Serious fun at the island
  |  First Published: October 2007

Montague Island’s kingfish should come out of hibernation this month as anglers target them on jigs and bait.

October is renowned for these hard-pulling brutes and if early indications are anything to go by, we’re in for some serious fun.

Kingies to 5kg have been caught recently – not in huge numbers, but that will change. 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.

Expect more fish at the northern end of the island once the current starts pushing from the north. This is when live bait will come into its own but be aware of the new marine park laws which come into effect on November 1. No bait fishing of any description is allowed after this date until April 30.

There is a certain area at the northern end of the island which is a no-go zone. If you want to see the whole map, go to www.mpa.nsw.gov.au .

Don’t despair, though, you can still fish this zone with trolled or jigged artificials, just not with bait.

On the reefs the snapper have been good with a whopping 8kg-plus fish caught recently. That’s a big fish and goes to prove we do get big snapper here. Brett, the lucky angler, caught it wide off Tuross on a floating pilchard while berleying in deep water.

Other snapper have been plentiful with fish averaging 2kg. Most reefs are producing but I expect the action to quieten down as we head further into Spring.

Reefs to try are Potato Point, Tuross, Moruya and the southern end of Montague. Morwong, trevally, and flathead should make up the rest of the bag.

If targeting the flatties, try fishing in 35m straight off Glasshouse Rocks or Dalmeny Headland.

Out wider, the game fishos will be getting excited as another season draws near.

Last October we had some great tuna action and I think this year will be no different. Smaller yellowfin 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 favourites of mine. There could be the odd mako shark around the tuna schools so have the wire ready.


Wagonga Inlet has been very quiet but that will change this month with big flathead and mulloway to target. Casting big soft plastics around the tailor schools is your best chance at a jew, while the flatties will be making their way downstream.

Fishing the deeper weed edges in the various bays in the main basin should produce fish. 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 hardbodies will work around the racks and broken weed edges. Whiting could be on the cards but water temperature will decide if they want to play.

Tuross Lake has been fishing well for bream and flathead and will get only better as we head further into Spring. I had a ripper session there with clients not long back that yielded estuary perch, bream and good flathead from the same bit of water. It’s a buzz when you’re fishing like that and not knowing what your next species is.

All our fish came on plastics and close to structure but I suspect hardbodies would have also worked.

A few locals have been getting some big whiting upstream of the main bridge on worms with a few plastics-throwers getting flathead, too. The water downstream is clearing nicely with a lot of smaller tailor and mullet around.

There could be the odd jewie around but the entrance to this system is very shallow. Be careful launching your boat at the main ramp, at low tide you will struggle to get through to the main lake.


On the beaches things have been a little up and down, depending on what you’re targeting. Salmon have been great with anglers having a ball on most local beaches casting chromed lures on lighter outfits while those using bait are getting bigger fish.

A whole pilchard rigged on ganged hooks has worked well, with surf poppers in red and white also producing.

Bream and whiting will become more active this month as the water warms. Fish the close gutters or rocky corners with fresh bait and berley. Beach worms have been hard to get, mainly due to the flat seas, but you shouldn’t have any problems getting pipis.

If getting your own bait is difficult, the folks at the Ocean Hut Narooma will look after you.

With the flatter seas the pelagic action off the stones has been indifferent. Some days the salmon are in plague proportions and rare on others. When there’s whitewater present, expect some fun, otherwise target something else. Casting lures and whole rigged ganged pilchards are the best methods.

If you’re after the bread-and-butter species, the drummer should keep you happy. We have had a great season on the pigs with most ledges holding prime specimens eager to take lightly weighted baits with no float. Use crabs, cunjevoi or abalone gut for bait and berley heavily.

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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