Big lake flatties
  |  First Published: February 2011

Merimbula Lake has been spectacular, especially for big flathead.

The best fish I've heard of recently nudged 6.5kg and was released in good condition – great to see.

The Top Lake has loads of duskies in the 40cm to 55cm bracket, ideal eating size and the ones you want to take home for a feed.

Fish soft plastics or strip baits and you’re almost guaranteed a feed. Cast towards the banks that have ribbon weed nearby; the flatties love getting up in the shallows and the weed gives them camouflage when feeding, especially around the new moon period.

The oyster racks are holding some bruiser yellowfin bream. These fish have been hard to entice but surface presentations have accounted for a few.

Soft plastics have also worked but light leaders and accurate casts are a must.

Fresh peeled prawns, nippers and tuna cubes will work.

The flats are full of sand whiting. Try wading the shallows to the left of the main jetty and cast live bass yabbies or worms.

The beaches will continue to produce over coming weeks. Bream, whiting, tailor, salmon, mullet and the odd jewfish will all hit baits.

The jewies will be a lot harder to target than the other beach species but put in enough time and patience and rewards will happen eventually.

I like fresh squid, tailor fillets and big bunches of live beach worms for the mulloway.

Best beaches include Tura, North Tura, and the entrance to Pambula Lake.

Those fishing offshore for game species are having a ball with striped marlin playing the game. Some crews are getting six to eight shots a day at fish. Trolling skirted pushers and switch-baiting are the best methods.

Most fish have been found from the 70-fathom line to the shelf, where the water is around 22°.

Mixed in with the stripes are some solid blacks to 200kg.

There have been sporadic catches of yellowfin tuna to 30kg and the odd albacore on the shelf, with striped tuna in abundance.

Good snapper are getting around on the close reefs with Horseshoe and Long Point the pick. Fresh squid and pilchards the best baits although the leatherjackets are a nuisance at times.

Mixed in with the reds are morwong, pigfish and some solid kingfish. I know of a few anglers who have been shredded by the kings, so upping the tackle and targeting them may be worth ago.

The rocks will continue to fish well for all the usual suspects. Small kingfish, tailor, salmon and the outside chance of a longtail tuna are reason to keep casting lures. Tura Head is the deepest and most productive rock platform around here.

There have been some solid blackfish at Short Point, which offers relatively easy access and fresh bait at your feet. Use a little berley for even better results; a sand/weed mixture is ideal but use only sparsely.

Reads: 1976

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