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Anglers are in for a few treats this season
  |  First Published: December 2016



The Narooma region is about to get inundated with visiting fishos over coming weeks. If the fishing remains the same, these anglers are in for a great time. The fishing is exceptional at present. Outside sportfishers are getting excited, as marlin season is upon them. There’s already been plenty of sightings with the odd fish lost, so all looks good for a cracking marlin season.

The shelf is the place to fish, with the Kink, Tuross Canyons and the second drop all worth a look. A lot will depend on water temperature, current and bait activity. If the early signs are anything to go by, seriously good fun will be on offer. The canyons up off Tuross have ample bait with slimy mackerel thick. Trolling around the traps might be the go early in the season. Past the shelf, there’s been plenty of albacore and smaller yellowfin tuna to 30kg caught, mainly by fishos trolling skirted pushers. Last month a few jumbos were caught cubing, so it to may be worth a go.

At Montague Island, kings have been good, but the seals are a real pest at present. Almost all methods are working, but jigs are the best right now. Fish are averaging 5kg, which isn’t huge, but still great sport and great on the plate. Local guru Ben Bolton has had exceptional days on the kings with a few sessions where the kings have been up on top. He’s been getting them by casting bigger soft plastics amongst them. They’ve been a little hard to entice, but if you get the right retrieve and lure, you’ll get results like Ben.

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. The southwest corner of Montague is a good starting point. The flatties have been going great guns and water depths of 30-35m are ideal for these tasty critters. Fishing further north off Dalmeny has been excellent, but I suspect most haunts will produce the goods.

In the estuaries, it’s all systems go. Wagonga Inlet and Tuross are both firing up nicely. These systems have been fishing okay, but will improve even further as the water warms up. While guiding in both systems over recent weeks, we’ve managed solid flatties to 86cm and a handful of mulloway to 93cm –­ great fish. There’s a few mulloway around and bait anglers get consistent results, especially in Tuross.

This is great to see – the place is loaded with whitebait and tailor. Bring on the next six weeks, I say. If you’re after a feed, there are ample flatties from 40-50cm and the river section is the place to fish – the four way area is a good start. Many flatties have fallen to soft plastics, but with the water warming, bait fishos will be in for a good time. Fresh strip baits and live poddy mullet should do the trick.

At Narooma, whiting have been good in the channels. This will only get better as we head further into the month. The channel on the eastern side of the main highway bridge is a good starting point for the whiting fishos.

The main basin is loaded with chopper tailor, sizeable flathead and the odd mulloway.

The upper reaches have seen bream and whiting respond well to surface walkers. This technique is deadly when conditions suit and a whole stack of fun too. Concentrate on flooding afternoon tides when the sun has been on the water for most of the day – it increases the water temperature and fish will be more active.

On the beaches, bream and whiting are what most anglers are targeting. They’re tasty and readily available. Most beaches are holding fish, but Brou and Kianga Main have been the standouts for sure. Better baits to use for whiting are live beach worms, pipis and tuna cubes for the bream.

Expect the odd salmon, tailor and occasional mulloway if fishing low light periods. Gummy sharks are possible too, especially after dark around the full moon. Flathead fishos outside have been getting a few, so there should be a few cruising the beach zone as well.

Salmon, tailor and bonito can be expected off the ocean rocks with most rock platforms producing. Mystery Bay to the south of Narooma is the pick of places. You’ll have to get there early, as this is only a small ledge that doesn’t hold many anglers. With the holidays here, you can expect a lot of anglers to fish this ledge.

Fresh pillies on ganged 4/0 hooks are the best way to tempt them. Use only a small ball sinker straight down to the hook and slowly wind back the pilchard. A few kingfish are caught this way every year, so use slightly heavier tackle to give yourself a fighting chance of landing one.

Throw larger chromed lures around 40-50g – it’s worth a go. If you’re after a feed, bream, luderick and trevally are possible opponents in the washes. Fish lightly-weighted baits like fresh prawns or cunjevoi for the best results. A bit of berley will help when chasing these bread and butter fish. If we have a decent swell running, snapper are on the cards. The southern end of the platform is the area to concentrate on.

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Some solid mulloway are falling victim to the soft plastic brigade, as Mark found out.

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Estuary perch like this 45cm model are solid opponents, especially amongst the snags.

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