Anglers around Narooma have had mixed results lately with weather, wind and water temperatures having a vital influence on what species are on offer.
The beaches have continued to fish well despite the big swells recently. A lot of anglers I have concentrated their efforts on the southern ends of beaches towards the rockier corners, getting some protection from the elements and catching plenty of fish in the process.
Salmon and tailor have been the main catches, with a few of the sambos nudging 4kg and plenty around 1.5kg.
All methods are working with paternoster rigs with bait and surf poppers the best method. With this rig, a decent star sinker can be used to anchor the bait and keep it in the strike zone.
Fishos casting smaller chromed lures up to 50g are catching plenty but they seem to be smaller.
More anglers these days are also throwing soft plastics into the washes with impressive results. The advantage of plastics is the single hook in the jig head so fewer fish jump off than on the trebles used on chromed lures.
Most beaches are fishing well with Tilba, 1080, Narooma Main, Brou and Coila the pick.
Expect a bit more action from the bread-and-butter species this month. Bream, mullet and big whiting will be schooled up ready to venture into the estuaries so concentrate your efforts near the estuary entrances. Live beach worms are the top bait.
In the estuaries, Tuross continues to produce well despite the pressure it receives.
The fish are not jumping into the boat and you have to work hard to find them but once you do, expect some fantastic angling.
On a recent booking there we managed 60 legal fish for the day, mainly quality bream and flathead, in water that was only 10°. Smaller soft plastics and hardbodies did the trick with the best flattie going 82cm.
Fishing the shallower margins was the key to success, with some fish coming out of 40cm of water.
This type of action will only get better as we head further into Spring with bigger tailor, mulloway, whiting and blackfish numbers increasing as the month goes on.
In the upper reaches, bream and estuary perch have been patchy; some days are good and others very indifferent. A lot of moving around is required and what we really need is some rain to stir things up and get the fish active again.
Wagonga Inlet has been quiet except for jumbo tailor. Some of the greenbacks have been up to 4kg, mainly caught trolling bigger bibbed minnows.
There have been plenty of average tailor on the surface smashing whitebait but the bigger models are deeper.
This month mulloway numbers should increase. Casting larger soft plastics or live bait around the tailor schools could produce a fish or two.
Flathead numbers will increase as the water slowly warms; fish the upper reaches with lures or live poddy mullet for best results.
If bream are your target, the oyster racks and shallower weed edges are the places to be. Use smaller deeper divers fished erratically.
Last season we got some quality bream on poppers during September so if we have a few days of warmer weather this method may also work.
Outside the boaties have had mixed fortunes with sea conditions mostly unfavourable.
Most anglers have been targeting snapper with great success. The reds have been quite widespread with the shallower reefs producing a few fish to 7kg.
One local angler has been getting his bag limit (10) inside a few hours in less than 15m of water north of Narooma and south of Tuross.
At Montague Island snapper, morwong, john dory, trevally and leatherjackets have been plentiful, with the southern areas fishing best. The bottom end of the Fowlhouse Reef has produced some bigger snapper caught by those berleying from anchored boats and using lightly weighted pilchards or slimy mackerel fillets.
Kingfish have been quiet but that’s to be expected with 15°. Towards the end of the month kingfish and bonito numbers should increase but a lot will depend on currents, water temperature and tide. When they do turn up, jigs and trolled bibbed minnows will be the way to target them.
Anglers fishing the rocks can expect some superb drummer, blackfish, groper, bream and decent snapper.
Recent rough weather has turned on the drummer with a few hitting 4kg. At that size, they’re one of the hardest, dirtiest fighting fish around and great fun.
They are relatively easy to target with lightly weighted baits like cut crabs, peeled fresh cooked prawns and cunjevoi fished close to wash areas with a little burley.
Better ledges to try are the Golf Course rocks, Mystery Bay, Dalmeny Headland and the southern side of the southern Narooma breakwall.
Darryl and Lynn Bond of the Narooma Ocean Hut Compleat Angler have moved premises to the bottom unit opposite the Easts Caravan Park entrance on Field Street. Darryl will have an opening day in early September with heaps of specials and door prizes. Anyone who wants the best local fishing advice should see the boys at Ocean Hut Complete Angler or call 02 4476 2278.Reads: 981