Narooma News fishing report: Dec. 18

FINALLY the water temperature offshore has settled around a balmy 21c, with clear water and current most days.

There are also heaps of kingfish on the north end of Montague Island, but the sad news is that most are undersize.

Despite the rat kings taking baits and jigs, the occasional fish up to 85cm has been landed.

A check of the historic records shows that when conditions are like this, there should be a dramatic improvement in kingfish size immediately following Christmas.

Seals have long been a problem for fishers chasing kingfish at Montague, this year they are competing with schools of large bronze whaler sharks.

The bronzies have been taking rat kings off the lines of anglers, and even taking knife jigs, with a few “assist” hooks being bitten off, - I didn't see sharks as a target species on the knife jig packet - but they seem to like them. The bronzies are 80 to 90kg, so if you hook one get ready for a fight.

The best knife jigs at the moment for kings (and bronzies) are the 230 - 300 gram size range. Most fishoes are using 50lb mono or braid, although some are upgrading to 80lb with the bronzies around.

If you have a close encounter with the bottom, always remember to check your line for any abrasions or nicks in the line, at around $20 per jig it can easily become an expensive day on the water.

Jon Poyner headed out to the island with daughter Georgia, who despite losing several big fish and jigs to sharks was able to manage five legal kings. Dad eventually hooked a rat.

There have also been occasional schools of 3kg striped tuna and bonito taken on the north east corner of the island in the vicinity of the 'washing machine', and if you are trolling in this area be very wary of your surroundings, as the current and tide are influencing factors on this area creating very sloppy and sometimes dangerous sea conditions.

One Bermagui angler on his way home from the island on Sunday decided to troll and got a nice big dolphifish.

Flathead have been providing the best option for getting a feed of fish, with great catches of sand and tiger flathead being caught over the weekend.

Of particular note was the crew of “Gaffa 2” bagging out on good sized flathead between the island and the mainland - Jimmy Wall at a spritely 92 years of age continued to impress taking his bag limit of flathead.

There were also good patches of big tiger flathead straight out from the Bermagui water tower in about 60m.

Most boats going to the Island and to the northern reefs around Brou, Potato Point and Tuross have also come back with good catches of snapper, the best reported being a fish of 4kg taken by Dan Corrie of Canberra on the north east corner of Montague - falling to a fresh strip of slimy mackerel.

Remember Christmas is just around the corner, if you are having trouble finding the perfect gift, consider getting a gift voucher from one of the local charter boat operators. Take a look at the web sites or visit the tourist information centre for more details.

On the estuaries, Nick Cowley and Alex Krantz continue to do well fishing the Wagonga flats with plastics and poppers.

Nick says the bream were loving 80mm wrigglers and they also managed a few on the poppers along with a mullet on a wriggler.

The Poyners meanwhile on Sunday getting plenty of tailor, but had to fight the cormorants for them.

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