Fishing report Far South Coast NSW | March 16

Estuary fishing in the Narooma Bermagui district is excellent at the moment, while the offshore fishing for kingfish and reef species has been a bit challenging due to the water conditions.

There was dirty, black cold water at Montague Island over the weekend, but despite this there was a brief showing of big kingfish for those lucky enough to be in the right spot at the right time.

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Those targeting kingfish may have done better going fishing in Wagonga Inlet as a junior girl angler Stephanie Ovington scored the most meritorious award in the ANSA Narooma Convention for her great kingfish of 2.14kgs caught while fishing for bream on 4lb line.

Rob Waddilove at the Narooma Ocean Hut Compleat Angler said one angler even reported much larger kingfish possibly up to a 1 metre beating up on schools of tailor in the inlet, but they were not interested in lures or bait.

Snapper offshore have been a bit scarce but charters and visiting anglers were not let down by some good morwong caught at Montague Island, several of which were recorded in the Narooma ANSA Convention. There were also many morwong frames at the fish cleaning tables, indicative of good catches.

Rob also says the bonito have been thick at Montague Island at times, while there have also been some big, thumper flathead caught around the island.

Marlin continue with their hot bite with plenty of striped marlin and the odd blue caught in the Alliance Tag & Release Tournament out of Bermagui on the weekend.

At only 10 years of age, Makayla Buttigieg caught an amazing 147kg striped marlin on 24kg line after an hour and a half fight. This was off the back of catching a pending Australian and NSW record 92.5kg striped marlin on 15kg line the day before. A big congratulations to Makayla, her dad Darren and the crew on 'Happy Hour'.

In the lakes and estuaries things have been firing. Local Narooma fishermen have been travelling to lakes north and south of Narooma for some stonking bream. Narooma lad Digger Cowie got his personal best bream of 45cm.

Many of the big bream have been caught in only a few feet of water using surface hard-bodies and popper style lures.

Scott Dawson and son Tom were fishing at the entrance to Forsters Bay, Wagonga Inlet on the weekend when they got a rather nice sand whiting in the deeper water of the channel near the two marker buoys. It went 41cm and was caught on a nipper on Tom’s fishing rod, although dad claims he was the one to actually reel it in! 

Now is also the peak time to target Australian bass and estuary perch in the rivers before the winter closures come in but also in impoundments such as Brogo Dam.

Bermagui fly-fishing brothers Josh and James Caves had a great session on Brogo Dam on Friday just before a storm hit, which usually fires up these native fish. The Caves boys got 16 fish on the fly rods in under four hours, losing a couple of much better specimens also, one fish spitting the fly boat side would have given 50cm a nudge, Josh reported on Bermi Bait & Tackle Facebook page. 

Rob at the Ocean Hut also said the beach fishing around Narooma had been good, with Handkerchief Beach, Kianga and Brou all delivering salmon and the odd tailor. 

Up to Moruya, Ray at ‘Brewing, Camping, Fishing’ reports the cold water is making things difficult at the moment, and says we need some southerlies to bring back the warmer currents. Plenty of flathead and snapper offshore this week, and as usual the beaches are fishing well, find a gutter, cast pilchards and hang on. Big salmon are there for the taking. Some good whiting being caught on nippers near the Moruya River mouth on a rising tide. A Sydney visitor caught some ripper bream in the main channel on skirt steak, he uses it all the time and swears by it!

Narooma ANSA Convention – The Narooma Sport and Game Fishing Club on the weekend again hosted the Australian National Sportfishing Association Narooma Convention. The weather was at its best for the entire three days allowing the outside boats as well as the rock and beach anglers to enjoy some great fishing conditions, although there was the sea fog on Saturday. 

Around 130 anglers fished the convention from 14 clubs around NSW and also Lakes Entrance, Victoria, with more than 300 fish recorded, 90 per cent being catch and release. No unusual species were recorded but some cracking captures did occur. Bob Hirs’ blue marlin weighed in at 160kg, and was caught on 24kg line.

“I might just clarify Bob attempted to let this fish go as he does not weigh any of his fish, always tagging and releasing but, unfortunately, the fish did not survive the tussle,” NSGFC president Les Waldock said. “ Three more marlin were tagged and released as well as a bronze whaler shark.

Dolphinfish, striped tuna and kingfish were also weighed along with many reef species such as snapper and morwong, with one morwong weighing well over 2kgs. 

Young Stephanie Ovington won the junior section with a great kingfish of 2.14kgs caught while fishing for bream on 4lb line. Thanks to her father for upping the anchor and following the fish up the inlet. Stephanie also received the Rob Kerr Award for most meritorious capture. Read more on the comp here

Tuross Head Tournament – It was a successful Tuross Head Flathead and Bream Tournament on the weekend with people travelling from Victoria, ACT and all over NSW. In first place was Ryan Hore, second Mark Brown and third Matt Green all catching good sized flathead and bream. The largest flathead was caught by Nick Hewett with a huge 94.6cm and largest bream caught by Matt Cummins went 36.80cm. Must have been a great fishing spot because Nick and Matt were in the same boat. As well as a kayak there were over $3,000 in prizes won. The money from guess the number of lures in the jar will be donated to Careflight. Well done to all the organisers of this great catch-and-release tournament. 

The $4000 bream released Friday afternoon together with a flathead for the Tuross Head Flathead and Bream Tournament was recaptured on Saturday. Unfortunately the angler wasn’t in the tournament but handed in the tag to a competitor. The $4000 prize was not awarded but it proves tagged fish can be caught. The tagged flathead in the Narooma Flathead Challenge has however never been caught! Click here for the tournament website and more results!

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