Jewies Ignore Winter
  |  First Published: August 2005

Winter is still with us but has anyone told the jewies that? We’re wearing beanies, gloves and a few layers of clothing to keep warm but the local mulloway population seems to have forgotten about winter.

Tuross, just north of Narooma, has seen some exciting and sometimes frustrating mulloway fishing of late. Stories of fish that have spooled anglers, ones dropped at the boat or ‘damn hooks pulled again’ are common from fishos targeting these kings of the estuary.

Chippy Mark, a local who almost exclusively targets mulloway on hardware, has been having a ball right through winter catching and releasing these bronzed marvels. In a recent session he hooked five fish, landed three, lost one at the boat and got spooled on 10lb braid. Not bad fishing considering Mark uses soft plastics exclusively and is fishing relatively shallow water. Fish sizes ranged from 4kg to 8kg, good fish in anyone’s language.

A lot more fish up to 14kg have been caught, mainly on live mullet and fresh squid strips. A bonus when chasing the jewies is some sizeable duskies for the lure-tossers and good snapper for the bait fishos – certainly a welcome by-catch.

Wagonga Inlet has slowed considerably over the past few weeks with the cold water but the fish that have been caught are of good size. Some thumping big bream are around the oyster racks but the crystal clear water is making them very spooky and hard to catch.

Light leaders and slow-moving worm-type plastics are the only way that I have been able to get a bite. It’s the same with the flatties.

The water is 12° to 13° at best and slow-moving big plastics are the only way I have found to tempt them. Most fish are coming from casts to shallow banks in only a few feet of water. Look for the areas with sunlight on them; this is where they will be lying and waiting for a feed.

Good tailor are still being caught in the main basin with a few trevally and blackfish coming from the deeper sections of the channel. Squirt worms have worked well on the blackfish, while small soft plastics and prawns have brought the blurters undone.

Try near the eight-knot sign on the eastern side of the channel near the main town wharf. The water moves quickly through there so fishing over the last two hours of the flood tide is best.

The winter bottom fishing offshore thus far has been exceptional with good snapper being caught. Fish to 4kg are readily available with Montague Island and Potato Point the places to fish. Squid, cuttlefish and soft plastics fished deep have all worked well at various times.

Kingfish at Montague have been really hit-and-miss lately – one day you bag out, the next, nothing. The majority of fish being caught are on jigs. It totally depends on tide and current flow if these guys decide to have a chew or not.


The beaches and rocks will continue to fish well for cold-water species like salmon, tailor, drummer and blackfish.

I know of a visiting angler from down south who caught two drummer from the beach up at Brou.

That’s the first time I had heard of that happening around here and it just goes to show fish are where you find them. He caught them on beach worms meant for bream. I’ve no idea why they would be there but he was pretty stoked with his captures.

The golf course rocks have been the hot spot for the blackfish with cabbage the gun bait. Locals have been getting their eight to 10 fish every session, which is more than enough for a feed.

A few groper have been hooked from the same spot – nothing landed, but that’s to be expected on blackfish tackle.

Expect a few salmon on the front ledge as they migrate up the coast. Lures and ganged pilchards will get the desired results.

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