Narooma News fishing report: March 26

LAST Thursday school-size yellowfin tuna 5-10kg made a long awaited appearance on the shelf off Bermagui.

Boats targeting marlin and albacore were caught off guard when these pocket rockets took trolled lures and skirts, the next question is when will their big brothers turn up for some real sport.

There were also patches of dolphinfish indicating warm currents from the north.

At Montague Island, Kingfish have been taken on skirt lures on the south end and there are a lot of fish there at the moment and with the southerly current picking up on Monday they really started to feed, with the few boats catching close to their bag limit.

It is best to alternate between colours with your skirts as the fish have proven to be a bit selective as to what they will take, the best colour has been dark purple with green coming in a close second.

There are still some undersize kingfish around, but there are currently more legal fish being caught.

Good sized kings have also been taken on 'slack line' rigs which consists of an unweighted hook with a live bait rigged through the nose, just feed out about 20mts of line and leave your reel drag lightly set, and then put your motor just in gear (no throttle)  - and hang on!

If the fish are anywhere near the surface, a bait presented this way is usually too good for the kings to ignore.

The kingfish have been on the south end of the Island for early a week now, with fish caught most days, even when there was no current. There have also been a few good striped tuna and bonito mixed in with the kingfish.

The optimists of the fishing community had thought that the leatherjacket numbers were on the decline. Unfortunately they still continue to be a problem, with fishers losing tackle all the way from 15mts to 120mts depths.

We all have fingers crossed that they will soon leave - Antarctica would be a nice spot for leatherjackets to holiday this time of year.

Dalmeny local Barry Donnon has just returned from a holiday to the North Island of New Zealand, where he had an excellent days fishing at the Coromandel for big kings.

His best kingfish came in at just over 27kg, with 20 fish landed between12 -27kg, all but one of the fish released.

Just goes to show what can be achieved with a well-managed, low-pressure fishery, pity we have to travel to New Zealand to see how it should be done.

There have been some large flathead caught south of Montague Island, the best spot being between the island and the Southern Pinnacle in 35-40 metres of water.

Tip for the week: Remember that the size limit for kingfish is 65cm in NSW, and be aware that they will shrink up to 5mm when put on ice or into an ice slurry.

We also hear that the blackfish and bream fishing off rocks and beaches picked up after recent rough weather and there are still prawns around for those in the know with flathead in local lakes also being full of them. - John Moore, Narooma Fishing Charters

Dash beach and rock report

Dash down at the Narooma Ocean Compleat Angler does an excellent report on their Facebook page.

Check out his full report but here’s an excerpt and some tips for those fishing from landt:

Beaches that will register as potential favourites will be Black Fellow's (Potato Point), Dalmeny, Brou, Tilba, Corunna, 1080 and Fullers. Species that will most likely be on the menu board will be Bream, Salmon and Whiting, with live beach worms being the best method for success. Bluebait, Andre's super worms, and squid should also get reasonable results if you don't have any success with live bait. Other species like Luderick, Trevally, Mullet and Tailor are always a chance especially if using live worms or Nippers.

The rock hoppers will yet again endure above normal seas over this coming weekend, creating the perfect bubble bath for the many species that relish in these conditions. Bottom dwellers such as Bream, Drummer and Grouper love the rough stuff against the stones as the pounding waves deliver a smorgasbord of goodies to the awaiting customers. Mystery Bay's (high rock, 1080, and Corunna head), Narooma's (Hogans hole, Glasshouse rocks and break wall), are all great places to toss a line when the white stuff is present, where not only the bottom dwellers, but even pelagics like salmon, tailor, kings and assorted tuna species hang, lured in by the continuous burley trail cascading from these platforms. If planning a crack at the big guns, then live bait placed under a balloon, caught from the same place would my first choice. Tossing a lure in the shape of a metal, popper or plastic, while waiting for a bite will cause commotion in the area and can often be rewarded with a strike.

For all the others, weightless baits, or if needed, lightly weighted baits thrown into the back of the washes and runs will come up trumps on most occasions. Best baits to try using this method will be Mullet gut, Cunjevoi, Crabs, pilchards and prawns. - Dash

EP and other fish abound at autumn time - Paffoh

AUTUMN is a great time of the year to ditch the rigours of work and get out and on the water; summer crowds begin to dwindle, the water gets a little cooler and some fish just seem to get hungrier.

I recently spent a few days travelling down the coast as far as Eden visiting friends, family…and fishing hard. And sure while not all species were enjoying the respite from the heat as much as I was, the ones I found obviously agreed it is a great time to inhabit the area.

While Kingfish have been off the menu at many spots, there has been some good numbers at times at Montague Island.

At other two other hotspots I checked: Mowarry Point and Green Cape, the kings have slowed due to baitfish moving out to the shelf.

The Far South Coast has also been a little quite for marlin, there is enough for locals to target, but if you have the choice between Jervis Bay and Brush Island is the hot spot at the moment.

In the estuaries and my experience is that Merimbula top lake and Pambula Lake fish very well on an outgoing tide, especially if you’re chasing a feed of flathead or trevally.

This trip was no different; the “Old Man” and I struggled at the start with worm styled plastics on light and heavy jig heads, but when the tide started to run out that the fish came on the chew. We found vibration lures like 'Blades' in bright gold/Yellow colours accounting for some great flathead.

Healthy smatterings of fishing scents were applied to all lures resulting in one particular session on Pambula becoming ‘a fish a cast scenario’ for hours on end.

From all reports, Clyde River jewfish have been about for those anglers putting in a good number of tide changes with live or fresh bait.

Myself and fellow angler Beau Inkpen took my new bass boat to Nelligen for a shakedown but we were chasing species a little more bread and butter.

With the tide up high I was keen to head as far up the system as the sandbar depths would allow. We fished the falling tide at Currowan Creek and found plenty of bream and tailor ripping and sipping surface amongst the rocks.

The highlight of the tip and real surprise was the abundance of big estuary perch.

The sight of a decent EP on the way back to the boat with his mates in tow was a real eye opener. Right place, right tide we managed over a dozen large specimens off the surface using 40mm poppers and 65mm stickbaits.  All were released except one for the tooth.

The trick was to use a light leader, cast as tight to structure as possible, countdown a long pause and work back as slow as possible.

 - Derek “Paffoh” Steele

Derek owns and runs ‘Import Tackle’

FInally check out Rob Paxevanos' special report on what is going on with Snowy Mountain rainbow trout:

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