Narooma News fishing report: Dec. 24

CURRENTLY at Montague Island there is a current from the north and water temperature around 20c.

Water is generally quite clear, but on Sunday a red algae was noticeable in some areas. This type of algal bloom occurs offshore and can be a food source for smaller organisms, a vital part of the food chain.

It seems almost everybody fishing offshore at this time of year is targeting kingfish.

The hardest decision for any fishing trip is how long do I try for kingfish before I switch to “Plan B”.

Unfortunately there is no magical answer, too often we have all changed from kingfish to snapper/mowies/flathead only to hear later that the kings came on the bite shortly after we left.

The best time for Montague Island kingfish at the moment is within the first hour after first light, and then later in the afternoon.

Over the last couple of years when fishing early in the season afternoon sessions have produced the better fish, the only problem being that the wind can become a bit aggressive around this time of day.

Over the weekend most boats caught one or two legal kingfish, with trolling, jigging and live bait getting the results.

Inshore at the moment there are plenty of yakkas and slimies off the Narooma Surf Club in around 13mts and on Kianga reef but beware of the close bommie.

The only trouble is that most of these baits are very small, and you need to go down to a size 4/0 live bait hook when using them on kingfish - larger hooks will kill the live bait.

There are also balls of larger slimies and yakkas at the mouth of Jetty Bay and in about 12-15 metres due west of Jetty Bay, the best advice is to watch your sounder.

For those fishers who want an almost guaranteed feed for the festive season, good sized tiger and sand flathead can be caught within 2 miles of Narooma bar.

To find these great table fish, try starting in around 20 metres of water and keep going deeper until you start catching fish, then try and maintain this depth for your drift.

There are also still good numbers of snapper of Potato Point and Tuross with first light being the best time for the better snapper.

For our land and estuary report we can turn to Dash from the Narooma Ocean Hut Compleat Angler, who reports the following on the shop’s Facebook page:

Rocks and beach have been slow due to the relatively flat seas and lack of gutters on most of the beaches.

This should improve as the seas have been up a little. Salmon and tailor have been hit and miss whether fishing lures or on bait but this should change if the current beach conditions improve.

Whiting, bream and mullet are becoming a more regular catch as the water warms and this should only get better over the coming months. Live beach worms are undoubtedly the best bait by far for these species.

If fishing for these smaller tasty beach dwellers then a rising tide in a shallow gutter seems to work best while at other times a receding tide in a deep gutter can produce the goods.

If unable to get worms then prawns make a good second choice especially if near a lake, river or inlet entrance.

If it’s the night with the almost full moon your preferred time to soak a bait then try beaches like Tilba, Brou, Corunna, Blackfellas and 1080 as they are larger beaches and potentially hold deeper gutters as the night time high tide is only 1.3m around midnight.

For the rock hoppers, try late afternoon low tide off your deeper ledges that still manage plenty of the white stuff.

Lures should be productive whether metals, softies or poppers on species like salmon, tailor and some of the tuna species.

Try places like High Rock and the corner of 1080 at Mystery bay, the Narooma golf course, Glasshouse Rocks and the break wall in Narooma. While Dalmeny headland, Potato Point, Fullers Beach could be worth a look as well.

Dash reports the estuaries have been the safe each way bet of late as most of them have been consistent with Wagonga Inlet and Tuross being the two stand-out places to fish.

All inlets have 20-plus degree water in them making way for some great surface fishing on bream, whiting and flathead.

Two of our shallower estuaries in Corunna and Mummaga lakes that have maximum depths of around 5m have up to 28 degree water.

Dash reckons anything over 25 degrees is like a heatwave in the water in these parts and makes the fish lethargic much like us humans when we have a heatwave on land.

Going around the grounds and Tuross has been fishing well with both bait and lures equally successful on the bread and butter species with the mid-section from the highway bridge to around 4 Ways getting best results.

Wagonga is definitley at the top of the table fishing fairly consistent for the past two months due to the abundance of white bait within the system.

And it's these white bait schools that hold the key to catching a couple of fish or having a great day on the water as Stuart Hindson from Aussie Fish Estuary Adventures has proven time and time again over the past few weeks scoring his punters some trophy flathead and other species fishing around these schools.

The surface fishing has been a touch above average as some local lads have been successful in every session had fishing most afternoons for the past two weeks or more. The most popular areas for the poppers/ walkers are the racks, over the weed beds and the sand flats.

Read Dash’s full report at the Ocean Hut Compleat Angler Facebook page…

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