Marlin will make your day

March 16, 2018

This whopper marlin was caught by teenager Alex Johnston off Cairns in 2006.

They don’t do things by halves at Narooma when it comes to hauling in marlin.

Nicholas Cowley, son of Graham and former Shepparton school student, is now the skipper of a charter boat and this week managed a three-way hook-up of these fabled game fish, but, best of all, managed to get all three fish to the boat to be tagged and then released.

Speaking from experience, I can tell you the dance that you do when you have a multiple hook-up, making sure lines do not get tangled is worthy of a ballroom dance performance. You step one way, then the other rod over the top, then underneath. It is a line dance with a difference and quite a chore, and I am speaking of fish that are not as big or feisty as a marlin.

Graham said the marlin season was now under way and just about all boats were hooking up at least once per trip.

He said live baiting or skirted lures were working. He expected this could be the best season for catching marlin for quite a while.

He said kingfish were also found in large numbers and 80cm fish were common. They were also falling to live bait and lures but the downside was large numbers of big toad fish had moved into the area and with their rodent-like teeth, they were snipping off bait and lines, adding extra frustration for anglers.

In the lake, seals have set up home around the cleaning stations and they, too, are becoming a nuisance for anglers fishing around the piers and oyster leases.

A trip to Eden is also well worth the effort, according to John Liddell.

He said kingfish, marlin and some tuna were starting to appear off the shelf while flathead, snapper and morwong were biting along the inshore reefs.

John said Mark from Freedom Charters was reporting plenty of jumbo-sized fish around the Green Cape area, which is about an hour-long boat ride from Eden.

Local news

Around our region, the fishing continues to be good.

One angler fishing around Jordan’s Bend on the Goulburn River landed five cod in one session. This followed a haul of yellowbelly around Murchison the week before.

The Murray around Ulupna Island and the Barmah Narrows is also worth a try with cod and yellowbelly taking a variety of baits.

Lake Mulwala is another hot spot at present and anglers using surface lures late in the day are picking up cod, fishing around the bank and among the tree line that follows the old river bed. Bait cast to these spots is also accounting for yellowbelly.

Speaking of yellowbelly, Mick, the demon from Stanhope, has been quiet the past couple of weeks. He has not sent me a brag image for a while.

Trout are still being caught at Dartmouth and Eildon as well as in the rivers and streams in the north-east. Wading the rivers is always a worthwhile experience and you don’t need to use expensive waders. I just wear an old pair of jeans and an older pair of shoes and change into dry clothes when the fishing is done.

Bait casting, lures and fly fishing are all working. The best time is early morning or on dusk. Cast to the shaded pools or deep banks for the best results. Remember, in most cases, the fish face into the current, so work your way upstream and cast ahead of where you think the fish are.

I spoke last week about the variety of fish at Eildon where you can target redfin, trout, cod and yellowbelly in one trip. We are fortunate to have such a productive fishing spot located so close to Shepparton.

Down south

At Queenscliff, Rod Lawn and Peter Smallwood, from Adamas Fishing Charters said they were still getting hauls of pinky snapper off Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove.

Rod said they were also getting bags of flathead and some gummy shark around the old submarine wreck at Point Lonsdale as well.

Peter said inside the heads there were salmon in the Rip on the runout tide.

He said small occy-style lures trolled around the bait ball were working well, with some fish in the 2-3kg size. There were also some kingfish under the salmon schools.

Peter said squid and whiting were being caught around the mouth of Swan Bay in the grass beds as well as flathead and trevally near ‘‘the cut’’ at the ferry terminal.

At Western Port, Hastings is fishing well. Pinky snapper were taking small pieces of fresh fish and whiting were biting in the grass beds close inshore. Around Phillip Island, gummy shark were biting on the runout tide in the deep water.

James Luddington, from Flinders island, said it was a hit-and-miss week with the winds being a nuisance, but when shelter could be found around the islands off Lady Baron flathead and gummy shark were taking garfish used as bait.

According to my Angler’s Almanac, next week is good for fishing with Sunday, Monday and Tuesday listed as being excellent for results.

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