The holy all-chewing species
  |  First Published: March 2017

Narooma is blessed with the amount of different world-class estuaries that sit on its doorsteps. The beauty is if one of them isn’t firing, there’s always another nearby that is. That’s the case at the moment. Wagonga Inlet is a little slow, but the estuaries within a 30-minute drive either north or south are fishing exceptionally.

Tuross Lake is a favourite for me and many other anglers. The diversity of species you can target using a variety of different techniques is second to none. That’s been proven once again in the last few weeks. The place is on fire with mulloway, monster flathead, bream, whiting and a host of other species all chewing.

I had a recent guide there and managed two mulloway of 95 and 83cm for a few hours in the morning, and a dozen or so flatties. The rest of the day was spent chasing whiting and bream on surface and that was exceptional. I’ve also seen a massive 103cm dusky flathead come from there, caught on a live poddy by local gun angler Pam. This fish was measured then released, which was great to see. Congratulations Pam on a great capture.

Fish have been found throughout the system and the lower reaches are the go for mulloway. The river section and bays like Coopers are fishing well for surface lure enthusiasts. A few locals are cleaning up on luderick. Use the freshest weed for consistent results. Other lakes like Mummuga, Corunna and Tilba have been excellent for flathead and bream. Casting smaller soft plastics or blades has worked a treat. I expect all these systems to continue to fish well.

The beaches have been a little quiet for salmon and tailor, but the whiting and bream have made up for it. Live beach worms and pipis are doing the damage. Light lines are required for constant results. A little bit of berley won’t hurt here. Crushed pipi shells are a favourite of mine mixed with a little tuna oil.

I have heard a rumour or two that some decent mulloway are being caught up the coast around Dalmeny (Brou Beach). A couple of nights on the beach with the big gear might be worth a go. You can expect a few gummy sharks too when targeting the mulloway.

The Narooma Breakwall has been fishing consistently for bream, smaller snapper and luderick. Fishing the ebb or flood tide on the inside of the northern breakwall has been the best to target these species. Fresh tuna fillets, prawns and cabbage for the blackfish are the preferred baits. The golf course rocks should be holding some nice kingies. Live yellowtail or ganged pillies do the trick. There has been some good catches of bonito off these same rocks. Spinning with 40-50g slices will get the desired results.

Bream, blackfish are still being caught in the washes. Cabbage and cunjevoi are good baits. I heard a visiting tourist lost a small black marlin off the rocks south at Mystery Bay a week or so back. He was live baiting small yellowtail for kings when the marlin hooked up. He estimated it at 50kg, but unfortunately the leader wore through after a short battle.

At Montague Island the kingfish have decided to wake up. Good numbers of kings have been caught. Both live baits and jigs are working. Squid fished on a flasher rig gets school-sized fish. The kings are solid fish and the majority are 4-6kg with the odd 12-14kg fish falling to live bait. The northern end of the island has been good. Remember the Sanctuary zones in place.

The Fowl House Reef on the western side of the island has produced fish too. It’s not uncommon for these bigger fish to be on the surface around the Fowl House Reef chasing sauris. They can become quite hard to catch when they’re like this, but persistence will pay off. The best method I have found when this happens is to slow troll large, live slimy mackerel. The water is quite shallow through this reef section, so heavier stand-up tackle is required to stop them from reefing you. The seals can be a problem. however, the hard work may just be worth it.

The reefs have been fishing well for months now and this should continue. Snapper, morwong, sand and tiger flathead and smaller kingfish have been around and in good numbers. Although the fish aren’t big, the numbers are certainly making up for it. There have been reports of gummy sharks north of Narooma, and Brou and Potato Point are the best places to try. Fresh striped tuna or squid are ideal baits for the gummies.

Out wider, the gamefishing is in full swing. Marlin are the predominant species being targeted. There’s been a solid mixture of black and striped marlin with some crews getting black marlin on their way to Montague Island. This doesn’t surprise me with the quality of water and bait present in close.

The water is a balmy 24°C straight off the bar with countless schools of striped tuna just past the beach breaks. It makes sense that anglers have hooked them and the crews that have trolled skirted pushers have faired best. The shelf has been the place to fish for the stripes with the Kink being a hotspot. Both trolling and switch baiting has worked a treat and I know of a few solid yellowfin tuna to 50kg that fell victim to the trolling brigade, which is great to see.

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