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Time for big lizards
  |  First Published: October 2005



October is prime time for chasing big lizards around here, with many fish over 5kg.

Soft plastics and live bait are the best ways to tempt these bottom-dwellers, with strip baits meant for a bream also producing a fish or two.

If you ask me, there is only one way to target and catch these dinosaurs, and that’s big soft plastics. Last October the majority of frogs we caught over 80cm took softies, mostly lures 100mm and over.

The Squidgy Fish in black and gold, silver and killer tomato worked a treat last season, as did the Tsunami range of plastics.

The most important thing I found when targeting big flatties was to fish the lure quite slowly, making sure the lure hits the bottom repeatedly.

Don’t be afraid to use big jig heads. I use 15g heads early in the season and have found the majority of big fish in deeper water. By deep I mean seven to 12 metres.

In Wagonga Inlet they seem to hang around the many weed-fringed bays and every October an absolute horse is caught. The best fish we got last year went 1.0 metres and weighed well over 7kg.

But please remember to put any flathead over 60cm back. They are too valuable a resource to kill and flatties between 40cm and 55cm are the best eating in my books.

The channel from the main highway bridge to the entrance has continued to fish well for bream, trevally, flathead.

The whiting are averaging 400g but the problem is not catching the whiting, it’s getting the live bait required. Squirt worms and bloodworms have been scarce but there are still good patches up at Tuross if you put in the time to find them.

Dalmeny Lake, just north of Narooma, has been fishing great guns lately with flathead up to 60cm being caught in good numbers. This lake is not deep so it’s ideal territory to use lighter plastics in the shallower water.

This year should see a good run of prawns in this lake so try using prawn imitations like the Prawn Star, Rio Prawn or DOA Shrimp. Fished slowly over weed beds, these are deadly, especially around the new moon.

OFFSHORE

Montague Island’s kingfish population generally decides to wake up around October with the majority of fish being taken on jigs. Fish to 4kg are the norm but bigger fish are always a possibility, especially on live bait.

Current will determine where to fish but the north end and Fowl house reefs are good places to start. Last season the kingies were very slow so let’s hope this year they turn up on time and provide some fast and furious action.

The local reefs have slowed somewhat over the past month but with slightly warmer water likely, that could change this month. Snapper, mowies and particularly flathead should all be on the chew, with Fullers and Brou reefs the places to try.

For the flatties try off Glasshouse Rocks, about 5km south of Narooma, in 30 to 35 metres.

Salmon have been around in good numbers on most local beaches with Tilba, 1080 and the main surf beach all holding fish. I talked to a few locals last week who only fish the beach and they have been having a ball on the salmon.

Catches of 20 fish up to 3kg are common. Tailor have been a little slow lately but this month more choppers should hit the sand.

Expect the yellowfin bream to start heading back to the estuaries to harass the local prawn and baitfish populations.

The rocks will continue to fish well with salmon, drummer, blackfish and bream all available with the usual methods. Expect the drummer to slow somewhat as the month goes on but bigger fish to 4kg will make their presence felt.

October is a great month to fish, especially in the estuaries. Most species can be caught using a variety of different methods.

Andrew looks pleased with this quality 78cm dusky flathead from Narooma, was caught on a Juro Firebait and released after a few photos.

Ian with his first soft plastic-caught bream. At around 600g it’s a nice way to open your account.

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