Scale up for kingies
  |  First Published: December 2003

THE PAST MONTH or so have been a brilliant start to the revitalised kingfish season and we locals were forced into remembering just how complacent we had become.

Time after time, even the more hardened, heavy-gear angler was caught out by a thumper that busted off a rig set with too much drag. Of course, the old hands who reckon that the only way to catch fish is to rig up as if your livelihood depends on every kilo bagged heaps more.

The rest of us, especially the charter boat operators, have re-spooled our standard reef rods with 15kg-plus line and quality 5/0 or larger straight-shank hooks, just to ensure the most inexperienced angler does have a chance to land one of these thumpers this season.

The schools of barely legal kingfish have been a little more intermittent at the start of this season but there have been far more of the larger variety making their presence felt. Why? I have no idea.

Flathead have been graciously filling our boxes from nearly all of the recognised grounds between Montague Island and Narooma. Average size has been around 40cm.

Out at the continental shelf, those who have persevered have brought home some fat albacore and replenished their bait freezers with striped tuna. I'm looking forward to the first fine-weather shelf excursion these Summer holidays. I'm sure the marlin will be thick enough to satisfy the most cynical of Montague diehards.

Wagonga Inlet has been satisfying the desires for quality fish of locals and tourists. Bream up around a kilo have been caught all around the inlet, especially around the upper oyster leases and off the town wharf. And the tailor are still putting up a good fight. The easiest way to find the tailor is to look for where the birds are working, but you may find the bigger fish down deeper.

If you are thinking of coming to Narooma over the Summer, make sure you book your accommodation and any charter fishing trips before you come to avoid disappointment. It seems Narooma has finally been discovered big-time and the tourism industry has been flat out catering for the increased number of visitors.

Rosco and the boys from Albury with a great catch of kingies from Montague Island after a four-hour trip with Island Charters, Narooma.

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