuna are still around but not in the same numbers as December and January. On the upside, the size of the fish has increased. Fish to 40kg are common and I have heard of a few bigger fish lost when trolling lures for marlin. It’s great to see these bigger brutes around, at it all looks good for the next few months.

On the marlin scene, most anglers are getting amongst them, with striped marlin being the most predominant being caught. We have had a good season so far, though the size of the fish is down a little. Fish are averaging 70-80kg but expect bigger fish this month with a lot more black marlin being caught, too. The Shelf is the place to fish, with water temperature hovering around 23C. Most fish are being caught on trolled skirted lures, with green patterns working well.

Inshore, the bottom bashers have been having a field day with snapper, mowies and flathead being caught in numbers. The bottom end of Montague has been the pick of the reefs, with Potato Point a close second.

A lot of gummy sharks have been caught by the flathead fishers of late. It’s good to see gummies around and they’re a great ‘bycatch’, if that’s what you want to call it.

The Montague Island kingfish population has also played the game of late, with fish to 10kg succumbing to livebaits and jigs. The kings have been slow this season but with the water now warming up you can expect the action to be more consistent. The northern end of the island is a good starting point to target the kingies.

The beaches have been a little quiet for salmon and tailor, but the whiting and bream have made up for it. Live beach worms and pipis have been doing the damage, and light lines are required for consistent results. A little bit of berley can be useful here; a favourite of mine is crushed pipi shells mixed with a little tuna oil.

I have heard a rumour or two that some good sized jewies are being caught up the coast around Tuross, so a couple of nights on the beach with the big gear might be worth ago.

The Narooma breakwall has been fishing consistently for bream, smaller snapper and blackfish. Fishing the ebb or flood tide on the inside of the northern break wall has been the best time to target the above species. Fresh tuna fillets, prawns and cabbage for the blackfish are the preferred baits.

The golf course rocks should be holding some nice kingies, and live yellowtail or ganged pillies should do the trick with these fish. There have been some good catches of bonito off these same rocks, and spinning with 40-50g slices should get you the desired results. Bream, blackfish are still being caught in the washes, with abgut being good bait if you can get it.



Alanah Gambi (12) of Sydney with a beaut 37cm whiting she caught at Tuross on a soft plastic.


Terry O'Brien from O'Brien’s boatshed with a typical 78cm Tuross flathead he caught while having a morning off work. This flattie was caught on a plastic and released after a few photos.


A beaut 1.38kg Narooma bream.

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