It’s time for beanies, gloves and anything else that keeps you warm but for those anglers wishing to wet a line, winter can produce some surprising results.
Wagonga Inlet does quieten down over the cooler months, especially the flathead, but bream, trevally and tailor are all on the cards.
The main basin always has tailor and working birds are a dead giveaway that they are feeding. Throwing small chromed lures and trolling deep-divers will produce results, while dropping a bait or soft plastic beneath the tailor schools can be a lottery. Snapper, bream, trevally and even mulloway will ensure that the whitebait leftovers from the feeding tailor don’t go to waste. Many good fish are caught like this during winter – it’s like having a mobile berley trail waiting to be fished.
When they’re feeding in the main basin, the outgoing tide seems best for the tailor.
This time last year the channels were fishing exceptionally well, especially after rain. The slight discolouration from the run-off was just enough to put a cloudy appearance in the usually clear, cold water – enough to turn on the fish, with bream and trevally hitting lures and bait.
If we experience the same this month, expect some good sport in the fast water. If you’re using soft plastics don’t go too big; I have found smaller stickbait presentations up to 3” best for this time of year.
Tuross has been good for bream, with quality estuary perch also available on the right snags as they head downstream. Small, unweighted plastics and floating and sinking hard-bodied lures have produced some great angling.
When bream fishing this estuary don’t waste time on unproductive water. If you don’t get a hit, move around until you find fish and concentrate your efforts where the fish are. A lot of anglers make the mistake of fishing good-looking water for little or no results.
The flathead will be slow this month but if you’re after a feed try to fish the shallower banks in the afternoons for best results.
There have been a few jewies to 10kg caught lately, mostly by local anglers fishing with fresh squid after dark. If you can handle the cold nights it may be worth a try.
With the cold water, the usual rock suspects like blackfish, drummer, groper and the odd snapper will be keen. Locations like the Golf Course Rocks, Dalmeny Headland, Mystery Bay and the rocks at the southern end of Handkerchief Beach are all worth a look.
Fresh cabbage is best for the blackfish, with cunjevoi, black crabs and even bread for the drummer. Some good bream should also be around.
Salmon will be plentiful on all the above platforms with ganged pilchards the best way to go. Expect some big sambos with fish nudging 5kg a strong possibility.
The beaches will continue to produce salmon, tailor, bream and the outside chance of gummy sharks this month, especially around the full moon. I also heard of two nice jewies around 8kg caught up at Blackfellas Beach near Potato Point by a visiting angler. He was one very happy angler after catching them in consecutive casts.
Dalmeny, Kianga and Narooma main beaches have been the pick for the salmon. Blue bait, surf poppers and pilchards have been the preferred baits.
Montague Island during July is anyone’s guess. If early indications are anything to go by, the snapper fishing will be good. Some ripper reddies are being caught with fish up to 3kg common.
Soft plastics, squid, cuttlefish and slimy mackerel fillets are working a treat. The southern end of the island and the southwest corner are fishing well but this time last year some bigger fish were on the eastern side of the island. Expect morwong, leatherjackets, and trevally to make up the rest of the bag with John dory a possibility as well.
The kingfish have been hit-and-miss over the past few weeks. It depends on currents, water temperatures and bait activity as to how they feed and, in fact, whether or not they’re even there to catch. I know last year we did get a sprinkling of kingies throughout July with most fish succumbing to jigs, but there were certainly no guts to them. There still should be the odd bonito around with some of the models over the last few weeks being extra large.
Out wide will be quiet with the only real possibility of some pelagic action coming from southern bluefin tuna. If we get some of those horses that were caught down south last month, some exceptional game fishing could be available.Reads: 745