The choice is yours – rivers, estuaries, beaches or the open ocean. Whichever turns you on, prime action can be found on the Eurobodalla Coast in January.
School holidays have the one great ingredient that makes them fun – kids.
The best spot to start them on their fishing career is in the safety of the river system, especially on the riverbank, where supervision is easier than on a boat or beach.
High-priced fishing tackle is not required. Handlines, fishing line tied around a bottle or one of the special combos designed for kids that will not break the bank is all you need. Most of the rod and reel combos are under $50 and come rigged (line on reel, hook, swivel and sinker tied on the end) and ready to go.
Main types of fish to be caught are, flathead, bream, mullet, tailor, trevally and garfish. All these can be caught using simple baits like prawns, whitebait and dough (bread moistened and rolled into small balls to suit the hook size).
One easy way to get the kids straight in to action is rig up a hook about 30cm below a float, use dough as bait and berley up with some of the leftover bread to get the small mullet, garfish and bream into a feeding frenzy.
Yes, it is OK for the kids to catch undersize fish as long as they are returned to the water as soon as possible (no kissing). As shown in the photo, just to catch one little fish is terrific. This will help teach the kids about how to look after the fish stocks by practising catch and release.
The best time to take the kids fishing is before 10am or in the late afternoon (5pm to 6pm Summer time).
Top spots are:
* Moruya River, along the north bank from the bridge to just before the airport.
* Tuross River, at the bridge on the north side and west or upstream at Snake Flat.
* At Tuross, from MacKenzie’s boat shed, to the river entrance.
* Wagonga Inlet, on the boardwalk at the north side of the bridge, to the boat ramp at the eastern end of the boardwalk. Also at the main Narooma wharf where the charter boats moor.
Kingfish have been the hot target species this Summer. The schools were made up of small fish in October but, as the water temperature increased through November and December, so did the size and the action.
The numbers seem to be well up on previous years. This improvement has stemmed from the management of the species over the past few years. Banning of fish traps, the introduction of more sensible size and bag limits and insisting that all fish taken at sea must be filleted on shore has had a tremendous effect on the size, quality and numbers of kingfish moving along the east coast. This is a win-win situation for all concerned, whether you head for sea in your own boat or hop on a commercial charter boat.
With the warm currents running, other species being caught are marlin, yellowfin tuna and albacore. January will be a fantastic month for pelagics – all that is required is good weather.
Kingfish are being caught from off the mouth of the Moruya River down to Montague Island and Bermagui. The Kingfish action around Montague Island just has to be tried, as most boats will return to shore with their bag limit in a four-hour session.
If you are unsure as to what lure is the best or just where the hot spots have been on previous days, just call into the local tackle shops for the info. Try the Ocean Hut at Narooma, where Darryl; and his deckhands will assist you.
No boat and still like to chase kings? Why not book on a charter boat for a half or full day’s fishing around Montague Island. The charter boats provide fishing trips; and half and full-day diving trips. For those who would like some thing different; how about a leisurely snorkel with the seals at the island? Island Charters at Narooma can provide all these services. With Martin at the wheel and Chris on the deck to assist with the fishing, you should have a fantastic day at the island. Contact Martin or Kathy on; 02 4476 1047 or 0408 428 857
Hayley and Jemma Yellowlees, of Concord, fish in the Tuross River during their holidays.
Success! Hayley’s first fish, a small bream that was quickly returned to fight
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