SOUTH COAST STRIPERS
For an adrenaline rush, it’s hard to beat catching a high-flying marlin. Lit up like neon blue, striped marlin are among the prettiest of the billfish clan. Once hooked, they explode out of the water, cartwheeling about and ripping apart the surface in the process.
The best striped-marlin fishing in Australia, if not the world, is on NSW’s South Coast. Every summer, the marlin ride the current down the coast before pulling up right out the front of small towns such as Narooma and Bermagui.
The fishing heats up in late summer then peaks during the autumn months. The best fishing occurs inside the continental shelf (which means even small boats can get in on the action) around the prolific bait schools – an aquatic version of a takeaway shop where the marlin just line up for lunch. When the current backs off in autumn, the activity can be nonstop with boats catching and releasing as many as a dozen fish a day.
NOW CATCH ONE!
Trolling (for the uninitiated, that’s trailing a baited line in a boat’s wake) slowly around the bait schools is like ringing the dinner gong. It’s an inexpensive and productive way to hook the fish of a lifetime. Give Darryl Bond a call at Compleat Angler Narooma (compleatangler narooma.com.au) for fishing reports and charter-boat recommendations.
Fishing for cod on the Murrumbidgee River (opposite); the South Coast is no place for light tackle (top); a stunning striped marlin takes flight