Spring’s here. With it comes the anticipation of warmer, longer days and a few more fish. Those who braved the winter elements, were rewarded with some solid results especially in the estuaries. Narooma’s Wagonga Inlet fished pretty consistently through the winter months with an abundance of estuary pelagics.
Species like tailor, salmon and trevally kept anglers busy. The usual bread and butter species were bream, but flathead and whiting were hard to entice. This will change with the water warming every day, as we head further into the season. September sees the first signs of mulloway activity. They follow the blackfish schools as they re-enter the system after spawning outside around the rocky headlands.
Mulloway love luderick, so when they school up big, you can expect the mulloway close. You tend to find bigger mulloway at the start of the season with fish to 25kg quite possible, especially for anglers fishing big baits at night around tide changes. I remember last year, a visiting angler lost a cracking mulloway over the side, that would have nudged 50lb. Targeting one of these brutes isn’t hard, but you need to put in the time, or be lucky to snag one early.
Look at the drop off. It’s easy to find as you come out of the channel, into the main basin on the flooding tide. Anchor in the shallows and fish your baits down the ledge into 8-12m of water. Big flathead are around, with the added bonus of a possible decent red playing the game. If the bait and night isn’t for you, then target them on softies and big soft vibes will work. Concentrate your efforts around the tailor and whitebait schools, but be prepared to go through a few lures.
Again, tide changes are prime time. If the bait is there, you’re always in the game. The channels from the drop off to the charter boat wharf is an excellent area to fish for bream, trevally, luderick and whiting. Concentrate your efforts on the flooding tide, anchoring up and fishing fresh worms or bass yabbies should see a fish or two for the pan.
Anglers fishing the stones around Mystery Bay’s High Rock, and the Golf course rocks in town, have had a few shreddings from kingfish. Just like Merimbula, there are some greenback bruisers patrolling the stones. A mate of mine had a crack at Mystery the other day and got dusted up four times in the morning. The lost fish have some added jewellery. Larger poppers are the go to method. He told me at times, there were four or five kings following his popper. Some ate it, others didn’t.
The action is certainly better around the full moon period. If the kings decide to play hardball, there’s plenty of salmon to keep you interested. If the big game isn’t you, then blackfish and drummer will keep you happy. There’s ample ammounts of both species at most rock locations with a decent wash. Fish fresh cabbage or cunjevoi for best results.
Outside anglers are doing it tough, especially on the tuna. The southern bluefin tuna have thinned out, only the sporadic patches turn up, 60mi out. With the windy weather we’ve had, the journey to the grounds is almost impossible for trailer boat anglers. We may see some yellowfin and albacore wide of the shelf, but a lot will depend on prevailing currents, temperatures and tidal movements.
At Montague Island, there’s good snapper and morwong, with the kingfish playing hardball some days. The kings are there, but pretty finicky at present. It can be frustrating when you know they’re there. This should change as we head further into the month. Late September is traditionally the start of the jigging season. With a few bigger kings in close, the inshore reef at Lake Brou and Potato Point may be worth a look. It may just fire up.
On the beaches it’s a salmon frenzy. Loads of fish are chewing on most beaches. If the beach has anywhere near a half decent gutter, then it’s all systems go. It depends on how you want to catch them, there’s that many. Plenty of fishos are grabbing bream rods, with a handful of smaller chromed slices and having a ball on the sambos. This type of fishing is easy. It’s cheap, you can take the kids, and if you like making salmon patties, then you’re in for a decent feed.
Casting lures, I like to change the trebles to a single straight shank 5/0. This will improve your lost fish count when the salmon jump. You’ll be surprised how many fish will make the sand. If salmon isn’t your go, then bream, whiting and yellow-eye mullet numbers will gradually get better, as the month progresses. Anglers using live worms and pipi baits will fare best. Rockier, protected beach corners are the pick of places to fish. Use a little berley, but not too much, or the unwanted sting rays and banjo sharks will drive you nuts. Better beaches to try include Narooma main, Tilba and Brou beaches.
Solid snapper are around. These boys found out on charter with Nick and Benny from Playstation.
Black bream have been good in Tuross and Wallaga. Andy Kolber found out these fish couldn't resist a well presented softie.Reads: 316