THIS time last week the offshore fishing situation was very mixed.
There had been a few small yellowfin tuna caught, and the kingfish and bonito at Montague Island had all but disappeared, the water temperature dropped to 18c and the current had stopped. A few local experts were predicting that the 2013-14 fishing season was over.
Then on Saturday a few good kings were caught in the afternoon, just before the tide change.
The Saturday kings had a taste for fresh squid and cuttlefish, these picky eaters were almost ignoring live yakkas, this change in appetite frustrating a few fishers who couldn't understand why their live baits were being ignored. This demonstrated the need to carry a variety of baits to cater to these extremely fussy fish.
Sunday morning saw the northerly current pick up, this change produced a few kings for fishers, after lunch saw an increase in surface activity with kings and bonito busting up schools of sauries from the northwest corner of Montague to the southern end of “The Fowlhouse”. Those fishers who stayed out into the afternoon were rewarded with good bags of kingfish up to 85cm and large bonito.
Nick Cowley the junior in the charter fishing duo of “Benn and Nick” from Charter Fish Narooma outfished his mentor Benn Boulton on Saturday with a customer from team Optus - Melbourne landing a great 98kg yellowfin tuna on 15kg gear while trolling northeast of Montague Island.
Nick then backed up with a nice bag of kingfish on Sunday. Benn has certainly passed his fishing skills onto a very willing student.
On the “fish that got away” reports a boat fishing out of Bermagui fought a large (>100kg yellow fin) for almost five hours when it became dinner for a very large shark.
Apparently it was a very quiet boat ride back to port.
For those fishers chasing a feed of flathead there is good news, nice sized flatties were caught both north and south of Narooma.
The best bait was definitely strips of striped tuna, which outfished squid by 4:1. Chinaman leatherjackets are still a problem in some areas, but it is possible to find patches of jacket free water.
Tip of the week: Apply sunscreen using the backs of your hands (not your fingers), this stops the chemicals getting onto your bait, these chemicals are a real 'turn off' for fish
Joke of the week: Why don't sharks attack lawyers? Professional courtesy.