The local estuaries around the Narooma area have been fishing red-hot of late with Wagonga Inlet being a standout. With the water being a consistent 18C, most species are more than willing to have a chew.
Wagonga is renowned for its mulloway fishing and these bronzed brutes haven’t let us down. Over the last few weeks, while guiding there, we have managed six solid jews with just as many lost, the average being 7kg.
All the fish we have managed to catch have been caught on smaller soft plastics, such as the new Squidgie PRO range. It’s interesting that all our fish have been caught between 9am and 11am, not the usual mulloway times. It just goes to show if the bait is there then the fish won’t be too far behind.
I know of a few locals who have also done well on lures, but some of the regulars using bait have struggled big time. I’m not too sure why, but I suspect the amount of bait within the system may have something to do with it. Both whitebait and pilchard schools have been plentiful, and this is where most of the action has occurred.
Other species like snapper, bream, big flathead, tailor and monster trevally have also had a feast on the bait schools. Most of the action has happened in the main basin itself, and having a sounder is a huge advantage.
Another area to concentrate on is marauding tailor schools smashing bait on the surface. I’ve said it before, if you’re after a jewie or other species in open deep water this is the place to fish! Expect to loose a few softies, but the rewards will certainly be worth it.
Up at Tuross bream anglers have been doing okay on a range of softies and hardbodies. The leases have fished well at times, but with the clearer water that winter brings they may become a little gun shy. The snags is where I would be fishing upstream of the main highway bridge, try Bumbo Creek for starters and work you’re way up.
Estuary Perch are also on the cards, as these fine sportsfish gradually make their way downstream as the weather cools further. Flathead will be harder to find, but if you fish the shallower margins you should still be able to get a feed. Try smaller plastics up to 60mm for best results.
The rocks have been a little quiet of late, mainly due to the flat seas from offshore winds. With not much wash close to the rocks the fish seemed to have gone off. The guys spinning chrome slices have still been getting some bonito and salmon, but not in any numbers. The fish that have been caught are of reasonable size though. I have heard of a few bonnies pushing 5kg. They good sport on the right tackle and, if prepared the right way, not to bad on the plate.
There has been some nice drummer and blackfish coming from Dalmeny headland, north of Narooma. You have to be there on daybreak and berley to get the fish to bite, but they are there. When the swell picks up again be prepared for some red-hot drummer action. Other spots to try are the Golf Course Rocks and Mystery Bay headland.
Offshore boaties have had mixed fortunes of late, mainly due to the windy weather and not being able to get to the shelf. When the weather gods have done the right thing, the fishing is excellent.
Yellowfin tuna to 70kg have been captured with a few jumbos lost. I know of a visiting angler from Melbourne losing a monster at the boat when the leader wore through, he estimated the fish at 90kg and after three hours on the rod you could imagine his disappointment. He vowed to get the next one and I hope he does. That fish ate a cube at the back of the boat and the boys said it wasn’t alone.
This time of year is perfect for cubing or live baiting, whilst using berley sparsely. Look for the important signs before commencing or you may be waiting awhile. Expect a few fish to be caught while trolling, albacore to 20kg are also on the cards.
Inshore snapper anglers are having a great time, with fish to 4.5kg being caught. This action will only get better if last season is anything to go by. The next three months should see a few fish to 8kg, but the majority will be averaging 2kg.
Almost all reefs will hold fish, with Potato Point, Tuross and Brou being the most popular. Cuttlefish strips will be dynamite baits as the cuttlefish run hits top gear. Squid, pilchards and tuna should snare a fish or two also. Other species that can be expected are morwong, John dory, and trevally.
At Montague Island the kingfish have been okay, some days excellent and others very quiet. A lot depends on current movement for these back-breakers; if it’s going south they’ll be on. If not forget it pretty much. Using live bait and jigs is the go with the northern end being best, but that can change.
On the beach scene the salmon are still around and in good numbers. Most beaches are holding fish; Brou just north of Narooma has been the pick of the bunch. Pilchards and blue surf poppers rigged on a paternoster rig should get you results. There are still a few bream around in the washes, get some live beach worms or pipis and get the rod bending the right way. A little berley should also improve catch rates, but remember not to over do it!Reads: 708