Nestled away on the Far South Coast close to the Victorian border is Wonboyn Lake, a beautiful and diverse estuary system with something to offer any angler or holidaymaker.
Give yourself plenty of time to explore this area; there are many options available to anglers.
The Wonboyn system has more than 10km of navigable waterways.
Upstream where the sweet meets the salt is a natural rock barrier. Above it is excellent freshwater bass angling and a spectacular area for canoeists, while downstream of the rock bar is some of the best estuary fishing NSW has to offer.
Downstream of the rock bar anglers will be confronted with a couple of small islands, rocky shorelines and plenty of sunken timber.
Shrimp and bait fish that call the heads of these sunken trees home. This is perfect terrain for big the black bream and estuary perch that are plentiful in this system.
Hard and soft lures, live prawns, nippers and squirt worms will account for these species, while drifting the main river on a falling tide with lures or live mullet will account for plenty of dusky flathead and a few jewfish.
Farther downstream you will find feeder creeks which are excellent ambush points for flathead. Lures work well here, as do live mullet or nippers.
This is also a very good area for sand whiting, which can often be seen fossicking over the squirt worm beds.
Further down, you will come to the lake proper where the oyster farms start.
This wide expanse of water holds all the estuary species and many methods will account for good bags.
A simple way to start is by drifting the lake with baits like live mullet, nippers, whitebait or strips of fish. This is likely to result in a mixed bag of flathead, tailor, whiting and the odd jewfish.
Lures work well here and over the years have accounted for some very large duskies, while metre-plus jewfish are also common.
Access to this part of the lake is by a boat ramp on the southern side, or if you stay at Wonboyn Lake Resort to the north, there is a private ramp.
Fishing the shallows of the lake can be a highlight, whether you wade, boat or kayak this area.
Blackfish can be seen turning over the weed beds and a well-placed worm or nipper often results in an immediate hook-up. Frequently it is not the intended species that’s hooked as an unseen bream, mullet or whiting may be quicker to the bait – either way it is still great fun.
From the lake the water course narrows again as it meanders down to the ocean. This area is a series of flats, weed beds, nipper banks, oyster racks, channels and drop-offs, providing some of the best angling in the system.
Most methods already described work here and the lure fishing is exceptional.
Early morning through the warm months is best here as the fish snack on stray prawns not yet retired to the sand.
In late Spring, Summer and into the Autumn, a scoop net, light and bucket can account for a lovely feed of prawns and plentiful fresh bait.
Down at the entrance, around the last of the channel markers, is a great place for berleying. This is best done when the tide first starts coming in, when a host of species will react to a trail.
Use striped tuna for berley and bait and you will encounter yellowfin bream, trevally, flathead, mullet and if a school of salmon move in expect some exciting angling with multiple hook-ups.
In this same area are large shallow sand flats covered in squirt worm holes. As the tide rises over these, whiting move in to feed. A worm cast on the edges of these flats is all that is needed to acquire a lovely bag of these tasty fish.
The beaches north and south of the entrance and the rocky headland adjacent to the entrance are worth exploring with a rod and reel. Species encountered include salmon, tailor, bream, whiting, jewfish and, at night, sharks.
The rocks also offer luderick, trevally and hard-pulling drummer.
The entrance of the lake allows boat access to the ocean and is classified as a bar crossing, so lifejackets are compulsory when crossing.
Ocean boaties have access to a plethora of nearby reefs.
Whatever your fishing interest, there is something at Wonboyn for you but be prepared for multiple visits – once you’ve been there you’ll want to go back!
Wonboyn Lake Village is accessible by the Green Cape Road, while the Wonboyn village can be reached from Wonboyn Road, farther down the Princes Highway. Both are about 40 minutes from Eden, 6.5 hours from Sydney of Melbourne and four hours from Canberra.
Merimbula Airport, an hour’s drive, has scheduled flights to and from Sydney and Melbourne.
* Estuary, beach, rock and offshore fishing
* Land-based game fishing at Green Cape
* Canoeing and kayaking
* Visit Green Cape Lighthouse
* Swimming, surfing and beach activities.
* 9 hole grass green golf course
DJ’s Estuary Adventures can put together packages including accommodation, estuary fishing or daily guided fishing trips.
* Fully maintained and licensed sport fishing boat
* Over 30 years experience
* Specialising in bait fishing and gathering
* Lure fishing
* All bait and tackle supplied.
• Wonboyn Lake Resort: Northern side of lake on Edrom Road. 15 self-contained waterfront cottages for 1- 6 guests; licensed restaurant; general store for groceries, ice, bait, fuel; games room; library; pool, heated spa; hire boats/canoes; private jetty; phone 02 6496 9162; email: --e-mail address hidden-- www.wonboynlakeresort.com.au
• Wonboyn Cabins and Caravan Park: Southern side on Wonboyn Road: Self-contained ensuite cabins; park units; powered campsites; private jetty; hire boats; swimming pool; games room. Phone 02 6496 9131; email --e-mail address hidden-- www.wonboyncabins.com.au
Wonboyn General Store for all your daily needs, opposite the caravan park, phone 02 6496 9134.