IT must be that time of the year when tackle shop owners and staff head north to the Gold Coast at the Australian Fishing Trade Association annual trade show.
Don’t worry there are still a few around to report and they will bringing back all the latest goodies.
Amazing for those of us who forgotten what a kingfish actually looks like we got a late breaking report on Monday arvo from skipper “Wazza” of Lighthouse Charters Narooma who found his clients Glen, Stacey and Nancy from Cooma a patch of nice kingies.
They were also treated to a show from a large pod of dolphins and a couple of curious humpback whales.
There has been a lot of action out at Montague Island with some local angler getting into the striped tuna over weekend with reports of water virtually frothing.
There have also been some albacore around and water off Bermagui on the weekend was as cold as 13 degrees but full of life – and whales!
Down at Bermagui we hear that commercial fishermen are still seeing bluefin to the south, and long-liner Sea Angel found a few up to 150kg.
Bermi Bait & Tackle staffer Kevin Facey on Monday meanwhile had great day on the 12 Mile Reef in perfect weather, with a couple of snapper around 2kgs, a gummy shark, one kingfish and tiger flathead in virtual plague proportions.
He also got his personal best Tassie trumpter at 12kg.
Dash at the Ocean Hut in Narooma meanwhile published his comprehensive weekend report on the shop’s Facebook page and here are some of his musings condensed…
THE BIG BLUE: I’m hearing reports that Ulladulla long-liner had success on the bluefin at the 30-mile mark and beyond out from Bermagui. Looking at the sea surface temperature chart you would think it was out of reach of the trailer boat.
I’m hearing on the grapevine that there were a few stripies only 1km off Dalmeny through the week – they are awesome fun to catch and make a great bait.
The guys chasing snapper and other reef species have struggled this week with the odd one here and there. As well as the desert droppers have struggled on the flathead with relative small catches, with small ones in close.
If chasing a snapper this weekend my guess would be anchor and burley will be the key and possibly the tide change mid-morning could make the difference.
Close in reefs like Potato Point and Brou would be worth a look. For the flathead chasers some plastic on your paternoster rig could trigger a few extra bites and using sea anchor or even a bucket to slow your drift. The closer inshore you fish the less wind.
ROCKS, BEACH: Salmon plagued the beaches and drummer played the game from the rocks. Amazing the difference when you get a bit of white water.
Chasing a salmon from the beach, use the trusty old pilchard on the paternoster rig with a surf popper on the top. If you find yourself being hassled by sand crabs robbing your bait then try swapping the popper and the bait around so the bait is higher.
Best places to try will be Brou/Dalmeny, Tilba, Corunna, Fullers and Potato Point. Remember to throw in a couple of small metals around the 30grm mark, especially if the sun is out.
If chasing a gummy, try two hours either side of the late-night high tide using squid, mullet fillet or fresh salmon. For the rock hoppers it’s an early morning or late afternoon start if chasing bream and drummer, with mullet gut and cunjevoi being the best bait
Salmon, tailor and possibly stripies should respond well to flesh baits and pilchards early and late. While the lures like metals and poppers should get results in the sun up hours. Place to try would be Corunna, Mystery Bay, Dalmeny headland, Narooma golf course, Glasshouse Rocks, Fullers and Handkerchief.
ESTUARY, RIVERS: Most estuaries are still fishing well for this time of year. With the water temperature between 12-14 degrees, the fish haven't totally shut up shop.
On the weekend, the clarity of the water is as clear as it gets, making for some tough fishing. Lighter and longer leaders down to 4lb will definitely make a difference in shallow water less than 5m.
If chasing a flathead in tidal estuary's then you will find them in about 2-4m in holes and places with flow and tidal eddies. Natural coloured lures in about the 3" range work best with about a 1/4 oz or heavier jig head to keep in contact with the bottom when the tide is flowing.
For the bait guys, live poddies do the most damage, while flesh baits like mullet or tuna fillet would be a good second choice.
Still a few bream around and the larger schools should be heading to the creeks to spawn. Matching the hatch and longer very light leaders as they are easily spooked.
Most productive places seem to be Tuross, Mummaga and Wagonga at the moment. With the run-out tide being the more favourable due to the water isn't as clear as the run-in. My best bet for time to go would be a lunchtime start and through the run out during the afternoon. But if your keen like me you will start early and go all day.
SPEAROS: It's been a great week for spearos and the general hunters and gathering wetsuit warriors. For the seas have been flat as a pancake close in and the abalone and lobsters are in plentiful numbers. Great places to look would be Dalmeny and Mystery Bay. - Dash
Now here’s the Tuross Head Fishing Club report:
Tuross and Moruya estuaries have been fishing well but patience is the key with the winter conditions. Blackfish, bream and flathead are coming in from Moruya to Narooma. Soft plastics are the shot for flathead the range between 72-98cm long.
Light lines and small lures have yielded good results for the bream when fishing in deeper water or you can drift using prawns and nippers. There are also a few flounder about.
Whiting and tailor are coming in off the rivers. Crystal clear water in the Moruya River has made fishing a bit hit and miss with fish in the main channel and on the flats avoiding any fast movement.
The beaches are fishing well for salmon, tailor and a few trevally, especially on the run-in tide. Pick the beaches with the solid gutters and get amongst it.
The rocks are fishing well also, good reports of blackfish and drummer. Bread, cunji, peeled cooked prawns and cabbage have been working well for those. Salmon and tailor are also coming in from the rocks.
There are squid around in good numbers, especially in quieter areas around the rocks where there are good weed and kelp beds.
Offshore fishing is a bit of a gamble at present. Bluefin tuna are still about and there are plenty of boats out looking for them. There are also good-sized albacore in 19-degree water. Snapper have been coming in at about the 20-metre mark and also in around the reefs and headlands in the shallower water.
The date for the next Flathead and Bream Competition and the chance for anglers to win 50 grand has been announced - in 2014 it will again be on the Canberra Day long weekend, March 8-9. For more information check out www.turossheadfishingclub.org
Narooma club AGM, presentations
THE Narooma Sport and Game Fishing Club will hold its AGM this Saturday at the clubhouse, 25 Riverside Drive at 2pm.
Committee members and office bearers will be elected, as well as the presentation of various reports. Only financial members of the club can vote or stand for committee positions.
The AGM will be followed at 6.30pm by the annual presentation evening, where members will be awarded prizes and trophies for their fishing exploits during 2012-2013.
A three-course meal and initial complimentary drinks will be provided. Cost of entry to the evening will be $15 for club members and $20 for non-members.
The menu will be prawn entrée, buttered beef and vegetable main, and an apple tart dessert. The bar will be opened from 5.30pm, so come along; it is shaping up to be a fun evening.
Please book early by contacting Peter O’Kane on 0488 730 782.
Apply now for fish habitat funds
STATE Member Andrew Constance is pleased to advise that more than half a million dollars of funding is now available to rehabilitate fish habitat.
The NSW Government’s Habitat Action Grant program provides an opportunity to improve fish habitats in rivers or estuaries to create more fish.
Grants of up to $40,000 per project are now available.
“Our region is critically dependant on a healthy sustainable industry, our native fish need good quality habitats, because it allows them to find food, take shelter, hide from predators, and most importantly breed,” Mr Constance said.
Applications for Habitat Action Grants close September 27.
For more information about the program, visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hag or contact a DPI Conservation Manager on 6626 1107.