Rainfall sparks up the residents
  |  First Published: September 2006

Narooma has finally had some decent rain which has been welcomed especially by estuary fishos.

Wagonga Inlet is renowned for its crystal-clear water, particularly in the channels. With the rain comes dirtier water from runoff upstream and with Narooma’s quite deep entrance, it won’t take long for the water to clear up again.

With the discolouration in the water, the channels have been the places to fish now and over the next few months. Last year we got good rain at the same time and the channel fishing afterwards was exceptional.

This year the channels have had bream, trevally and big whiting all winter but they have been lazy, docile and not interested in the best o baits or lures. This will change now; expect some pretty good angling on the run-out tide with soft plastics and fresh bait.

September usually sees some big flathead enter the channels, too. Larger plastics work well, as does a live poddy mullet drifted into the deeper holes. Remember to fish for the future and let any flattie over 60cm go; you will get enough under that size for a decent feed.

Springtime means tailor in this estuary – not big fish but perfect size for mulloway to chew on. This month the serious jewie fishos will target these guys with live baits and big soft plastics. I will be throwing softies to the edges of the tailor schools, hoping a bronzed marvel makes a mistake and eats my offering.

As the water warms, the flatties will gradually come on the chew. Fish the edges of the ribbon weed with smaller soft plastics early in the season. Expect bream and snapper to scoff the plastics, too, especially when using grub imitations on light jig heads.

The beaches continue to produce with salmon the mainstay of most anglers. Most beaches with a gutter are holding fish. Surf poppers and whole or cut pilchards are the best ways to tempt the fish.

Tailor have been a little scarce but better captures should occur this month. Tilba, Brou and Narooma main beaches are the pick locations.

For the rockhopper, blackfish and drummer continue to do the right thing. It’s been a top year for both these species with most local hot spots producing the goods. This action will continue with the cooler water this month.

Expect some better blackfish around the inside of the southern breakwall. Fresh green weed is better than cabbage once you hit the estuary. Finding quality weed is another story, though!

Salmon have been good all Winter and these fine sport fish will be available on most headlands with decent washes. Ganged pilchards cast into the wash will see the rod bending before long.

Offshore boaties have been doing it tough of late. Big seas, big swell, wind and cold water isn’t the recipe for memorable angling.

But when the weather and sea have done the right thing, good snapper are around. They have been hard to locate but, once found, good fish are on offer. Anchoring and berleying has been successful with fresh squid, fish fillets and soft plastics drifted down the trail getting fish.

The ever-reliable morwong has been around in numbers with this species keeping bottom-bouncers happy when all else fails. Fullers and Montague Island are the places to fish.


As everyone knows, our region now has a Marine Park. Most people would have seen the map and would just be as shocked as I was to see the extent of the so-called sanctuary zones.

Being a fishing guide, these zones will have a direct impact on my business and the many others that rely on the fishing industry as a whole. Tourism will suffer greatly and people who have been coming here for years will go elsewhere unless we work as a group to try and put an end to it.

We need submissions put forward to the MPA telling them of the impact that this park is having on our lives. If tourism suffers, everyone suffers, not to mention our rights to fish (what happened to Australia being a free country?). We need all recreational fishers to let authorities know the impact it has on them, their lives, their kids’ future fishing expeditions and so on.

The more submissions the better, please go to the effort and write one, two or three and tell your friends to. Once it’s in place it’s too late, we have to do it now and fight this all the way. I don’t want to be telling my two little girls stories of what used to be and when we could fish in many closed waters. Let’s not just do for us, let’s also do it for the generations to come.

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