Wagonga Inlet has continued to produce amazing results with good-sized mulloway being caught on bait and lures.
Fish to 12kg have been caught with the average specimen around 8kg. The fish are quite widespread throughout the system but the main basin upstream from Ringlands Point has seen the majority of action.
We have managed a few fish while guiding but Lee Rayner and his mate Mornae have been having a ball while on holidays. The boys caught three good fish in a week and lost a few as well, so if it’s a jewie your after, now’s not a bad time to target one.
If you’re using lures, concentrate your efforts around whitebait schools and always look on the horizon for busting tailor – mulloway love them and a lot of fish caught in this system are caught around the tailor. You do lose a few lures to the choppers but the rewards will justify that and see you smiling for days. Expect this action to last for a few months yet.
The channels are still holding good numbers of bream, whiting and flathead with huge schools of mullet towards the entrance.
Every day on the flooding tide anglers are having a ball on the mullet near the 8-knot sign on the eastern side of the channel near the main wharf. Bread and dough is all you need for the mullet, with fish to a kilo common.
Using berley there will also increase catch rates as the water here eddies and seems to hold the fish.
With cooler water this month, expect bigger trevally to enter the system. Small plastics like the Squidgy Wriggler, 3” Gulps and Juro Firebaits should do the trick. Live nippers, fresh local prawns, striped tuna cubes and worms will also work.
Montague Island has been sporadic at times, to say the least. The kingies bite one day then there’s nothing for the next two.
It does get frustrating for local and visiting anglers but, as a general rule, if the current is pushing south, the kings will bite. If it isn’t, target something else.
When they do decide to chew, livebait, jigs, lead-lining and squid will work. Bigger kings on the surface are a real possibility this month, especially if there are sauries around.
Slowly trolling live slimy mackerel will get you results on bigger fish but be prepared to lose baits to the seals as well.
Some local lads like to troll bigger deep-divers when the seals become too much. Lures that run around 3m to 5m are ideal.
May is prime time for yellowfin tuna and fish to 80kg can be expected. The shelf to the 1000-fathom line is the place to fish, with 24kg stand-up the minimum tackle required in my books. You never know when a jumbo decides to play the game and with 24kg at least you have a chance of landing it.
Every year some decent models turn up and going by the early indications, this tuna season could be a corker. A few fish to 60kg have already been landed by anglers chasing marlin on lures, with albacore to 22kg also. As the water cools further late in the month the albies should be prolific on the shelf with cubing and trolling smaller skirted lures the ideal ways to target them.
The inshore snapper run should be in full swing by now with good fish on most inshore reefs. Potato Point, Brou and Fullers are the top locations with fresh squid, cuttlefish, tuna and pilchards the best baits. Reds to 6kg can be expected with the average fish pushing 2kg.
Anglers using soft plastics will also have fun and with the flatter seas likely, this month should be ideal for small boats. Other species like morwong, flathead, dory and leatherjackets will comprise the remainder of the bags.
On the rocks drummer, blackfish and bream will call the suds home but how they feed will depend a lot on conditions. Fishing a ledge with whitewater is ideal; the rocks at Dalmeny are perfect for this, especially if the seas are calm.
Fresh cabbage, cunjevoi, crabs and abalone gut are great baits and berley is a must. Expect these species to fire up as we head into Winter, with groper also on the cards.
For the guys who target pelagics off the stones, this month is ideal. Bonito, mack tuna, kingfish, salmon and longtail tuna, are all possibilities with lures and livebait the best methods.
Throwing ganged pilchards a long way out and slowly retrieving them will also pay dividends. Mystery Bay, south of Narooma, would be the pick, but the rocks at the golf course are worth a look, too.
Nearly every good tuna I have caught off the stones around this area has come in May so now is the time to target one.
The beaches have been fishing great guns with local guide Jack Dart smacking them. Jack has had some ripper sessions with salmon captures of 30-plus the norm.
Most fish are falling to pilchards on paternoster rigs with bream, whiting and the occasional tailor also succumbing to fresh baits.
Live beach worms and pipis have been dynamite on the bread-and-butter species with surf poppers also snaring a salmon or two.
Most beaches are holding fish, with Congo, Blackfellows, Narooma Main and Tilba the pick. A rising tide early in the morning is prime time but if the seas are flat, try after dark on a rising tide in a deeper gutter. Darkness can sometimes be the undoing of wary fish, particularly in calmer conditions.Reads: 2017