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Wagonga jewies chew
  |  First Published: April 2009



Wagonga Inlet has continued to produce some good fishing, with healthy school mulloway being caught on bait and lures.

While guiding there one recent week, we managed a few fish around 7kg or 90cm mark on smaller soft plastics fished deep. Other mulloway have been landed, too, with fish to 8kg the average.

A lot of these fish are succumbing to fresh squid and live mullet but targeting these bronzed brutes on plastics does it for me.

The fish are widespread throughout the system. Find some bait and concentrate your efforts around it.

We have found good concentrations of bait in the upper reaches of the main basin.

The channels are still holding good quantities of bream and flathead, with huge schools of mullet towards the entrance.

Every day on the run-up tide, anglers are having a ball on the mullet near the 8-knot sign on the eastern side of the channel. Bread or dough is all you need for the mullet, with fish to a kilo common.

With the cooler water this month, expect bigger silver trevally to enter the system. Small plastics up to 80mm are ideal but bait anglers using fresh prawns or live yabbies will also catch plenty of fish.

A few bream, whiting and blackfish will also get in on the act, so a quality bag is on the cards.

KINGS, TUNA

The kingfish action at Montague Island has been pretty consistent, with most anglers getting fish every day. Fish size varies from day to day, as does the number of kings landed, mainly due to the increased population of seals – but overall, they have been OK.

Fish are averaging 4kg, particularly those caught on live baits, with the odd hoodlum up to 12kg.

The smaller fish are prolific on jigs with the best action down the southern end of the island around the pinnacles. A lot of these fish are undersize so make those you keep measure the legal 65cm.

This month bigger kings could be on the surface around the north-west corner or around Fowlhouse Reef. Every year some massive kings turn up here, smashing saurie schools and let’s hope this year is no different.

Fish to 20kg are hooked regularly but not many are landed, due to the shallower water and reefy bottom.

Trolling live slimy mackerel or big bibbed minnows seems to attract them.

Expect some XOS bonito on the live baits along with the chance of a decent mackerel tuna.

Out wider, yellowfin tuna and albacore can be expected.

We have seen some massive fish already and I think this season will be longer than previous ones.

The water is still 21° out the front and if this stays around or gets only slightly cooler, the action could be the best for years.

Trolling big skirted lures and bibbed minnows works, but for the bigger fish live bait and cubes down a berley trail are definitely the way to go.

Look for the vital signs like bait on the sounder, temperature breaks, working birds and current or tide lines.

Some big striped marlin will also be possible with every May producing some thumping fish.

BEACHES VARY

On the beaches, things have been a little up and down depending on what you’re targeting.

Salmon have been great with anglers having a ball on most beaches.

Casting chrome lures has been effective on lighter outfits, while those using bait are getting bigger fish.

A whole pilchard on ganged hooks has worked well, with surf poppers in red and white also producing.

Some of the salmon have been huge with 4kg fish common, but most average 2kg.

It’s great to see salmon back in numbers; they provide great sport and anyone can catch them.

Bream, whiting and mullet will slow up this month as the water cools but there are still fish to be caught.

Work the close gutters or rocky corners with fresh bait and berley will see better catch rates. Beach worms have been hard to get but you shouldn’t have any problems getting pipis.

If getting your own bait is difficult, the Ocean Hut at Narooma will look after you.

The rocks have been a little quiet, mainly due to the flat seas recently. With not much wash close to the rocks, the fish seemed to have gone off.

The guys spinning chrome slices have been getting some bonito and salmon but not in numbers. I have heard of a few bonnies pushing 5kg – good sport on the right tackle and, if prepared the right way, not bad on the plate.

This month usually we see mackerel tuna, especially down at Mystery Bay’s high rock. Lures are a great way to target them but live bait is certainly another option.

There have been some nice drummer and blackfish from Dalmeny Headland, north of Narooma. You have to be there on daybreak and berley 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.

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