Local beaches on fire
  |  First Published: July 2008

Beaches around the Narooma area have been on fire and this will continue throughout July.

Salmon have been in plague proportions with catches of 20 fish per session raising no eyebrows. They are of good quality with some topping 4kg. At that size on the right tackle they are a formidable opponent even to the most experienced fisho.

Almost all methods are working, with paternoster rigs with a pilchard on one dropper and a surf popper on the other accounting for good numbers.

Anglers casting small metal shiners have also done well, especially on the smaller fish. Chrome lures up to 40g have been ideal with bigger soft plastics thrown into the wash also snaring a few.

Mixed in with the salmon have been school jew and a few big tailor. I know of a local down Bermagui way who has landed at least six mulloway from the sand over recent weeks.

I can’t give away the exact location or I’ll be necked but it was north of Bermagui and south of Narooma. He was fishing in shallow water close to rocks so don’t always be under the impression that a huge cast is needed.

If you’re fishing the rockier corners, a few bream are on the cards. Baits like beach worms, pipi and striped tuna are ideal with light sinkers helping in presentation.

Better beaches have included Brou, Narooma Main, Tilba and Camel Rock with an afternoon session on a rising tide the most productive.


In the estuaries things have slowed somewhat but that’s to be expected when the water is a chilly 12°.

In Wagonga Inlet the pelagic species are what most anglers are after with tailor still abundant in the main basin. Casting small chromed lures to working birds or trolling has resulted in good captures.

This season the tailor are quite big, averaging 40cm with the odd thumper pushing 60cm.

There have been a few bigger trevally under the tailor feeding on whitebait scraps. Try soft plastics or whitebait for them.

I like soft stickbaits at this time of year; work your lure like it’s an injured baitfish and hang on. You might have to downsize your leader in the clear water but trevally have few teeth so you should be OK.

Up at Tuross, bream and estuary perch have been sporadic but if you find them, you can have some good fun on hardbodies and plastics, with the snags fishing best.

There have been a few bream around the racks but with the water so clear they are a little spooky. Long, accurate casts are needed to get consistent results with deep-divers the best option.

The lower sections of the lake are still producing flathead on the shallower margins. Blackfish have been good along the rock wall near O’Brien’s Boatshed but the hardest part of the equation is getting quality weed. If you can find some, good luck and I’d be keeping the spot close to my chest.

Bottom-bouncers fishing offshore are having a field day as the snapper run hits full swing. Most reefs are holding quality reds up to 3kg with the odd brute pushing 7kg. Most methods are working with drifted paternoster rigs with squid baits best.

Anglers anchoring up on the edges of hard reef and berleying are also getting results. Some of the bigger fish have been caught this way with lightly weighted baits or squid, pilchards or cuttlefish strips.

Reefs to try include Tuross, Potato Point, Brou and the southern reefs around Montague Island. Morwong, leatherjackets, trevally and maybe kingfish can be expected as well.

At Montague Island the pelagic action will be a little sad this month. There may be the chance of kingfish and bonito but a lot will depend on currents, water temperatures and bait activity. If we get good conditions things might just fire up, it’s happened before in the midst of Winter so let’s cross our fingers.

Out wider southern bluefin tuna are really the only possibilities with the water hovering around 15°. There may be a few makos around with blue-eye trevalla and Tassie trumpeter on the canyon walls if you like that sort of deep fishing.


With the cold water 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 are worth a look with cunjevoi, cabbage, bread, crabs and prawns in a sparse berley.

If targeting the groper, unweighted crabs are perfect but brute force will be needed to land them. Last season groper to 15kg were caught, especially at Mystery Bay.

Salmon should be plentiful on all the above platforms with ganged pilchards the best way to tempt fish to 5kg.

Fish the run-out tide for best results with Dalmeny headland a hot spot.

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