What a game fish season we have had so far! Marlin is the word around here with reports of multiple hook-ups on striped marlin certainly getting anglers’ arms stretched to the limit.
Some game boats are raising up to a dozen beakies a day and tagging up to four fish per session – that’s pretty awesome marlin fishing in my books. Almost all of the fish are coming from the continental shelf, the Tuross Canyons being a standout with The Kink and the Twelve-Mile Reef off Bermagui close behind.
All methods are working including trolling lures, skip baits and switch-baiting but live-baiting bait balls is certainly the go at present. I won’t go into too much detail here on how to do it but watch your sounder at all times for bait (usually slimy mackerel) and if you see bigger markings around the bait, drop a livie over.
You don’t always hook up but I guarantee if a marlin is present it will certainly have a look at your live bait.
Some sizeable black marlin have been around, too, with a few fish from 150kg to 180kg being weighed or tagged. I have not heard of any big blues as yet but March could be the month for these brutes, as has been the case in previous years.
Kingfish have been prolific at Montague Island with fish averaging 4kg to 5kg. Some days the kings are bigger and other days smaller. All methods have been successful with live-baiting and fresh squid with a flasher rig working a treat.
Bennie from the boat Nitro has had some cracker days with full bag limits inside two hours on quality kingies. Considering he might have up to eight anglers aboard, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work out how good the fishing is!
Snapper, mowies, flathead and big schools of trevally are abundant on the inshore reefs with Potato Point, north of Narooma, the pick. Some of the snapper are pushing 5kg, good fish for here and freshly caught squid is the top bait.
The shallower sections of these reefs have a lot of squid on them so take jigs with you. Nothing beats freshly caught bait for these bigger reddies. Expect some sizeable kings as well if fishing for the reds.
Mystery Bay, just south of Narooma, is this region’s land-based game hot spot. Some nice kingfish have come from this platform of late with big salmon also falling to live baits.
A few snapper have come from the washes with full pilchards on ganged hooks doing the trick. The drummer and luderick have been a little quiet but these guys will make their presence felt when the water cools again.
The local beaches are holding all the usuals with bream and whiting in good numbers towards Tuross. Some good fish are coming from the southern side of the Tuross entrance with beachworms and pipis the top baits.
Wagonga Inlet has been a little sporadic; one day it fires and the next is very quiet. It should pick up this month as the boat traffic decreases but there is still some good fishing to be had.
The sand flats are full of whiting. While pumping some bass yabbies the other day near the Fisheries office, every time I pumped a yabby in the shallows the whiting were already onto it before I could get to it. They were good fish, to averaging 30cm and obviously very hungry.
The channels are the place to fish for good bream, flathead and whiting. We have had some good sessions there of late with mixed bags of 20 fish common.
Tuross has been fishing very well for bass. One of the local lads had a ripper session there, bagging 22 wild river bass for the afternoon, all taken on hard-bodies. The EcoGear SX-40 and Halco RMG 35 were the top lures with some surface poppers accounting for a few of the fish closer to dark.Reads: 1911