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Top time for offshore action
  |  First Published: June 2006



June in my books is a top month to fish, especially offshore. Those cool westerlies usually burn off by mid-morning and we’re left with a glassy ocean.

With stable sea conditions like this, spotting tuna on the surface in the distance becomes easier. June is renowned for big yellowfin tuna around here and a lot of the bigger fish I have encountered over the years have come in this month.

Over the past few weeks some respectable yellowfin have been caught. The best I have heard of went 70kg with quite a few fish between 20kg and 30kg.

Most fish are coming from the continental shelf to the 1000-fathom line; find the bait and the tuna won’t be far away. Berleying and cubing has worked well with trolled skirted lures getting the smaller fish.

Expect some better than average albacore, too, and have the wire ready because a big mako is always on the cards in the cooler water.

The marlin action has slowed. There might be the odd fish further north but personally I wouldn’t waste the fuel targeting them.

Montague Island has produced kingfish averaging 4kg to 5kg, mostly caught on live bait and squid. Some bigger fish will be on the surface this month and trolling live slimy mackerel is the best way to tempt one.

The inshore snapper action has been red-hot. Quite a few cuttlefish are close to shore and so are the reddies.

This time last year more anglers were starting to target snapper on soft plastics and they certainly work. Concentrate your efforts in shallower water around reef, gravel beds and bommies. It’s great sport and you will be surprised at the results.

Best places to try are Fullers Reef, Potato Point, Brou Reef and the southern pinnacles at Montague Island.

For fishos using bait, morwong have been prolific. The flatties have quietened down but some OK captures have come from the Tuross grounds. Leatherjackets are in plague proportions and creating havoc with anglers fishing the bottom. If you come across them, move or you will become one frustrated angler.

The local beaches have been quiet with the smaller surf conditions. A few nice salmon between 2kg and 3kg and some bream have come from Tilba Beach, south of Narooma.

A lot of the fish are falling to red/white surf poppers fished on a paternoster rig. Have a popper on one trace and bait on the other, that way you cover your options.

ROCK ACTION

This month should see drummer and blackfish on the stones on the chew. Even though we catch them all year round, Winter is certainly a better time to fish for them.

Fresh cabbage weed is best for luderick with red crabs, cunjevoi, and abalone gut for drummer. When targeting drummer, groper and big bruiser yellowfin bream are also possibilities.

The estuaries continue to fish well for most species. Wagonga Inlet has been good without being red-hot but Tuross, to the north, has had some exceptional bream fishing.

Black bream will start to move from the upper reaches downstream, as will the estuary perch.

The bream have responded well to surface presentations, especially around the new moon. This will quieten down as we head into Winter but persist around the snags or oyster racks with unweighted soft plastics or hard-bodies for consistent results.

In Wagonga some ripper snapper have fallen to plastics in the deeper water.

The flatties have gone quiet but if you work hard enough around the edges you should still be able to get a feed. The bigger fish move upstream throughout June, so if you’re after a trophy fish, that’s the place to have a look.

There have still been a few mulloway around hounding the tailor schools. My clients managed three fish last month on soft plastics with four or five others lost. It hasn’t been dynamite fishing, but mulloway on soft plastics is the ultimate estuary fishing experience in my books.

Ted Duncan with an 89cm 5.5kg Narooma crocodile caught on a soft plastic.

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