The gamefish season off Narooma has been a ripper with a number of notable captures.
Yellowfin tuna have been around in numbers not seen for many a year. Recreational and charter boats have been getting great results trolling lures.
Some boats have encountered up to 15 fish a day. Most fish are under 40kg but there is still the occasional 60kg-plus fish. The best I have heard of was a stud 80kg fish, an exceptional capture on 24kg stand-up tackle.
Most fish have been caught from the continental shelf to the 1000-fathom line so if you make the trip out wide, ensure the conditions are suitable for the size of boat.
With water from 22° to 25°, striped, black and the odd blue marlin can be expected on trolled lures and live bait. February is prime time for black marlin and a slowly trolled striped tuna is a gun way to tempt them. Look for the stripey schools and concentrate your efforts around them.
Mako sharks, wahoo and mahi mahi are all incidental catches at this time of year when trolling lures or live baiting.
The kingies at Montague Island should be firing by now. Live slimies and jigs should get you a decent battle. Snapper, mowies and most bottom-dwellers will be willing to take a bait and all reefs should hold fish.
The flatties will be firing on the inshore grounds so a fresh feed of fish won’t be far away.
Wagonga Inlet will still fish well despite the increased angling pressure over January. Flathead, bream and whiting will be available.
Some big duskies have been caught lately, the best I have seen at just under the magic metre, a very nice fish that was released after a few photos.
A lot of these bigger fish have been caught in the lower inlet, mainly due to the dirtier water up the back from the recent good rains.
Black bream should make their presence felt around the racks, a few softies or hard-bodied lures doing the trick.
The whiting will be in full swing now, squirt worms or nippers getting the desired effect. The sandflats near the Fisheries office is a great place to start for the shore-based angler chasing these little speedsters. Fish the flood tide early in the morning for best results.
There are still a few jewies around. One of the local jewie gurus caught three in one week, the best going 16kg. A lot of work has to go in to catch these guys but the rewards are there.
The beaches will continue to fish well for bream, salmon, tailor and whiting. Most beaches will hold fish with the beaches south of Narooma the pick. Fish Tilba, 1080 or Camel Rock, which have been producing some great captures lately with live beach worms the standout bait.
Salmon, tailor and bonito can be expected off the ocean rocks with most platforms holding fish. Fresh pillies on ganged 4/0 hooks is the best way to tempt them. Use only a small ball sinker straight down to the hook and slowly wind back the pilchard.
A few kingfish are caught this same way every year so slightly heavier tackle will at least give you a fighting chance of landing one. Bream, blackfish, and trevally are always on the cards in the washes so have that light outfit ready, too. Berley will help when chasing these bread-and-butter fish.
A beaut 65kg yellowfin caught by the guys aboard local charter boat Nitro. Fish of this size don’t come everyday so enjoy them when they do.
That’s one big flattie. At 90cm and just under 6kg these guys look pretty happy with their effort. The fish, which was released, took a 100mm Squidgy Fish soft plastic in Wagonga Inlet.Reads: 632