THE WINTER woollies are still compulsory but there are plenty of fish to catch for those willing to brave the elements.
Wagonga Inlet has been fishing quite well so far this Winter and I expect that to continue throughout August. Big fat tailor have been on the chew in huge numbers over the cold period with fish over 55cm quite common.
Small metal slice lures around 20g have been working well. Larger soft plastics have accounted for a lot of the bigger fish but the mortality rate of the plastics certainly tests the bank balance.
A few of the local lads persist using soft plastics around the tailor schools as a jewie is always on the cards and every winter a few of these majestic fish are caught.
The black bream have been a little quiet on their journey up the creek to spawn but try some live bloodworms or nippers and you should be in business. I especially like to fish the very shallow areas right up against the bank.
Remember to be quiet because these fish spook easily. Try to use only enough lead to get the bait to the bottom – the less you use, the better your chances.
The flathead scene is generally quiet at this time of the year, the fish becoming quite dormant, although the flatties that are caught are generally in the larger category. These bigger fish respond well to livies such as mullet and yellowtail, with a few still caught on soft plastics.
Please be sensible if you happen to get one of these bigger fish; they are too valuable a resource. Take a couple of happy snaps and then let them go.
The offshore scene is quiet throughout August, with cold, dirty green water usually the norm. In saying that, with the abolishment of the kingie traps some years ago, the fish might just turn up on jigs. These kingfish are around 3kg with the odd bigger fish.
The current usually runs from south to north at this time of the year. When this happens, the inshore reefs like Brou and Potato Point are a waste of time. Take a run to Montague Island and fish either the Fowlhouse Reef on the western side of the island, or try south of Montague around Augnish Rock. Be careful when fishing this area as it does break in heavy seas.
Trolling large bibbed lures can also be very successful over this shallow area for both kingfish and bonito.
Game fishing out wide totally depends on what’s happening with the water temperature and currents. I have caught yellowfin tuna at this time of year but that was a while ago. There should be some southern bluefin tuna around. Try trolling small skirted lures over the shelf but it might be best to save the fuel until later in the year when the water gets a little better.
The bottom-bouncers should still be able to get a feed with mowies, leatherjackets and the odd snapper still available. Flatties can be caught in 30-35 metres straight out from the bar or try Glasshouse Rocks, which is about a 4km run south.
The ocean beaches north and south of Narooma have been fishing extremely well with an abundance of salmon, some getting up to 4kg. There have been some nice tailor mixed in with them. Pilchards and bluebait have been working well, with blue surf poppers also producing the goods.
I have also heard a few rumours of some quality jewies being hooked north of Narooma, mainly around Tuross and Potato Point. A lot of time has to be put into consistently catching these bruisers but you have to start sometime – so why not now? Most of these fish have been hooked on live tailor and bunches of beach worms.
The Golf Course Rocks have been producing some big drummer on cunjevoi. This should continue throughout the next few months. Berley has been the key to success.
Salmon and tailor have also been caught on lures and ganged pilchards. I have witnessed more than a few large schools of salmon patrolling the outer edges of the wash zones, so it wouldn’t hurt getting down there and having ago.
Fishing in Winter is not for everyone but if you put in the hard yards and fish a little smarter, the rewards are still there.
Tailor are always around during Winter. Small chrome lures work best retreived flat-out across the surface.
Steve Willet with a solid silver trevally. These bruisers are quite common during the Winter months around Narooma.
Darryl Bond, owner of Narooma's Ocean Hut Fishing and Dive Centre, with a nice dusky taken in Wagonga Inlet during the colder months.Reads: 530