Pelagics to pick up
  |  First Published: December 2010

The fishing around the Merimbula region has been consistent and likely to improve further as the water temperature slowly rises.

With warmer water just north of us, it's only a matter of time before we start to see some pelagic action out wide.

Fishers venturing to the 70-fathom line and beyond will be rewarded with more abundant school yellowfin tuna and albacore.

We've already had a smattering of fish to 20kg that have responded well to trolled skirted pushers and bibbed minnows.

This is a dynamite way to target these travelling fish because you cover a lot of territory. When you do find concentrations, you then have the option to berley and cube to keep the fish with you.

We've had some great sessions doing this early in the season. It doesn't always work and it’s a bit of a gamble but you can always go back to trolling if you draw a blank.

The reefs closer to shore have been sporadic, to say the least.

But when they do fire, snapper to 3kg have been caught, especially around Long and Horseshoe reefs.

Morwong, pigfish, trevally and leatherjackets are making up the remainder of the bags. I've heard of a few legal (65cm) kingfish caught by bottom anglers so dropping a live bait or a jig down may be worthwhile.


In the estuaries it's all systems go with everything having a chew at times. Merimbula and Pambula lakes have flathead, blackfish, bream, tailor, salmon and trevally feeding so it really depends on how you want to target your species.

Anglers anchoring in the channels and using fresh striped tuna cubes have done exceptionally well on bream, especially with a little berley on a falling tide.

Those after whiting should see increased catches as the water warms further. Wading the flats with nippers and worms is a great way to target them.

Anglers casting plastics and blades are having loads of fun in the main basin casting back towards the ribbon weed edges in 3m to 4m.

This fun will get only better as the weeks pass, with surface presentations also getting action.

The beaches have been OK without being red-hot, mainly due to the low swell lately.

Those fishing the low light periods have fared best on salmon, bream and whiting.

When it's tough on the beaches, downsize your tackle and use fresh bait if you can. The fish are still there but become wary when there's not much cover from whitewater, so a different approach is needed.

You will be surprised what little changes like this will do to your catch rates. Beaches that have fished well include Haycock, Tura and North Tura.

There's a nice gutter at the northern end of North Tura near Bournda Island that's definitely worth a look. Mulloway are also possible there, especially after dark on a flooding tide.

Rockhoppers, especially those targeting drummer and blackfish, have done it tough in the flat conditions.

The good news is bonito have already turned up along with some very big salmon. Casting chrome lures for these travelling through quickly from headland to headland.

It won't be long before a few kingies turn up, too, especially at Tura Head.

This is our LBG hotspot with very deep water on the northern side of the point. You can catch bait here, too, though most fishos cast lures when targeting the kings.

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