Oodles of Options in October
  |  First Published: October 2014

Montague Island and its kingfish population should come out of hibernation this month with anglers targeting them on jigs and live bait.

October usually sees good numbers of these hard-pulling brutes and if early indications are anything to go by, it could be a cracking time.

The last few weeks has seen kingies to 7kg caught, not in huge numbers but when you do find a school bag limits can be reached on most occasions. Most fish are falling to jigs, but a few locals have found fresh squid rigged on lead lines a better bet. The fish are not really concentrated in one area, but the southern reefs seem to be fishing the best. You can expect more fish at the northern end of the island once the current starts pushing from the north southwards. This is when live bait will come into its own as kings find it hard to resist a well presented live bait.

Mixed in with the kings are bonito, these under rated species are awesome fun on lighter tackle and not bad on the plate if looked after correctly.

On the reefs, the snapper have been good with a big fish of 6kg caught recently. That’s a big fish for here and just goes to prove we do get the occasional thumper here, though not in the numbers as our southern cousins. Other snapper have been plentiful as well with fish averaging 2kg.

Most reefs are producing fish, but I would expect the action to quieten down as we head further into spring. Reefs to try are Potato Point, Tuross, the southern end of Montague Island and the SW corner; a hotspot over the gravel. Morwong, trevally, pigfish and sand flathead should make up the rest of the bag. If targeting the flatties, try fishing in 35m straight off Kianga Beach or Dalmeny Headland for best results.

Out wider, the game fishos will be getting excited as another season is on our door step. Last October we had some great tuna action and I think this year will be no different.

Smaller yellowfin tuna and albacore should be around, a lot will depend on water temperatures and currents but every year the early pelagic action is getting better. Trolling smaller lures is the go early in the season with bibbed minnows being a favourite of mine.

There could be the odd mako shark around the tuna schools to, so have the wire ready. There's been some thumping models getting caught of late, so the shark fishers should be happy.

In the estuaries, Wagonga Inlet has been very quiet of late. That will change this month with big flathead and mulloway, the two trophy species to target. Using big soft plastics around the tailor schools is your best chance at a jew, while the flatties will be making there way downstream.

Fishing the deeper weed edges in the various bays in the main basin should produce a fish or two. Please remember to let the big girls go and handle them with care, they are far too valuable a resource to kill. The sooner we adhere to the Queensland flathead laws in our state, the better if you ask me.

Bream will become more active as the weather warms, especially on surface presentations. Small poppers and shallow running hardbodied lures will work around the racks and broken weed edges.

Whiting could be on the cards, too, but water temperature will decide if they want to play or not.

Anglers fishing the channels downstream of the Highway bridge have been rewarded with bream, trevally and blackfish. These species have been better on bait with green weed ideal for the blackfish. You should be able to get fresh weed from the golf course lakes near the main surf beach.

On the beaches, things have been a little up and down depending on what you’re targeting. If after salmon it’s been great with anglers having a ball on most local beaches. Casting chromed lures has been effective on lighter outfits while fishos using bait are getting bigger fish. A whole pilchard rigged on ganged hooks has worked well, with surf poppers in red and white producing also.

Bream and whiting will become more active this month as the water warms. Fishing the close in gutters or rocky corners with fresh bait and berley will see some mouth watering fillets.

Beach worms have been hard to get of late, mainly due to the flat seas we have had, but you shouldn’t have any problems getting pipis. If getting your own bait is difficult, the local tackle store at Ocean Hut Narooma will look after you.

Better beaches to wet a line include Brou and Tilba beaches just south of Narooma.

With the flatter seas of late the pelagic action off the stones has been indifferent. Some days the salmon are in plague proportions and others non-existent. When there’s white water present, expect some fun, when there isn’t target something else.

Casting lures and whole rigged ganged pilchards are the best methods at present. If you’re after the bread and butter species the drummer action should keep you happy. We have had a great season on the pigs with most ledges holding fish. Using lightly weighted baits with no float has been the key to bigger and better catch rates. Using crabs, cunjevoi or fresh prawns for bait and berleying heavily has been the gun method.

Expect bream, blackfish and groper when targeting the drummer. Better spots to try are Mystery Bay, the golf course rocks and the southern wall of the bar entrance.

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