SPRING is kingfish time. October is a great month to target these bruisers on jig tackle, especially around Montague Island.
Over the last few years these great sportfish have made a welcome return at this time of the year, mainly due to the abolishment of the kingfish traps some years ago. These fish aren’t generally huge, around the 3-4kg mark, but what they lack in size they certainly make up for in the fighting and eating departments.
Fishing Montague Island is the go, with the north end and Fowl House reefs being a good place to start. Jigs ranging from 90-200g are generally used, and the Raider in 125g is one of my favourites. The jig weight you use should depend on what the prevailing conditions are, such as tide and current – the more current the heavier the jig.I won’t go into jigging styles here, but the faster you wind, the better your chances.
For those willing to travel to the shelf, your efforts may be rewarded. Water temperature should be around the 18-19C mark, and with this there may be an early season run of albacore and small yellowfin tuna. This has happened over the last few years, and with the weather conditions pretty stable during October it may be worth the effort to go and have a look. I have had good success trolling bibbed minnows early in the season in the past as well as trolling smaller skirted lures at 8 knots.
The bottom bouncing scene will start to hot up again this month, but in saying that we have had a pretty good winter season with plenty of reddies willing to take a bait. There should be some larger snapper available up at Potato Point, a local area about an 8km run north of Narooma. This reef system has a great reputation for producing big snapper, with fresh squid and cuttlefish being the standout baits. Anchoring up and berleying is the best way to tempt one of these bigger fish.
Mowies, trevally, and leatherjacket will also be on the reef systems, and with the increased water temperature those sand and tiger flathead should be on the chew too.
On the beaches the yellowfin bream and whiting start to move with the slightly warmer water, and good catches can be expected. Beach worms and pipis are the best bait, and remember that fresh is best. You can get both these baits along most of the beaches around Narooma. A little extra effort here certainly goes a long way when it comes to catching quality fish.
Salmon and tailor have been abundant on the beaches and rocks and I can’t see any reason why this won’t continue for the upcoming months. The ever-reliable bluebait has been working well, with those surf poppers doing their best work on the top of a two-pronged surf rig.
There have also been a lot of yellow-eye mullet on the beaches. These are great sport on light tackle and they’re not bad eating when prepared the right way.
Jewfish are still on the cards for those willing to put in the time and effort required to catch these majestic fish. At least the nights are getting a little warmer, and as this happens a few more jewfish diehards will make their way down to their favourite beach haunt. Beaches north of Narooma have definitely accounted for most of the jewie captures.
There should be a few bonito getting around the local rock platforms for those guys who are into their rock spinning. As mentioned earlier, salmon will still be on the cards with ganged pillies and lures working best. There will still be drummer and the odd groper available with red crabs and cunjevoi being best baits. Berleying in the washes will still produce bream, with unweighted striped tuna flesh working well. I have heard a rumour or two that the rocks below Dalmeny Headland have been the pick of the bunch when it comes to the bream.
Wagonga Inlet starts to come alive in October, with most estuarine species willing to take a bait or lure with gusto.
The oyster racks up the top of the lake really start to fire up at this time, with black bream being the standout. If you’re using soft plastics or hard-bodied lures, the top of the tide is the best time. When the tide is low, try using nippers or bloodworms and cast close to the bases of the racks. You will be surprised at the number of bream you will catch in this fairly shallow water. You have to fish light tackle because the water is still very clear. You will lose a lot of fish in the racks but you will also get a few.
Please be careful when fishing around the oyster racks, use commonsense and stay far enough away so as not to damage them. These are the oyster farmers’ livelihood so respect their property.
The flathead will become more active as the weeks go by, and you will catch them on soft plastics as well as bait. The main channel will fish well at this time of the year, with the sandflats around the main bridge also producing the goods. Blackfish tend to congregate around the main town wharf, and those anglers in the know certainly get their bag of fish when chasing them.
Narooma has a reputation of producing bigger than average sand whiting and October is the time to start chasing them. Bloodworms work best, with nippers a close second. If you’re shore-based, the sand flats area near the Fisheries office is a good place to fish. If you have a boat, try fishing the many sandflats in this waterway. Anchoring up and berleying is a productive way to get quality bags. I have found the last two hours of the flood tide to be the best.
Narooma is a great fishing destination, both offshore and inshore, and with the warmer conditions there should be no excuses to not wet a line.
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