Topwater fishing works a treat in the lakes
  |  First Published: March 2016

March is a great month to wet a line around the Narooma region and most forms of fishing have recently achieved results. Wagonga Inlet has been a little slow, mainly due to the amount of rain we’ve experienced over recent weeks but that will soon change. With a decrease in boat traffic and angling pressure plus better water conditions, Narooma is about to fire right up.

All species will be on the chew however bream, whiting, flathead and mulloway will be the main targets. Flathead will respond well to soft plastics up to 80mm fished around the weed edges. Fish the main basin but expect a few fish on the flats and in the main channel. Smaller live poddy mullet and fresh prawns will also work; you can get all the poddies you need from the sand flats near the Fisheries office.

Whiting numbers have been good with some models topping 42cm. Most of these fish have come from the channel on the run-out tide, and live nippers and squirt worms are the gun baits. Fish the channel on the eastern side of the bridge for a consistent catch; bag limits have been reached inside a few hours on some occasions. Expect a few yellowfin bream and trevally while fishing for whiting. Anglers who target mulloway have experienced mixed results. Most fish caught lately have come on live tailor and fresh squid. We managed a couple of nice mulloway on the last new moon that went 9kg and 7kg – not huge fish, but still great fun on lighter tackle. These mulloway fell to smaller soft plastics fished hard on the bottom with only the smallest of movements. This can be a painstaking way to fish softies but it does get results at times.

Up at Tuross the fishing conditions have been great. I am consistently amazed by this area’s ability to cope under angling pressure. Flathead and bream numbers have been excellent, and most methods are effective. Bream have smashed surface presentations, with both poppers and walk-the-dog imitations working a treat. We had a session there recently that yielded 25 bream up to the kilo mark for the morning, great fun and the visual aspect certainly got the adrenalin running. Expect this surface action to continue for a while yet; one thing we have found lately is that the windier it is, the better the fishing. You can expect some thumper whiting to 44cm on the cards, there’s a stack of smaller fish around 25-30cm, which will be great to for future seasons as well.

Outside, the bottom bashers have had a field day with, snapper, morwong, long-finned perch and flatties caught in numbers. The bottom end of Montague has been the pick of the reefs, with Potato Point and Brou Reefs close behind. A lot of gummy sharks have been caught by the flathead fishos too, with most fish averaging 6-8kg. Great on the plate and a pleasant surprise for most anglers. The Montague Island kingfish population have also played the game of late with fish to 7kg succumbing to live baits and jigs. The kings have been slow this season, but with the water now warming up expect the action to be more consistent. The north and west side of the island is the place to fish, but the location of the fish depends on tidal movements.

Out wider, game anglers have had good results when the weather has allowed. The water temperature has hovered between 22-26°C, warm and perfect for marlin. All three marlin species have been caught, although stripes from 70-100kg are the most common. Troll skirted lures and switch-bait with live slimy mackerel to absolutely charm those beakies. The fish have been widespread along the shelf, although 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.

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 pipi have been the standout baits, with a lot of salmon caught on both lures and blue surf poppers fished on a paternoster rig. A few mulloway are still being caught up at Tuross 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. Jack Dart from Sunset Fishing Adventures recently got a 20kg fish for a client. The fish was caught on a pilchard and took around 15 minutes to land. Brou Beach is an absolute hotspot.

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, mac 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 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. Use live yellowtail or slimy mackerel underneath a bobby cork or balloon to tangle with a tuna or kingfish; throw chromed sliced lures up to 50g may also work. If the tuna don’t arrive, there should be enough salmon and tailor around to keep you amused and the rod bent. If you’re after a feed, bream and blackfish should be available in the washes with cunjevoi, prawns and cabbage are the better baits to use.
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