Fishing report for Far South Coast NSW | Nov. 23

The biggest news this week is that Wallaga Lake finally was opened to the sea after the lake started eroding away the causeway road.

A bit too late to let any prawns in, the lake should still benefit from a flush of new seawater and letting out all those jellyfish.

Wagonga Inlet produced the goods over the weekend for Darren “Dash” Bowater from the Narooma Ocean Hut and Hippie Carradus, who got got a dozen flathead over 45cm to 63cm and lots of tailor and barracouta. 

We hear that there are still plenty of rat or undersize kingfish at Montague Island with the odd keeper thrown in.

The boys at Bermi Bait & Tackle reported on their Facebook they went wide on Tuesday to have look.

“Plenty of large slimies on The Bait Hole although there appeared to be little else. Over the 1000 fathom line large schools of sauries were active. The water was clear blue out wider. 20.8 degrees on the southern seamount but jumped to 21.8 degrees on the northern end. There was a lot of life out there with sunfish, pilot whales and dolphins everywhere. Not a lot of luck on the fish front however. We did manage two yellowfin tuna but they were on the small side. Finished the day with a good size striped tuna which will come in handy on Thursday’s snapper fish.”

Graham Herbert up at Moruya Tackleworld reports that the warm weather lately has really turned the fish on the bite in Moruya River!

Whiting are starting to be seen more frequently on the sand flats opposite Preddys wharf and a few are taking a liking to surface lures. Flathead are being caught in the same area but targeting the drop offs to the channel using soft plastics and live poddy mullet. 

Bream are hanging around the backwaters and the hole in the wall. Prawns and beach worms are working great! 

In the Tuross River, flathead are everywhere in Tuross at the moment. Plastics have worked extremely well lately in 100 mm and 4" sizes.  Bream are also hitting the surface in the racks early of the morning. 

Whiting are being caught around the Fourways and all the way up to Snake Flat, as well as down the front of the system at the boat ramp flats. Beach worms and nippers are working best. 

On the rocks and beaches, some big salmon are being spun up on Tuross beaches using metal slices.  Moruya breakwall is fishing well for both salmon and tailor mainly using pillies for bait, but some are being caught using lures as well. 

Some nice bream, flathead and whiting are coming in off the beaches in Moruya, Tuross and Congo.  Beach worms have been the bait of choice this past week. 

Massive tailor – NSW DPI is reporting that South Coast angler Scott Tillman caught an amazing 103cm tailor in St Georges Basin on November 20. The huge fish weighed in at 7.845kg and is being submitted for a potential ANSA record claim.

Scott caught the mighty chopper on a 100mm Squidgy Fish soft plastic rigged on a 3/8oz jighead in 9m of water. He was fishing for flathead and reports the tailor hit on the drop, making only the slightest "tap" on the line. Scott struck, came up tight and the fish made a series of big runs with heavy headshakes.

After a torrid 15-minute battle, Scott landed it for a quick measure and photos. Unfortunately the fish couldn't be revived so Scott has kindly donated it to DPI's Research Angler Program.

DPI scientists will now analyse the fish's otoliths (ear bones) to determine its age. Some of the oldest tailor so far assessed by DPI in NSW include two six-year-old specimens, one measuring 81cm caught in Lake Macquarie earlier this year and an 86cm monster caught in St Georges Basin in 2015. Scott's fish is significantly bigger than these so it will be really interesting to get info on its age.

Internationally, tailor (known as "bluefish" in North America and "elf" or "shad" in Southern Africa) have been aged at up to 12 years old. Stay tuned for more info from our research team on Scott's huge South Coast chopper!

Meantime, find out about the Research Angler Program here: http://bit.ly/2jDuviN.

NSGFC report – Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club president Les Waldock and four members just arrived back from a holiday in Coromandel Town, New Zealand. They were joined by John Moore, owner of Narooma Fishing Charters, Dean Rando and Pete Hewitt, both from Sydney.

Les, John Swinhoe and Pete Rando were the only ones to previously experience snapper fishing around the Mussel Farms of Coromandel. Basically, you pull up in or just outside one of the many farms, preferably one that has just been harvested, leaving a whole lot of unwanted shells, crabs and living “things”. You then proceed to catch snapper after snapper, from small size to jumbo.

Among the snapper also swim kingfish, trevally, John Dory, blackfish, kahawai, yellowtail and slimey mackeral. They all caught lots of fish, on both lures and bait. John Moore has written a great article on the trip on his Facebook, Narooma Fishing Charters. Snapper to 9kg were landed with fish 2 to 3kg common. We estimated over 600 caught but that figure could be a lot more.

The best kingfish was Ben's 6kg model. Bigger ones hooked but overall, very quiet on the kingfish front. By-catch on livebait were John Dory which are great on the plate. Kahawai (salmon), were plentiful when the berley went in. These were up to 4kg. They kept no more than 50 snapper the whole trip.

Members please don’t forget NSGFC is hosting the young people from Canteen this weekend and your help to make this a great trip will be appreciated. Saturday morning is fishing from the jetties and Sunday a trip on the barbeque boats, so please call me on 0412 100 596. It is always a fun weekend and much appreciated.

It seems that the kingfish are starting to appear. I spoke to some guys down at Mill Bay Sunday and they had been out to the island catching quite a few rats but also landing six legal size fish and others seeing them too. The inlet is still a bit up and down, but there have been some decent sized flathead, tailor and bream and a few barracuda about and also some blackfish spotted along the boardwalk.

As usual the NSGFC rooms will be open for fish stories, drinks and snacks from 4pm till 9pm on Friday. Visitors are most welcome. – Jan Hemmingsen

Bermagui social fishos – Sunday’s barbecue for the Bermagui Country Club Social Anglers’ Club was a day for celebrating, when the lady members came forward for both the on and offshore rewards. The onshore weigh-in of 1.545 was a winner for Denise McGlashan, while the offshore won the day for Gwen Symes with a weigh in of 1.195. The mixed bag of 1.895 was a winner for Robert Brown. 

The celebrating continued for the ladies with Elaine Reid’s birthday attracting family members to our social weekend. The raffle was won by the birthday girl, Elaine, while second prize was won by Mark Thomas and a third prize was a winner for Robert.  An announcement for celebration was the delight of Dawn and Brian Kenyon, who became great grandparents at 2am that day. The annual Christmas break-away is approaching this weekend November 25-16 at Wallaga Lake Caravan Park, so let’s go fishin’…  

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