Some Winter surprises
  |  First Published: July 2006

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 surprisingly good results.

Wagonga Inlet does quieten down over Winter, especially for 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 chrome lures and trolling deep divers will produce results and dropping a bait or soft plastic beneath the tailor schools can be like 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.

This time last year the channels were fishing exceptional especially after rain. The slight discolouration from the run-off was just enough to put a cloudy appearance in the usually clear, cold water. This was enough to turn on the fish with bream and trevally hitting lures and bait with gusto. If we experience the same this month, expect some good sport in the fast water!

Tuross Lake has been good for bream and has quality estuary perch available on the right snags as they head downstream. Small unweighted plastics and hardbodies like the Ecogear SX40 have produced some outstanding angling.

When bream fishing this estuary don’t waste time fishing unproductive water. If you don’t get a hit, move 300m further upstream or down and try again. Continue until you find fish and concentrate your efforts where they are.

A lot of anglers make the mistake of fishing good-looking water with no fish present. Move around and find the fish; it’s a golden rule!

With the cold water the usual rock suspects like blackfish, drummer, groper and the odd snapper will be keen on a feed. 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 tempt them. Expect some big salmon with the fish nudging 5kg on the cards.

The beaches will continue to produce salmon, tailor and the odd bream. I have heard of a nice jewie around 10kg caught up at Blackfellows Beach near Potato Point so if you can brave the cold nights and early mornings, it might be worth a look.

Dalmeny, Kianga and Narooma main beaches have been the pick for the salmon on blue bait, surf poppers and pilchards.

Montague Island during July is anyone’s guess. What I can say is the snapper fishing will be good if early indications are anything. At the moment 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 south end and south-west 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.

The kingfish are really hit-and-miss this month. Current, water temperature and bait activity will determine if there are kings around. I know last year we did get a sprinkling of kingies throughout July with most fish succumbing to jigs, but there was certainly no guts to them.

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. Let’s cross our fingers!

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