Awesome top-up
  |  First Published: March 2010

Narooma and surrounds have just endured the wettest month for over a decade, with close to 600mm falling on the region.

This has made fishing quite difficult in the short term, especially in the estuaries, but it’s exactly what we needed and one can expect when the water clears that the fishing will be nothing short of awesome.

Wagonga Inlet looked a little like the Murray River but that will change over coming weeks.

With a lot of fresh in the water, those fishing the lower sections have fared best and the main channel has been a hot spot. Anglers anchored up and fishing fresh bait, especially prawns, have been smacking the bream, with a dozen or so fish the norm.

The bream are good fish, too, averaging 600g or more. Running sinker rigs fished hard on the bottom have performed best.

Mixed in with the bream have been some snapper to 40cm, with the odd flathead close to the weed-fringed edges.

Those after flathead have done best casting larger plastics on heavier jig heads, with short, sharp lifts all that are required in the faster running water.

We had a flick the other day with a few mates and got eight quality flatties inside an hour, so they are there and in good numbers.

When the main basin clears, expect it to fire for all species.

I’d be concentrating around the bait schools, where mulloway are a huge possibility, particularly if tailor are present.

Good-sized snapper are on the cards, with mega-flathead to 95cm almost a guarantee after such a huge flush. Big soft plastics or live yellowtail are the perfect ways to tempt them, but remember to let the big girls go.


Tuross Lake is open to the ocean again and the new water will do wonders for this dynamic system.

Anywhere down stream of the Four Ways a good starting point.

Flathead and bream are what most fishos are after and those using fresh bait will fare best. It will be a while before the river is worth a look and it will be very interesting to see what snags are left and what new ones have arrived.

If you’re travelling downstream from the highway bridge, take care because the many submerged trees are hard to see and can be dangerous – keep a lookout.

The beaches will continue to fish well for salmon and tailor, with enough bream, whiting and mullet to keep things interesting.

Live beach worms have been the standout bait but a lot of salmon have been caught on lures and blue surf poppers fished on a paternoster rig.

As the cooler months approach, expect the salmon fishing to only get better.

A few mulloway are still being caught from the beach up at Tuross, especially now the lake is open, but you need to put in a lot of time to consistently get results.

Better beaches to try are Blackfellows and Coila, with the latter due to fire now the lake there is also open to the ocean.

The Narooma breakwall has been the place to fish for some ripper bream on striped tuna baits along the inside of the North Wall. Fish the draining tide and you should be in business.

The water is quite dirty so slightly heavier leaders can be used. This makes it easier when lifting fish up to the wall.

There have still been a few bonito of the golf course rocks, with tailor and salmon abundant. Most fish have fallen to lures and ganged pilchards, especially in the mornings.

There have been more frequent reports of bream in the washes with blackfish and drummer on the cards also. Better baits are cunjevoi, fresh prawns and cabbage weed.


Outside, the game fishing has been dynamite when conditions allow with marlin, yellowfin tuna, mahi mahi and even a wahoo being caught. The water has been a hot 26° some days so it’s no surprise to see a few northern species turning up.

This water will cool over coming weeks and we should see a few bigger yellowfin turn up.

April is usually the start of it all for these torpedos with trolling getting more fish at this time of year.

Fish to 80kg and more are possible with most models coming from the continental shelf and beyond.

As always, a lot depends on water temperature, bait activity, current and the like but I reckon this tuna season is going to be a howler! The 70-fathom line is loaded with slimy mackerel, ideal bait for tuna and striped marlin, so let’s hope these predators turn up in numbers.

Montague Island has been alive with kingfish but the majority are about 5cm under the legal limit of 65cm. There have been a few bigger fish mixed in with the rats but it may take you a while to get your bag limit of five.

The northern and western sides of the island are holding fish, with jigs and squid working best.

If you persist with live bait you will get bigger fish and trolling a live slimy mackerel is a good way to tempt them when they’re on the surface.

On the reefs, snapper continue to do the right thing with the southern end of Montague, Potato Point and Tuross hot spots.

Off Tuross after all the rain has produced some great reds to 3kg. A few locals are fishing the colour change and doing very well on whole pilchards and soft plastics.

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