Jewies make way for greenbacks
  |  First Published: December 2003

THE MONSTER jewfish caught in Wagonga Inlet, Narooma, over Winter and Spring seem to have retired to some quiet corner, probably to reassess their fighting strategies.

This has not bothered the local fishing fraternity in the slightest, as the niche vacated by the mighty mulloway has been filled by substantial numbers of tremendous tailor. Local Anthony Orman landed one recently weighing just over 7kg and quite a few others over 4kg have been hooked recently.

Many of these fine fish, I'm pleased to report, have been quickly photographed and released back into the inlet to fight again another day. If you have yet to catch one of these big tailor, you are in for a real treat. They hit like a freight train and put up a tremendous fight – a worthy challenge on light tackle.

Many of these fish have fallen to baits laid out for those retiring jewfish, with slabs of fresh slimy mackerel, salmon or other fresh cut bait working well. However, plenty of other big tailor have been taken on the troll, especially in the deeper sections of the lake. Lures about the size and style of a Rapala CD 9 or CD 14 have been producing those big fish, although when the tailor are chasing smaller baitfish smaller chrome slugs will do the trick.

The inlet is also still producing consistently good-sized flathead and a multitude of pinkies – small snapper, many of which might be below the legal length of 30cm. There also seems to be an increase in the population of those beautiful butterfly-winged gurnards.


If you go to any one of a number of local beaches and find a good hole or gutter on the rising tide in the morning or evening, you are almost certain to be rewarded with a few good-sized salmon. The sight of these torpedoes leaping out of the waves in the morning sun is truly inspirational.

After bagging a few salmon, why not get yourself some beach worms? Best time for this is towards the bottom of the tide. Just stake a fish frame where the waves wash over it and look for the hungry little worms’ heads as they pop up to see what smells so good.

Position a pair of pliers just behind where you saw the head and when it pops up again, nip it with the pliers and pull it out with a slow, even pull. With practice you can do away with the pliers and just use your fingers.

I've actually seen one old bloke catching them and pulling them out with his toes. I tried it, but with zero success! When you've got a few worms, go back to the inlet and have a go at catching some delicious whiting on the rising tide on the sand flats.

The kingfish are arriving in ever increasing numbers, .much to the delight of tourists and locals alike. The kings have had a few days off lately when the current shifts away from the north, but that seldom lasts for long. We at Island Charters Narooma are looking forward to a long and fruitful kingfish season.

The first of the marlin have also been tagged out at The Kink and also at the Twelve Mile off Bermagui.

Grey nurse sharks are currently taking up their Summer residence on the northern end of Montague Island. There have recently been considerable restrictions placed on fishing anywhere near these endangered creatures, so if you plan on a fishing trip in your own boat out to Montague Island, make sure you know where the protection zone is and what the restrictions are. The penalties for non-compliance are quite severe.

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