Keep alert for yellowfin
  |  First Published: May 2009

June in my books is a top month to fish, especially offshore. Those cool westerlies usually back off by mid-morning and we’re left with a glassy sea surface and ideal fishing conditions.

With a stable sea like this, spotting tuna on the surface in the distance becomes easier so you can get onto fish sooner.

Keeping your wits about you and looking for obvious signs of surface activity can mean the difference to a great day or fishless one, so be alert.

Winter is renowned for big yellowfin tuna around here and a lot of the bigger fish I have encountered over the years have come in this month.

Over recent weeks some respectable yellowfin have been caught. The best I have heard of went 62kg, with quite a few between 20kg and 30kg.

Most fish are coming from the shelf to the 300-fathom line so find the bait and the tuna won’t be far away.

Berleying and cubing has worked well, with trolled skirted lures getting the smaller fish. Expect some above-average albacore, too, and have the wire ready because a big mako shark is always on the cards in the cooler water.

The marlin action has slowed but there might be the odd fish further north, depending on water temperature, current, bait activity and how many have ended up on longlines!

Montague Island has seen some kingfish around 4kg to 5kg, mostly on live bait and squid. Some bigger fish will patrol the surface this month, so trolling live slimy mackerel could work but patience may be required because of the exploding seal population.

Inshore, the snapper action has been red-hot. Quite a few cuttlefish are close to shore and so are the reddies.

This time last year more anglers were starting to target snapper on soft plastics.

Let me tell you it works: Concentrate your efforts in shallower water around reef, gravel beds and bommies.

It’s great sport and you will be surprised at the results. Best places to try are Potato Point, Brou and the southern pinnacles at Montague Island.

For the fishos using bait, morwong have been prolific.

The flatties have quietened down but some OK captures have come from the Tuross grounds.

Leatherjackets are in plague proportions and creating havoc. These spiny little suckers aren’t too bad on the plate but the back pocket may hurt a little as they decimate tackle.


In the estuaries things have been very good. It’s been a great month for mulloway with quite a few captures, mainly by locals.

Over the past week there we’ve managed to land three nice jewies to 9kg with another four lost due to pulled hooks.

The Robinsons from Albury had smiles from ear to ear after their fun and Big Phil landed a beautifully conditioned fish of 1m on a 100mm Squidgy Fish.

The fish are widespread throughout the system so local knowledge is helpful. I’d be concentrating around the tailor schools which are plentiful and will continue to be.

Anglers fishing the deeper water with plastics and blades are also catching plenty of bream, flathead, tailor and some thumping snapper to 50cm.

The rocky points have produced but the jackets are a nuisance, especially with soft plastics.

Further upstream, the water is getting clearer, making bream fishing with artificials more difficult. Baits like live prawns and bass yabbies fished close to structure are getting a few but there’s plenty of water between them.

Tuross is just ticking over with a few bream, flathead and blackfish. Most of the flathead are coming from the river section with the odd good fish towards the entrance.

Bream have been found over the weed edges with suspending hardbodies doing the trick on some occasions. The bream action will remain steady with a few EPs on the cards as they head downstream.


With the water cooling, the usual rock suspects like blackfish, drummer, groper and the odd snapper will be keen on a feed. Locations like the Golf Course Rocks, Dalmeny Headland, Mystery Bay and the rocks at the southern end of Handkerchief Beach all worth a look.

Fresh cabbage is best for the blackfish and cunjevoi, black crabs and even bread for the drummer. A little berley of weed mixed with sand to get it down should also improve catch rates.

Some good bream can be expected as they do their thing after leaving the estuary entrances.

Salmon and tailor should all be plentiful on the above platforms with ganged pilchards or metal slices the way to catch them. Expect some big salmon nudging 4kg.

The beaches will continue to produce salmon, tailor and the odd bream.

I have heard of a few gummy sharks coming from Brou Beach so if you can brave the cold nights or early mornings, it might be worth a look.

Dalmeny, Kianga and Narooma Main beaches have been the pick for the salmon. Blue bait, surf poppers and pilchards have been the preferred presentations with paternoster rigs the go.

Reads: 1952

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