Wonderful Wagonga whiting
  |  First Published: March 2009

Wagonga Inlet’s extensive flats have yielded some quality sand whiting over recent weeks, with bags of up to a dozen fish fairly common.

A lot of the fish have been around 35cm, with the occasional thumper to 42cm.

The best I have seen is 44cm and weighed around 700g, a huge whiting that would more closely resemble a small salmon.

The run-out tide has been the best, look for a deeper channel running close to the sand flats and you should be in business.

Don’t be afraid to use heavier sinkers, either, the tide runs pretty quickly and you want your bait right on the bottom.

Best baits have been live bloodworms, squirt worms and nippers. You should be able to get all the nippers you need down on the flats near the Fisheries office and squirt worms can be found there to at times.

Tuross Lake, north of Narooma, is also full of whiting. They have responded well to live baits and surface lures, especially poppers and walk baits. It’s great fun targeting these speedsters on the surface and you will be surprised at the results that you can achieve.

Quality flathead to 95cm are still being caught in reasonable numbers in Tuross and Wagonga Inlet; you have to work a little harder for them now because they have had a fair flogging lately.

Live poddy mullet have been working well with larger soft plastics getting their fair share, too.

Some nice yellowfin bream are up the back of Wagonga around the oyster racks, where very small soft plastics have been doing the damage with surface lures getting results especially late on a hot day.

The mulloway action has still been good with fish to 12kg caught on bait and soft plastics. We have managed three nice fish around 8kg while guiding over the past few weeks so there are still plenty of bronzed marvels to be caught if that’s what you’re after.

The upper reaches of Tuross have also seen some quality bass. A canoe is the only way because the river is low because of lack of rain.

Surface lures like Crazy Crawlers and Jitterbugs have worked a treat close to dark on hot steamy evenings. Upstream of Commerang should see some quality action.


Mystery Bay, just south of Narooma, is the region’s land-based game rock hot spot.

Some nice kingfish have come from this platform lately, with big salmon also falling to live baits.

A few snapper have come from the washes, with full pilchards on ganged hooks doing the trick.

Early mornings are certainly the gun time to fish, with the afternoons almost a guaranteed write-off with the strong north-easterlies of late.

If a feed from the stones is your aim, drummer and luderick have been a little quiet but their numbers will increase as the water cools but persistence is required for now. Only the freshest of baits, used on lighter line than normal, will pay dividends for those willing to have ago.


Offshore grounds have been fishing well with a number of notable captures over recent weeks.

We have had quite cold water in close but that will change. Yellowfin tuna are still around, not in the same numbers as in January, but the size of the fish has increased. Fish to 40kg are common and I have heard of a few bigger fish lost when trolling lures for marlin.

It’s great to see these bigger brutes around and all looks good for the next few months.

On the marlin scene, most anglers are getting a few, with striped marlin predominating.

We have had an average season so far though the size of the fish is down a little. Fish are averaging 70kg to 80kg but we can expect bigger stripes this month with a lot more blacks as well.

The continental shelf is the place to fish with water temperature hovering around 23°. Most fish are being caught on trolled skirted lures with green and purple patterns working well.

Inshore bottom-bashers have been having a field day with snapper, mowies, and flatties being caught in numbers.

The bottom end of Montague Island has been the pick, with Potato Point a close second.

A lot of gummy sharks have been caught by the flathead fishos and it’s good to see them around and they are a great by-catch, if that’s what you want to call them.

The Montague kingfish have also played the game lately with fish to 7kg on live baits and jigs. The kings have been slow this season but with the water warming up, expect the action to be more consistent.

The northern end of the island is a good starting point to target the kingies but only on jigs, as it’s still closed to live baiting with the marine park rules.


The beaches have been a little quiet for salmon and tailor but the whiting and bream have made up for it.

Live beach worms and pipis are doing the damage and light lines are required for consistent results.

A little bit of berley won’t hurt, either. Crushed pipi shells mixed with a little tuna oil are a favourite of mine.

I have heard a rumour or two that some good-sized jewies have been caught up the coast around Tuross, so a couple of nights on the beach with the big gear might be worth a go.

Better beaches to try for the bread and butter species include Brou, Narooma main, Tilba and Handkerchief.

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