Wagonga continues to amaze
  |  First Published: December 2005

Even though I have fished the waters around Narooma for more than 20 years, the quality of fishing that can be expected still amazes me at times.

Over the past week guiding in Wagonga Inlet, we have caught three kingfish between 50cm and 60cm and have seen quite a few up to 10kg following lures and cruising the weed edges in five metres of water or less. The fish we have caught have not been huge but the size of the fish we have seen is quite astonishing.

This is only a small estuary system but to have regular outside visitors like this certainly shows how unique this system is.

Flathead are around in good numbers with fish averaging 45cm. If you’re using soft plastics in the right spots, catches of up to a dozen fish are the norm. Concentrate your efforts on the run-out tide, fishing sand banks that have deeper channels or gutters nearby.

The flatties will move off the shallow banks into the deeper water and can sometimes be almost on top of each other. They provide loads of fun for experienced anglers and those new to throwing lures.

If fishing this shallower water, smaller soft plastics will produce better results. If you’re new to the area or want some local guidance, call in and see Darrell Bond and the crew at the Ocean Hut, who will put you in the right direction.

All estuary species are available throughout January, it’s just a matter of what species you want to target.

Some good mulloway are getting around with the best I have heard off going 8.3kg, a nice fish on a plastic. Chippy Mark caught it at 10am one day, so persistence certainly paid off for him.

Bream are around in numbers in the oyster racks while good reports of bass and estuary perch are coming in from Tuross Lake.


Outside has been good with kingies on the go at Montague Island. Live bait and jigs have worked a treat, with the guys lead-lining with squid also getting fish.

Yellowfin tuna and albacore have been at the continental shelf and beyond. Expect more marlin captures this month as the water warms.

Later this month, the black marlin should turn up and every year a brute is hooked from these waters. Trolled lures, switch-baiting and live slimies will all catch fish.

All indications look great for this marlin season, as bait has been prolific. Striped tuna and big schools of slimy mackerel have been everywhere, especially from the 70-fathom line onwards.

Blue-eye and hapuka will be available along the canyon walls for those in the know, with snapper, morwong, and flatties galore all on the inshore reefs.

Brou Reef fires well at this time of the year. It’s not deep but some quality fish are taken there every Summer. Potato Point, just north of Dalmeny, is also worth a look at the 30-fathom line for the snapper. Fresh squid and tuna fillets the best baits.

The beaches are still full of salmon. I thought they would have tapered off a bit with the warmer water but almost all beaches are holding fish, some better than others. The best have been Tilba, Narooma main and Brou.

Tailor numbers have picked up and there have been reports of some quality bream taken from Kianga. Live beach worms are the gun bait with tuna cubes a close second.

Expect some more whiting this month and look for those close gutters just past the shore dump. Live worms are your best bet there.

Salmon, tailor, small kingfish and bonito can be caught off most local rock platforms with Mystery Bay, Golf Course Rocks and Dalmeny Headland the most likely spots to try, especially for the kingies and bonito. Small shiners and ganged pilchards are the best ways to tempt one of these surface speedsters.

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