Narooma and the surrounding waterways are firing up nicely on the fishing front just in time for the Christmas rush. Narooma's population will triple in size, but that won't bother the fishing fanatics with a smorgasbord of species on offer.
Anglers fishing the estuaries will be happy to know that it's all systems go, with Wagonga Inlet, Tuross, Mummaga Lake and Corunna all fishing extremely well. The latter two have been excellent for flathead so if you’re after a feed then these are the places you’ll find good fish. Both systems don’t have a huge tidal movement, making offshore currents less important when it comes to water temperature. Due to this and the maximum depth of 5m in both, these systems warm up a lot quicker than their bigger counter parts. With the water at a balmy 22-24°C, the flathead have woken up big time and it's certainly not hard to get a cracking feed.
Soft plastics, vibes, and blades are working well with anglers using live poddy mullet getting their fair share too. Most of the fish are averaging 40cm, but there are a few bigger fish around 80cm being caught. Thankfully they are also being released which is in the spirit of fishing. I expect both these Lakes to continue to produce over coming months with bream and legal sized snapper also on the cards.
Up at Tuross flathead are going off in both the river section and main basins. I had a recent guide there and managed over 50 flats for the day – nice fishing in anyone's books. Fish to 85cm makes for a great day. The lower sections and basins have been good for bream, whiting, and luderick with bait anglers doing particularly well. Fishos using live nippers, worms and live prawns are getting the best results especially for bream and whiting. This action will continue and it's great to see that the entrance to this system is quite deep and wide allowing for plenty of tidal flow. In Wagonga Inlet the classic saying works – find the bait, find the fish. The upper reaches have been excellent, with acres of bait there you can expect anything from mulloway to salmon and everything in between. Anglers using a variety of softies and blades will fare best, with smaller presentations around 3” producing better results.
Outside sport fishers are getting excited as marlin season is upon on. There have already been sightings and the odd fish lost so all looks good for a cracking beakie season. The shelf is the place to fish, with the Kink and Tuross canyons worth a look. Success will depend on water temperature, current, temperature breaks and bait activity. There have been sporadic catches of albacore and smaller yellowfin tuna to 30kg. These supercharged speedsters have responded well to trolled skirted pushers and bibbed minnows, with their whereabouts changing daily depending on conditions. At Montague Island, the kings have been good but the seals are present and have been a real pest at present. I know some crews are getting 1/5 kings in the boat which isn't a great average.Not a whole lot can be done about this frustrating problem. Almost all methods are working on the kings, but jigs seem to be the best working method at present. The fish are averaging to 5kg, not huge but still great sport and great on the plate – if you can get them in the boat!
If you’re after a feed of bottom species then you’re in for a treat. Sand flathead, snapper, morwong and pigfish can be found on most reefs with the SW corner of Montague a good starting point. The flatties have been going great guns with water depths of 30-35m ideal for these tasty morsels.
The beaches continue to fish well for bream and whiting, look for a beach that has rockier corners with a gutter present. There's a few that have these characteristics at the minute, Narooma main at the northern end, and Blackfellows towards Tuross to the southern end are the. Both are fishing extremely well, with pipi and live beach worms the gun bait to use. I wouldn't be surprised to see mulloway caught from both these destinations too as there's cover, reasonably deep water and a heap of bait. If I was targeting mulloway I'd use 3 or 4 beach worms on a single hook paternoster rig, cast your offering at various distances within the session. Sometimes they will be just past the shore dump and other times in the deeper water. If you combine this technique with the advantage of an afternoon/evening flooding tide your chances will increase ten-fold.
Anglers fishing the stones are in for some fun with salmon, tailor, bonito and kingfish all chewing. Mystery Bay to the south of Narooma is fishing extremely well. There's a heap of bait out the front of the ledge that these species are gorging themselves on. Successful bait has been a mixture of pilchards, slimey mackerel and yellowtail, and a live bait under a balloon is worth a go. Slow rolling ganged pilchards will also work, especially on the southern part of the ledge. Casting a few slugs and poppers might be worth a go to.
Good luck and Merry Christmas to all.Reads: 1026