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Fishing after the fresh
  |  First Published: May 2014



Finally the Narooma region has received some much-needed rain. With so much fresh about a lot of anglers will give the fishing a miss, especially in the estuaries. Do this at your own peril! Some of my best days have been when the water looked more like chocolate than clear saltwater.

Sure, it depends on where you fish but what’s more important is how you target them. I'd be concentrating in estuaries that don't have rivers or larger creeks feeding them in the upper reaches. The fresh that flows from here will certainly put them off the chew for a week or so until it clears a bit. Look at estuaries like Mummaga, Corunna and Wallaga Lake just to the south of Narooma. All these estuaries will fish well for snapper, bream and flathead, with soft plastics, blades and fresh baits all working at various times.

The lower sections towards the estuary mouths will be best for the bait anglers, especially in Corunna Lake. Every time we have a downpour like this, this great little system certainly fires up, with bream usually in great numbers. At Wallaga Lake the snapper should really fire up; it was excellent before the rain so it will only be better now l reckon. If Wagonga is your choice l would leave it for a bit until it clears somewhat. If you can't, the channels on the Eastern side of the Highway bridge on a flooding tide would be the go. Again bait anglers should do OK, with striped tuna cubes and fresh prawns the better baits to use.

The main basin will only get better as the weeks pass. l for one will be flogging it hard, with mulloway the fish of choice to target. This rain won't do any harm to our chances with this majestic species. As long as there's bait there the jewies shouldn’t be to far away.

OFFSHORE

The kings have really picked up over the last few weeks which is awesome to see for all offshore boaties. The kings are averaging 75-85cm, solid fish and a welcome change to the undersized models that have plagued the Island over previous months.

The kings are responding to jigs, live bait and squid. Every day is a little different but live bait seems to be getting the bigger fish on a more consistent basis. This red-hot action should continue over the coming weeks. As long as the current keeps pushing south, the kings should bite.

Out wider, game anglers have had good results when the weather has allowed. The water temperature is hovering between 22-23ºC, very warm and perfect for marlin. All three marlin species have been caught, though stripes from 70-100kg are the most common. Trolling skirted lures and switch baiting with live slimy mackerel have again been the best methods for the beakies. The fish have been widespread along the shelf, though the Tuross canyons and Kink grounds have had some memorable days of late.

There have been reports of yellowfin tuna but the fish are on the smaller side. Big tuna don’t really like hot water so wait another month or so if that’s what you want to target. When the temperature drops to 19ºC l expect the jumbos to turn up.

Going by all reports we’re in for a cracking southern bluefin year as well, if the tuna down south make our coastline home over coming months. I can't wait!

ROCK AND BEACH

The beaches will continue to fish well for salmon and tailor, with enough bream, whiting and mullet to keep things interesting. Live beach worms and pipis have been the stand-out baits, with a lot of salmon being caught of both lures and blue surf poppers fished on a paternoster rig.

A few mulloway are still being caught up at Tuross off the beach, but a lot of time has to be put in to consistently get results. The guys who put in the hard yards chasing these majestic fish deserve every one they catch; they put in the time and get the rewards.

There have also been quite a few gummy sharks around. I've heard of a few fish around 10kg caught by anglers fishing for mulloway so an evening session targeting them might just be worthwhile.

Off the stones the pelagic action will be in full swing. It can be like a lottery off the rocks at the minute with kingfish, northern bluefin tuna, mackerel tuna, bonito, striped tuna and even the outside chance of a yellowfin tuna all possible opponents. A lot will depend on prevailing currents, water temperature, and bait activity as to how close the tuna will travel inshore, but fingers crossed those ideal conditions will prevail and the rock hoppers get their just rewards.

Ideal places to fish are the golf course rocks in town and the front ledge at Mystery Bay to the south of Narooma. Using live yellowtail or slimy mackerel underneath a bobby cork or balloon would be the best method to tangle with a tuna or kingfish, but throwing chromed slices up to 50g could also work.

If the tuna don't play the game there will be endless salmon to catch. Whole pilchards on ganged hooks or chromed slices up to 40g should do the trick.

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