Prime time to wet a line
  |  First Published: January 2010

February is prime time to wet a line around Narooma with anglers fishing the rocks, beaches, estuaries and offshore all getting plenty of action.

Offshore should be in full swing with the water anywhere from 22° to 25° depending on current.

With water like this, striped and black marlin will make their presence felt and usually at this time of year blacks up to 80kg patrol close to shore.

Places like Montague Island, the reefs off Potato Point and Tuross are all worth a look, especially if striped tuna and slimy mackerel schools are present.

Trolling smaller pushers (up to 250mm) is ideal with live baits slowly worked around the bait schools also effective.

Out wider, striped marlin, yellowfin tuna and various shark species will be on the prowl.

The continental shelf is where most anglers will head and this is a great starting point.

Some days the fish may be wider, closer to the second drop-off or further up the coast around the Tuross Canyons.

Trolling skirted lures or slowly trolling live slimy mackerel and striped tuna are both great ways to catch fish. I prefer trolling lures until you find concentrations of fish and then revert to live bait.

Switch-baiting is also popular for alert game crews and can prove deadly on marlin and tuna at times.

Inshore, the kingies have been good at Montague Island with jigs, live bait and squid on flasher rigs working well.

The fish are quite widespread but the northern end has seen a lot of the action.

The kings aren’t huge, averaging 4kg, but there are some to 10kg with the school fish.

Early morning there have been bust-ups of these bigger fish as they hammer the saurie bait schools. A lot of this action is happening on the Fowlhouse Reef and the north-western corner of the island.

You can expect this action to continue but remember, early mornings are usually the best time to target them on the surface.

The guys targeting bread-and-butter species like snapper, flathead, long-finned perch and morwong should have little trouble finding a feed. Almost all reefs will hold fish with Potato Point the pick of them with fresh squid, pilchards and striped tuna fillets best.

Flathead numbers on the gravel and sand are increasing and it’s pretty easy to get your limit. The 40m mark off Kianga is a good place to start.


Wagonga Inlet and Tuross Lake have been firing for whiting, bream and flathead.

Live nippers and squirt worms have been great for whiting with tuna cubes and fresh local peeled prawns working best on the bream.

Flathead have responded well to a range of soft plastics with lures up to 80mm in natural colours best. Rigged on jig heads from 5g to 11g, this size of lure is perfect for depths down to 8m.

‘If working deeper water, upsize your lure selection to 100mm with a head weight of 11g to 15g depending on wind, current and depth.

There has been a stack of flatties up to 90cm caught in both these systems.

Bream and whiting have responded well to surface lures and poppers.

Some days walkbaits outfish poppers and on other days it’s the opposite. The motto here is to have both types of lures in the box with a variety of colours.

Tuross has some good bass in the upper reaches where smaller plugs, plastics and spinnerbaits have worked among the snags.

Expect some jumbo bream if casting plastics, there are some cracking fish there.

Over the past few weeks the beach action has certainly turned around. With the water temperature increasing, whiting have really turned it on with fresh pipis and live beach worms the best baits.

Some good bream are mixed in with the whiting, with yellow-eye mullet also on the cards. These fight hard and are good on the plate if prepared correctly.

Beaches worth a look include Narooma Main, 1080, Tilba and Brou. The northern end of Blackfellows Beach (Tuross River entrance) has also produced.

Salmon and tailor have made a welcome return with pilchards, surf poppers and metal lures getting results.

The salmon have been very quiet but in the past few weeks have really picked up and should go well through this month.


The pelagic action off the stones continues to be good with big salmon, bonito and smaller kingfish on offer. They have been caught using a variety of methods but live-baiting is best.

The front ledge at Mystery Bay is the go, but get there early because spots are limited. You can catch all the live bait you want at this location, too, with slimy mackerel and yellowtail prolific.

An unweighted whole pilchard cast into the wash at the southern end of the ledge is also worthwhile as some respectable snapper get caught here every Summer.

For bream and blackfish, try the southern breakwall at Narooma on a run-up tide with peeled prawns, weed and cunjevoi.

Reads: 1950

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