A flood of promise
  |  First Published: March 2010

Last time I wrote, we were hoping for rain. Well, we certainly got it!

Most of the estuaries that were closed to the ocean have now reopened, with a fresh breath of water rejuvenating the systems and the fishing.

As the water began to clear, the fishing in the lower estuaries and adjacent beaches and rocks was spectacular. All manner of species were getting into the act and it seemed no matter were you chucked a bait, something was only too willing to eat it, and then be eaten sometimes.

One morning a few days after things had settled, my wife, daughter and I flicked a few nippers over the flats in the Bermagui River. It was virtually a fish a cast.

Blackfish, bream, whiting and mullet were sucking baits instantly with the bite, lasting around two hours, producing around 40 fish.

From under the boat the excitement escalated when a metre-long flathead seized the 28cm blackfish my wife was playing beside the boat. It crushed the fish sideways in its mouth before seeing me and departing.

The fun looks like continuing well into Winter, with all of the lakes and rivers fishing extremely well.

Beach fishing is also excellent with some lovely gutters formed and plenty of food pushed out into the ocean. Not only do the fish in the ocean react to this event, so too do those pushed out of the rivers and lakes. Species like dusky flathead and blackfish can be taken in the middle of beaches on baits designed for other species.

The more common captures like bream, mullet, whiting, mulloway, tailor or salmon have been prolific along nearly all the beaches, with an influx of sharks like small bronze whalers, gummies and the odd unstoppable ‘what the hell was that’ fish.

Rock anglers have also benefited with hard pulling drummer, groper wrasse, bream and trevally on the chew.


There is plenty of pelagic action, whether you toss a lure or float a bait, with passing schools of bonito, salmon, frigate mackerel and kingfish. Early morning starts provide the best action.

The benefits of the floods have also filtered offshore, providing excellent bottom fishing.

Up at Montague Island the kingfish action has been great all season, supplemented by bonito, frigates, striped tuna and an odd marlin.

Out from most beaches adjacent to any open estuary, sand flathead and gummy sharks are in good numbers.

Around the reefs blue and jackass morwong are plentiful, providing plenty of action in between the regular snapper bites. Just off the reefs the tiger flathead are providing fast and furious action.

The marlin fishing hasn’t been what it might have this season although they just need a bit of effort to find. April is one of the best months for big blues.

Plenty of striped tuna are starting to show, hopefully indicating the beginnings of a good tuna season. Some yellowfin tuna already been taken on the troll but not in any numbers as yet.

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