Despite the winter cool, the fishing around Narooma region has been exceptional for those willing to put in the time.
The Tuross River system, just north of Narooma, has been the spot for estuarine species. This system has seen a dramatic improvement over recent weeks, which can be put down to the Flush it received from rains as much as four months ago.
The mouth is still open to the sea and at high tide it's about 1.5m deep, with boats able to venture outside in the right conditions.
With this fresh sea water entering on the flooding tide, the lower sections have fished best with bream, flathead, blackfish, tailor, mulloway and whiting all chewing at times.
Those using soft plastics and blades are having a ball with captures of 20-plus fish the norm for a session. Anglers fishing bait after dark have done well, with bigger whiting and bream succumbing to live squirt worms and nippers.
The shallower sections fish best under cover of darkness but be warned, it's terribly cold.
There have been a few notable jewies captures, too, with quite a few fish around 80cm to 90cm. After dark has been the go for bait fishos with plastics doing better in the mornings.
One thing about Tuross that's fantastic and will only get better is the estuary perch fishing. It's now a high-class fishery for this enigmatic species, with fish to 45cm now regular captures. These little bruisers are thick in some areas with 30-fish half-days possible.
It's closed season for them now so you should have none in possession any time but at the end of this month it's a different story. I'd be looking in areas that are heavily snagged and with current, casting smaller plastics or hardbodies for some serious fun.
At Narooma, August is the quietest month of the year in Wagonga Inlet although tailor and a few flatties will be possible in the main basin.
The channels are worth a look for bream and trevally with soft stickbaits the go. Concentrate from the drop-off back to the main jetty.
Rockhoppers targeting blackfish from the stones are having a field day with all local platforms holding fish. Fresh cabbage used with berley has been dynamite, especially after big swells have pounded the rocks for a few days.
Most anglers are bagging out within a few hours on fish averaging 800g or better. Local hot spots have been the Golf Course Rocks and Dalmeny Headland.
We can expect some quality drummer this month, with lightly weighted cunjevoi, prawns and bread pieces the best way to tempt them.
Groper are on the cards with whole black or red crabs with little or no weight providing adrenalin-packed fun.
Big salmon have been reported at Mystery Bay on ganged pilchards, with the odd smaller snapper also at the southern end of the ledge.
On the beaches, anglers have had success with salmon, tailor and bream. It’s been a little up and down, depending on beach formations and whitewater, but the beaches further south of Narooma have certainly fished best. Beaches like Tilba, 1080, Handkerchief and Narooma Main have all produced.
Lighter outfits with a little more finesse seem to be working in the calmer conditions, with live beach worms, pipis, blue bait and surf poppers best. A little berley in the shore dump will definitely help, especially for the bream.
If you’re after some larger prey from the sand, August is a great month to target mulloway and gummy sharks. You’ll have to put in the hard yards in the cool westerlies and cold nights but the effort just may be worth it.
Better beaches for the bigger fish are Tilba, Brou and Blackfellows, just south of Tuross. Fresh squid, live beach worms and salmon fillets are the pick of the baits, with a rising tide after dark the gun time.
Those venturing offshore targeting southern bluefin tuna are having mixed success with some days awesome with plentiful fish, the next day it’s like a desert. This can be typical of the species, which can travel large distances in a short time.
The most consistent area has been the southern seamount out from Mt Dromedary but it's a long way in a trailer boat.
There have been a few 100kg fish caught but so far the majority seem to be 40kg to 60kg bracket. At that size they are still top fish and I expect bigger torpedos to turn up over coming weeks.
The water has been around 17° with the current pushing hard from the south. Most fish have fallen to cubes although those trolling are getting their fare share.
Quite a lot of anglers are trolling first, getting one hooked up and then reverting to cubes straight away. This method has worked well though you do need to be organised.
The inshore reefs are alive with snapper around a kilo with the odd one to 5kg, mixed with morwong, john dory and trevally. The better reefs are Potato Point, Tuross, Brou and the south-west corner of Montague.
The flathead fishing has been good with most days yielding bag limits for a session. Those fishing in 40m seem to be doing best.Reads: 7236