All Systems Go
Stuart Hindson New South Wales / South Coast / Narooma /
Article reproduced courtesy of Fishing Monthly
You have to love this time of year: Warmer, longer days with heaps of fish available using a variety of techniques, especially in the estuaries.
Wagonga Inlet is back with a vengeance, with flathead, bream, whiting, mulloway and decent tailor succumbing to soft plastics, blades and surface presentations. And the action will get only better as we head further into the month. Surface lures are favourites of mine and over the next five months it's all systems go. Bream and whiting will be the target species and some sessions lately are already yielding a dozen legal fish – good going early in the season.
The upper reaches are the places to fish, with a heap of prawns making it ideal to fish topwater. Those using hardbodies are getting bream averaging 600g and they’re chockers with prawns. The lower sections around the Basin are full of tailor and hungry mulloway. I know of at least five jewies caught in recent weeks around the tailor schools, all on soft plastics.
I’ve said it many times before but this is the gun method to target mulloway in this system – find the tailor and you’re in with a show. Those fishing the channels have been rewarded with bream, whiting, blackfish and trevally. East of the highway bridge has been most effective on a flooding tide with worms and nippers the baits to use.
Up at Tuross, bass are responding well to spinnerbaits cast into the timber. Estuary perch and some solid black bream are coming from snags a little lower in the river, mainly on hardbodies.
Flathead can be found throughout the river and lower sections with bait and plastic catching plenty. The shallower margins are still fishing better than the deeper sections so concentrate your efforts there.
There's still been the odd Tuross mulloway encounter. Mate Jack Dart was fishing with a few other mates from the bank with mullet. He told his buddy where to cast the bait and called the next fish as a jewie and there it was, a solid 7kg model!
At Montague Island the kings have been sporadic but they are there. Some days it's good and others plain ordinary, with the seals playing havoc with hooked fish. They can make it very hard for you to land a fish. I reckon it's us 1 fish, seals 3 fish – they are certainly winning at present.
Those who are sticking it out are getting the odd solid king to 8kg and with the good water coming down the coast now, it won't be long before these turbocharged bruisers play properly. The kings that have been caught have come from the north-western corner on jigs and there have been some good fish around the Fowlhouse Reef on the western side of the island.
Anglers after tuna should start to see more albacore and yellowfin over coming weeks. They have been slow to date but that will change shortly. When they do turn up, trolling skirted lures and bibbed minnows is the go.
Fishos after bread-and-butter species have had mixed results with some days awesome and others like a desert. Snapper averaging 1kg to 2kg, when you can find them, are the most popular targets. Those who are doing well are using the freshest of baits, with striped tuna strips a good start.
A few locals have done OK up at Potato Point in 60m on the edge of the hard ground. It can be tough to pinpoint on the sounder but more fish are coming from this gravel bottom.
The rock fishing for luderick and drummer has slowed to a crawl, mainly due to little or no wash in the calmer seas. Dalmeny and the lower section of the Golf Course Rocks have produced a few fish with berley an absolute must for consistent results. Freshly cooked prawns have done best with cunjevoi a close second.
If you’re after pelagics then you’re in for some fun. Salmon and bonito are plentiful along most headlands with Mystery Bay to the south the pick. Whole ganged pilchards and chrome lures up to 50g are the preferred methods.
On the beaches, salmon to 3kg have made a welcome return after a relatively quiet month. Most are being caught on chrome slices to 40g and in some sessions it’s been a fish a cast. For bait anglers a paternoster rig is perfect, with pilchards or bluebait on the bottom hook and a popper or soft plastic on the top hook. You will be pleasantly surprised at the number of fish caught on the artificial.
Those after a feed of bream or whiting shouldn’t have too many worries this month. The water in close will be quite warm, much to the liking of whiting, and a fresh pipi or beachworm on a light running sinker rig won’t be refused. Best beaches should be Brou, Kianga, Blackfellows, and Tilba Beach down south.
A cracking 1.6kg silver trevally caught at Narooma while chasing flathead.