At last Montague Island’s kingfish population has decided to wake up, with good numbers of kingies being caught on live bait and jigs lately.
The majority of kings are between 4kg and 6kg with the odd 15kg thumper thrown in. Most fish have been taken on the northern end of the island but the Fowlhouse Reef on the western side has also produced.
It’s not uncommon in April for the bigger fish to be on the surface around the Fowlhouse Reef chasing sauries. When this occurs they can become quite hard to catch. The best method I have found when this happens is to slowly troll large live slimy mackerel.
The water is quite shallow through this reef so heavier stand-up tackle is required to stop the kings reefing you. If you have the patience you will get a few but be prepared to lose a few baits to the seals as well.
The reefs have been fishing well for months and should continue for a few months yet. Snapper, mowies and flatties have been around in good numbers and although the fish aren’t big, they are plentiful.
There have been a lot of gummy sharks around, especially up north of Narooma, with the reef at Brou the best place to try. Out wide there are still striped marlin around though not in as big numbers as in previous years. The yellowfin are still there, too. They are up to 60kg but there’s a lot of water is in between them. Most fish have been caught on trolled lures.
The Tuross River, just north of Narooma, is fishing well with good catches of bream on lures and bait. I have had some good sessions up there recently, mainly with soft plastics and hard-bodies, especially around the snags. A lot of fish have fallen to unweighted Squidgy flick baits rigged on worm hooks. You need to have patience fishing this way but the rewards are definitely there.
Good flatties are still around along with a number of school jew. Most of these fish have fallen to softies and in relatively shallow water.
Wagonga Inlet’s sand flats are holding good whiting with a few bream and flatties. Bigger flatties are coming from the deeper sections and with the water slightly cooler we can expect the tailor to turn up soon. They provide great light tackle sport with fish up to 3kg not uncommon.
Most fish will fall to metal lures but the bigger fish respond well to trolled deep-divers. The Mann’s Stretch 10+ works is a favourite of mine. With the tailor here, a few more jewies can be expected. I have not heard of one being caught for quite a few weeks.
The beaches will continue to fish well for salmon and tailor with enough bream and mullet to keep things interesting. Live beach worms have been the stand-out bait.
A lot of salmon have been caught on lures and blue surf poppers fished on a paternoster rig. As Winter approaches the salmon fishing will get better.
A few jewies are still being caught up at Tuross from the beach but a lot of time has to be put in to consistently get results. The guys who put in the hard yards chasing these majestic fish deserve every one they catch.
The Narooma breakwall is the place to fish at present if you’re a rockhopper. Some ripper bream have been caught on striped tuna on the inside of the north wall; fish the ebb tide and you should be in business. There are still a few bonito off the Golf Course rocks, with a lot of tailor around also. Most fish have fallen to lures and ganged pilchards with the morning session definitely getting better results.
The author with a solid Wagonga bream. Fish of this calibre, just under 1.5kg, can be expected over the coming months.
Quality dusky flathead like these two rippers are still around Wagonga Inlet. Slight tackle adjustments can make all the difference to shut-down fish. Both fish, 88cm and 78cm, were released.Reads: 587