Fishing report Narooma Bermagui: March 5

Leatherjacket capital of the world

WELCOME to Narooma, now the leatherjacket fishing capital of the world.

It seems like there is a Chinaman leatherjacket convention happening offshore at the moment, they are everywhere.

After a quiet Christmas period, local tackle shops are quickly selling out of sinkers, hooks and swivels, as the jackets quickly bite everything that comes their way.

On the other hand, if you want a feed of very tasty leatherjackets you don't have to go far, but I recommend making your rig out of wire trace and paint your sinkers and swivels with black spray paint.

Remember to maximise the eating quality of leather jackets always 'head and gut' the jackets as soon as they are caught, and immediately put on ice.

The chase for kingfish produced some good results on Wednesday and Thursday with fish up to 75cm being caught on the south end of Montague Island at the Southern Pinnacle.

The current stopped on Friday, and that was the end of the good fishing for kings, with only a few legal kings caught over the weekend.

Due to the conditions on Saturday and Sunday a couple of charter boats headed north between Brou and Tuross and were rewarded with excellent catches of snapper up to 3kg, large mowies, pigfish, perch and nannygai. The biggest challenge was to find a spot which was free of leather jackets.

Local butcher Dave White had a double hook-up on marlin on Sunday, they were trolling 30cm green skirt lures over the shelf due east of Narooma when both lures were taken.

One marlin was dropped and Dave landed the other which was a striped marlin just over 80kg.

There have also been good catches of marlin out of Bermagui with boats recording multiple hook-ups on the weekend.

Perfect weather but leatherjackets: Bowlo fishos

WELL it can happen and it did over the past weekend as the weather was perfect for a fishing comp and did we have a great roll up from new and old members all sporting their new club shirts that I must say look great.

First up the winners for the month were Randell Setzer, Dave Clark, Brenda Setzer, Garry Blood, Moya Hicks, Mick Cavic, Adam Giffen, Clair Giffen, Michelle Simpson and Anthony Hicks.

So let’s start with a fishing report… Hmmm outside is real fair with leatherjackets pinching your gear.

But we did bag out on snapper on Friday late in the afternoon on the NE side of Montague Island.

If you’re lucky enough to find a jacket free spot you will get a feed but it’s poor.

Funny listening to radio chatter and the boys were into the kings on Friday and the same group on Saturday.

Well we went to find them and there they were fair smack in the middle of a sanctuary zone catching some good fish at 63cm!

So just had to explain to them what was the go and five boats were very disappointed as they did not know they were doing anything wrong.

So they were lucky a fellow fishos found them and maybe somebody from Bermi should fill these guys in on the rules in NSW.

It was nice to meet our new RMS officer Shane who has replaced Margy and whop, with a bit of luck, will be at our next comp to introduce himself and fill us in on what is happening with his expectations on safe boating in Narooma and there must be an election around the corner with both the SMH and Tele wanting a chat with me about the letters to editor over the past few weeks.

Now how did I drift off the fishing report… We had a great looking couple of green backs (tailor) weighed in, as well as some nice bream, drummer and duskies and some good salmon.

There is a big crew of around 50 packing for our freshwater trip to Buckenderra and that is another great weekend fishing planned.

Many club members applauded when they were told of the fishing club committee looking at extending the barbecue area with extra tables and cover.

It was nice to welcome the Giffen family – Wayne, Mandy, Clair and Adam to the club as well as Stan and Anna so as this was a quick report as I have to pack!

Tight lines and with luck will have some great shots from Buckenderra next week…

- Fish fingers

Sport and Gamefishing convention

THE 2014 Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club Annual ANSA Convention is taking place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The club is expecting at least 80 anglers both locals and visitors from around NSW and further afield.

Competition starts on Friday morning and finishes on Sunday at 1pm.

Cost: Fully catered (all 7 meals) $50 Senior $20 Junior $100 Family

Uncatered (no meals, entry only) $20 Senior $10 Junior

There will also be a Thursday sausage sizzle at the club starting at 6.30pm, which is free to all, so stop in at the club next to Taylors on Riverside Drive to find out more or even submit a late entry.

Entertainment will include raffles each night with Sunday’s presentation seeing a big draw as well as redrawing of unclaimed prizes.

Club member Bec Fenton is accepting names and monies from everyone who wants to fish so please contact her on or 0407 892 991.

Spoilt for choice: fishing options around the capital region, by Graham Fifield

 For recreational anglers, the capital region is an amazing place to live. Within a two-hour drive we have over 20 species of fish that we can catch on lures, flies and bait – and that’s not counting the offshore possibilities.

 Why am I telling a local audience how great the capital region is? I’ve been living in Hanoi for the past three months and one of the great things about traveling is coming back and seeing your home town with fresh eyes. Vietnam helped me to appreciate things I take for granted in Australia.

 In Hanoi, the angling options are largely restricted to two possibilities. First, there are the freshwater lakes scattered across the city. These act much like Canberra’s ‘pollution control ponds’- only with 6.5 million people contributing to the pollution. The second option is the vast and imposing Red River which, as the name suggests, carries coloured silt down from the mountains.  I missed the clear waters of home, and wanted to rediscover the many wonderful fisheries on our doorstep as quickly as possible. So last week I set out with my fishing buddy (and fellow ‘Flick and Fly Journal’ blogger) Lee Georgeson, to see what array of fish we could catch in just three days. 

 The adventure started solo on Lake Burley Griffin.  I launched the kayak at dawn and peppered lures into the nooks and darkest underwater caves in search of the mighty Australian Murray Cod, or possibly a Golden Perch. Unfortunately the big storms we had a few weeks ago have left the water discoloured and the visibility poor. Not even the hordes of introduced English Perch could find the lures.  So it was on to plan B, which was to fish a bait of sweet corn in the shallow sections of the lake favoured by European Carp.  It wasn’t long before one was tempted and within 60 minutes I had two more, the largest measuring 61 centimetres and weighing around four kilograms. A good start and great fun!

 Lee and I then drove down the highway to one of the many trout streams in the Monaro region south of Canberra.  As the sun set on a gorgeous tussock-lined river, I cast my lure upstream.  A bow-wave erupted near my feet and a large fish took off up the river to investigate.  Moments later my little lure connected with nearly 50 centimetres of brightly-coloured Brown trout. Wow.

We crossed the mountain range the next morning and descended towards the coast in search of the mysterious Australian Bass.  After two hours of wading up a coastal river we were ecstatic to hook three and land two of these beautiful fish.  As expected, they sat tightly in the cover of fallen trees but accurate casts with a bass-coloured lipless crankbait was enough to tempt them to leave home.

Grinning from ear to ear, we continued to the South Coast beaches.  The tide and the sun were dropping but there were nice gutters to focus our casts.  We were targeting predatory Australian salmon on lures.  We could see fish everywhere, a large school of mullet, which showed their disinterest in us by swimming freely in the breaking waves.  It didn’t matter, the sun was shining, the sand was golden and the water crystal clear.

On the final day we launched a small tinnie and fished Wallaga lake.  Typical of all South Coast estuaries, Wallaga can produce enough varieties of fish to fill an aquarium.  Over the course of a few hours, we caught a dozen flathead, three small tailor, two baby snapper, a leatherjacket and a garfish on an array of soft plastic and hard-bodied lures. At times it felt like we had the whole lake to ourselves.

So in just three days, we were able to catch eight different fish from five unique fishing environments.  Some of the fishing was world-class and nearly all of it was in a spectacular landscape.  Importantly, there were fish that were ‘easy’ to catch and others that were much more challenging. 

So whether you just got your first fishing rod for Christmas, or are looking for the next frontier in sports fishing, there is something here for you.  It's good to be home, I can’t wait to discover what else the region has to offer.  We really are spoiled for choice.

Graham Fifield

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