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Opportunity knocks
  |  First Published: March 2010




It is all action this month with loads of fishing opportunities.

The heavens opened up, resulting in downpours not seen in these parts in over 20 years. As a consequence, all of the landlocked estuary systems have spectacularly broken through to the ocean.

For Tuross anglers this is especially exciting because the system was beginning to become a stagnant, unimpressive place to fish. Thankfully now the waters have carved a dramatic, wide, deep entrance which will no doubt greatly benefit the lake for months and hopefully years to come.

The Moruya River ran a coffee-coloured mud stream carrying huge logs and other debris for many weeks but now that some blue clarity has returned and the fishing has been great.

Kilo-plus bream, numerous whiting, jumbo tailor and even the odd snapper to a whopping 4kg have been encountered. Add to that a few oddballs like small cobia and a few amberjack around 2kg taking plastics and it all makes for some great estuary action.

Bass will be big beneficiaries in the Clyde River, with all those isolated pools that were all but dried up now part of a raging river.

The timely rain will aid fish movements up and down the system so the next generation of bass should be created this Winter.

Jewfish should increase in tempo, too, following the wet – if the action can actually get any better than the past few months. Some really big fish are still being encountered for those putting in the hours.

Despite perfect flood conditions on the end of the breakwall that had masses of mullet, garfish and tailor present, I am still yet to get so much as a bump on a lure from a jewfish there. Multiple five-hour spin sessions in the rain went unrewarded for me, which makes me wonder if ‘my’ breakwall jew will ever happen.

Beach fishing should be at its best over the next few moons, as the tides shift to big night highs. Along with the creeks and lakes spewing into the ocean, the beaches turned on some mountainous in the storm, resulting in a multitude of deep, fishy gutters.

Big schools of slimy mackerel, salmon and tailor have been seen and jewfish, sharks and even the odd pod of longtail tuna have been making the most of the massing baitfish.

We even had a huge school of bonito show up in the surf that annihilated a school of whitebait – not what I would have expected with 3.5m of swell and a dozen surfers in the line-up.

The dirty water stretched right out to the continental shelf at one point, resulting in a fantastic marlin bite with multiple hook-ups. The interface between dirty and clean water also attracted some seriously big tiger and mako sharks that got the berley boys all fired up.

Even a big white shark was seen to bite a seal in half 500m wide of a few surfers and swimmers at Tuross – not what you want to see during a relaxing paddle!

Plenty of small mahi mahi have been calling any floating object home and with the number of logs now bobbing around the ocean, locating a few dollies should be easier than ever.

Yellowfin tuna should increase now and I am tipping that this will be another good Winter of tuna chasing. I love nothing better than laying down a steady cube trail on a calm day and fooling a big tuna into taking a cube.

ROCK ACTION

There has been some great action off the rocks on bonito, with all manner of lures working. The fish generally have been really small or approaching 3kg with not much in between.

The smaller models are perfect live bait as Ray Smith found out when a cobia well over 1m long scoffed one set under a balloon in plain sight. Sadly, it crash-dived at his feet, severing his line.

Cobia are strange fish to fight off the rocks. They always dive down at your feet but if you quickly place the reel in a thumb-controlled free-spool they almost always head to the surface and away from the rocks.

A big fish may require you to free-spool several times for the best part of an hour before it tires enough to gaff. If you try to overpower the dive, even on 24kg you will almost always lose.

Some good kingfish between 70cm and almost 1m have been taking lures and live baits when conditions are right. This month should see more of the same.

It has been quite a few years since we have seen kingfish around with any regularity so they have been welcome.

Huge schools of slimy mackerel are about so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of a big black marlin being hooked.

Snapper will begin to mass inshore later in the month so rock fishing will be a major focus. A few nice reds to 7kg have already been landed and no doubt the floods and swells will fire them up, too.

This little amberjack was captured in the Moruya River. There have been a few to 2.5kg around since the big wet.

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