WE at the Narooma News and SE Fish Files are pleased to start bringing you the Ocean Hut Compleat Angler fishing report for the Far South Coast, NSW.
The expert and detailed fishing report is written by Narooma's own Darren “Dash” Bowater and is well worth a read with not only what is biting but some great tips too…
It is published on the Ocean Hut Compleat Angler Facebook page at the end of each week – please go the to page, “like” it and stay tuned with all the latest fishing reports and competitions.
Now over to Dash and see you at the Ocean Hut in Narooma soon!
- The fishing editor Stan Gorton
Ocean Hut Compleat Angler fishing report - May 2, 2014
If you’re a mad keen weekend warrior, then my advice to you, is not to look at what the professionals have written on paper or graphed on the Internet, just ignore all that "mumbo jumbo", and treat it like it's business as usual.
I mean 35knt SW winds, 4m seas - “come-on”… It's starting to sound like a broken record, and this weekend will be the 4th in a row these conditions have been cast upon us.
Not to mention the barometer crashing through the floor so far, it will bring our first cold snap, an entrée of winter.
Even the moon and tides are unsuitable for certain fishing fields this weekend, I tell ya folks, it will be the weekend that will sort the men from the boys, the strong from the weak, the true angler that loves a challenge, against the "hobbyists", that would rather stay home and spend time with their loved ones, or catching up on boring, need to be done chores around the household.
Here it is people, "mutton dressed up as lamb", your weekend fishing report:
THE BIG BLUE:
Or this week we might call it "The Big Tease", as weather conditions are going to crash the party once again. Just as some activity and action was hotting up across the pond, the weather gods are throwing a curve ball in the shape of 35knt SW winds, on a rising sea to around 4-5m.
Enough of the negative talk, let’s assume the professionals have got it wrong, for possibly the second or third time, and report as if it is all go.
For the way out wide canyon riders, there have been reports of mixed size yellowfin tuna, up to around 50kg coming in on some long-liners, you wouldn't say they are thick as only a few have been caught, but there is the odd school moving through.
One charter boat went for a “play day" on Tuesday after hearing the word, but didn't manage to cross paths with any of these golden steam trains, but instead found themselves a Marlin paella.
Not one, but four hook-ups! One of which was a large blue, but unfortunately, it pulled the hooks.
This would happen three times before the fourth, a 90kg striped marlin was brought aboard.
The undoing was a live bait fed back into the spread to the excited beakie. One thing for sure is there is no shortage of food at present, as from the shelf, to well inside Montague Island.
There are sauries as far as the eye can see, with good-sized slimies in among them as well.
The problem is, due to the abundance of bait far and wide, the target species are fixated on the these tasty lollies, making it harder to fool them with any another choice.
Some boats have had success with small skirted and shallow-diving lures resembling sauries, while only yesterday another boat had great success at the island on kingfish with poppers having a simular resemblance.
There are still plenty of dolphinfish around, that will succumb to trolled lures, with the fish trap buoy's and other floating structure's the places to swim them.
At Montague Island the kings have been hot and cold, one day good, the next day non-existent, I think mainly due to the lack of current, and now the abundance of food choice.
The good news is the water temperature is still hovering in the low 20's, meaning the fish should remain around the Island while ever the conditions remain stable.
The best method to use for the kingfish has been live bait, which can be obtained easily at the big rock if you’re nice and early.
Once the sun is up high, you'll lessen your chances of getting enough bait to last out the day. I reckon, accounting for stolen baits, sealed fish, and missed opportunities, you should allow for 20 baits per person.
In the bread and butter stakes, the snapper and morwong are making up for when the kings don't play.
These fish seem to be more active close to the island, in around 19-35m, with the Fowlhouse, northeast corner and eastern side best places.
The desert drifters are filling boxes with nice sized Flathead, but only when the leather Jackets can be avoided.
Yes the little bastard' are still around, and unfortunately will be, while ever this temperature remains.
The good news is they don’t seem to be as thick as they were, but nevertheless, are still a nuisance. If there is one good thing about the seals is that they don't mind a bit of leatherjacket stir-fry.
# LATE MAIL: “Marlin on the shelf today”, reports have just come in of striped Marlin, sub 100kg, caught straight out around the shelf. Small skirts in Evil pattern doing all the damage. (The person only left the shop at 8.30am, caught the marlin around 10am - LOL)
ROCK AND BEACH:
I wouldn't say its the most ideal tides this weekend for the sand troopers, but for those who are keen and want to explore what lies beneath the waves, then I would think from dusk till late evening would be the money pot.
Reports of good-sized salmon, with the odd tailor are coming in, with pilchards on gang hooks being the pick of baits for these fun filled pelagics.
If standing on the beach on a chilli Autumn's night is not your thing, then the mid morning rise to the top should produce fair results.
Species you could expect to cross paths with would be mullet, bream, salmon and whiting.
Make no mistake here though, due to the time of the day and size of the tide, you'll need the best of baits to bring in the customers.
live beach worms and nippers would be at the top of my list.
Best places to look for that dynamite gutter will be, Potato Point, Dalmeny/Brou, Tilba, Corunna and Handkerchief beaches.
Rock hoppers have hade good sessions on bream and drummer of late, when conditions have been favourable, but with seas predicted to rise to a possible 4-5m on Saturday, then one can assume that this will be a washout (AGAIN!).
Hopefully, like last weekend, the prediction is overrated, enabling a line to be tossed into the deeper blue.
Some of the best fishing I've experienced from the stones is when the seas make it almost unfishable, the wetter your feet, the better the fishing.
If the seas allow then it will be a great opportunity to toss a popper, metal or plastic, as the pelagic action can be thick and fast from deeper platforms, when conditions are a little on the rough side.
Places like Hogan’s Hole (Narooma Golf Course), High Rock and 1080 (Mystery Bay), can fish well when the rough stuff is around, but make sure your gear is up to the task as it's not uncommon in these conditions to come across larger pelagics, such as kings and bonito.
It's all to often we here the story about the "one that got away", or "got smoked by something huge", where if the correct gear was chosen, then it would be pictures and glory, instead of a story.
Remember three simple rules if you do choose to fish from the stones in these conditions, never do it alone, never turn your back on the ocean, and wear a life jacket. Or when in doubt don't do it!!!
RIVERS, LAKES AND INLETS:
The past few months has seen some awesome fishing throughout our local estuaries, especially for flathead, which has been second to none.
Most anglers that have pursued them have had no problem managing a feed or two for the table.
Bait or lures didn't seem to matter as the fish seem to be gorging themselves, making the most of what food source is available before the upcoming winter.
However after taking a week of last week and spending a lot of time in our local waterways, I noticed flathead seem to be on the decline.
Whether this is due to the water starting to cool (around 18 degrees at present), the fish, seemingly, finishing their spawning period, (thus spreading out in smaller groups and not as active), or the increased constant pressure on some of the estuaries has finally taken its toll (meaning there are only so many flathead to go around).
I’m not a scientist, marine biologist, nor do I do economical studies, but I do spend at lot of time fishing and listening to other fishermen that fish these waterways, in conclusion, the fish only grow so fast, so the decline in numbers, points directly towards the constant and increased pressure.
Moral to the story is the more we put back and the less we take, then the longer the "awesome fishing", will last.
Catch and release is not rocket science, just common sense. For all those who practice C&R and only take what is needed, then I salute you, and you should not feel offended.
Going around the grounds, starting with Tuross Lake, which is starting to fire up again after the big rains.
I’ve got to say Tuross is one of my favourites this time of year, as it seems to fish better than most other cooling estuaries heading into winter.
One theory why, is because its reasonably shallow throughout, thus holding a more consistent temperature for longer.
No matter the reason, it has proven itself as one of the best going into winter. Flathead should be fairly productive throughout with shallow mud flats, holes and drop offs, creek and lake entrances, are the places to target.
Now that I've narrowed it down to about 428 different locations within Tuross, a great colour this time of year if using blades or (shimmers as I like to call them) is black, dark purple and dark red.
If your spastic for plastics then dark reds, greens and browns work really well. For the bait vigilantes, live nippers and worms will be the trump card, while places to swim them will be over sand and mud flats on a rising tide.
You never know what you'll catch when using this method, but be assured, bream, whiting, mullet, flathead, luderick and trevally are all in the deck.
Another productive place to drown a live bait is anchoring a cast away from the oyster racks then sending a worm, nipper or poddy mullet to the fringes.
Mummaga Lake was slow going last week, all though if desired a feed was possible if you'll willing to slog away all day.
Best areas I found was the front northeast bay and up the back over the mud flats. Flathead made up for 95 per cent of the catch, while the odd flounder and bream where about.
Best lure was an Eco black "shimmer", with a red belly, while Zman 4"curl tail in motor oil, and Gulp swimming mullet in pumpkin seed topped the plastic charts.
Looks like there is still some luderick around the two drop-offs, so weed, nippers or squirt worms will be needed to bring these guys undone.
If your happy with a mullet dish, then there was plenty of them cruising the edges, with a bread or dough mix, on a small size 12 hook under a float, should be a winner here.
Wagonga Inlet has been hot when it's hot, and cold when it's not.
Mixed reports coming in from here as some are cheering with excitement, with good catches of assorted species, including reports of the "holy grail" (jewfish) being caught from Tailor’s jetty.
Flathead, snapper, whiting, luderick, mullet and tailor have been the main stream, with the odd jewie being found under the tailor schools, which seem to be haunting Forsters Bay and Barlows Bay at present.
The main channel seems to be full of luderick, but finding weed to lure them in is the hurdle.
The warmer water coming in with each tide has the whiting, mullet and bream hanging around the sand flats in the front half of the estuary, so a well presented nipper or worm will sure to be slurped up on a rising tide in these areas.
One of my favourite spots is the salmon trap, while the whole area in front of the pool is good as well, both areas are in behind the training wall, out of the main current.
The best shot at a mixed bag in Wagonga is and has always been to find bait schools and work around them.
Corunna Lake, the "flathead Mecca", has come to a screaming halt. For what ever reason has caused the flathead to shut up shop.
I’m fearing we've seen the best of it for now, as the curtains will fall till around September/October, then hopefully we'll see the start of another awesome season. I'm not saying there isn't fish to be caught here, but going off past years, once they stop biting, heading towards winter, its shut the gate.
Last but not least, Wallaga Lake had been fishing the best I've seen it this year, but like others has slowed a little this week.
A crash in the barometric pressure hasn't helped the situation any, and as we head into this weekend we can expect another crashing barometer, along with a cold snap.
Most of the good fishing in Wallaga was around the edges in and around 2-3m of water, where flathead could be found in patches.
Once a patch was located, it was happy days, as multiple fish would be caught in that area. Best places were off the weed edges near the island, and off points around the mid section.
Hope you all have a fantastically awesome weekends fishing, cheers! Dash.
Saturday: High 11:11am 1.33m
Low 5:10am 0.48m
Sunday: High 11:56am 1.28m
Low 5:55am 0.54m
First crescent on Saturday, 3rd, heading towards the first Quarter on Wednesday, 7th.
Saturday: 1.49am, 2.14pm
Sunday: 2.38am, 3.02pm
For minor times just add 6 hours