Canberra anglers and regular visitors to Narooma, Max Caluzzi and Phil Rees were excited to catch and release a 1-metre-long dusky flathead at Tuross Lake on Tuesday.
They were so excited, they called the Narooma News from the water to give an on-the-spot fishing report.
Not having an official “brag mat” and only the 90cm fish measuring sticker on the side of the boat, they estimated the fish to be 1.1 metres long, and that was conservative, according to Max.
“She is 1.1meters and if caught again must re-released safe and sound,” he said. “The lovely fish was released within a couple of minutes and is back to her job of maintaining healthy stock.”
They caught the fish in the Fourways area while trolling a hardbody 3m-deep-diving, hard-body lure. Max caught the fish while Phil was driving the boat and was also the "champion fish lander”.
“I told him to get the harpoon, but he got the net as we wanted to let her go,” Max said.
They had a good couple of days on Tuross Lake, getting about 12 keeper-size duskies between 40 and 49cm and a big tailor, mostly all trolling the hard-body lures, as well as lots more undersized flathead.
The two retired public servants, whose wives still work, are regular visitors to the area staying at Ray and Jan Gale’s apartments in Narooma.
This big flathead catch further cements Tuross Lake as a trophy dusky flathead fishery and there is a real push by local area fishers to have the big fish released.
Tuross Lake and St Georges Basin on the state’s South Coast have now been joined by Lake Macquarie as voluntary “trophy” flathead fisheries.
There have been a couple of other good flathead catches in the Narooma Bermagui area over the past week.
Local Luke Cathor pulled another big 92cm dusky flathead out of Wallaga Lake on Friday, November 10 after winning the recent Bermi Bait & Tackle social bash with an 83cm fish the week before. Well done Luke.
And it’s not just the dusky flathead that are getting big. This author and Narooma News journalist got a whopper sand flathead approaching 60cm at Montague Island on Friday.
This one of the biggest sand flathead he has seen in a while and the big girl was full of roe and spat out a small gurnard upon capture.
Unlike the dusky flathead, this big fish was kept and together with a mate, they bagged out with 20 sand flathead in a quick morning season.