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Lakes still sparkle
  |  First Published: March 2011



Despite the flogging that Merimbula and Pambula lakes copped over the holidays, it amazes me how these systems still produce outstanding captures.

Flathead are still abundant with some big girls up to 95cm caught. Those using soft plastics to 100mm or live poddy mullet have done well.

Working the shallow margins, early mornings and lighter leaders have been key ingredients for consistent results.

It’s not unusual to get bag limits in a session but thankfully these days more anglers are keeping only what they can eat and releasing the rest.

Bream and whiting have been abundant, with the channels fishing well on a rising tide.

Live nippers and squirt worms has been dynamite but with these softer baits persistence may be required to get through the pickers.

If re-baiting all the time isn’t your go, target bream with fresh striped tuna cubes and berley. Bream find fresh stripy hard to resist, particularly in low light.

If lure fishing is your go, surface walkers and poppers have been dynamite, especially in Pambula. Concentrate on spots with a sand bottom with patches of weed.

Up in the Top Lake at Merimbula, tailor numbers have increased and a few mulloway to 8kg have been caught on live bait lately.

There have been a few bruiser bream around the oyster racks. They were a little gun-shy with all the holiday boat traffic but should now improve. Use smaller hardbodies and poppers on a rising tide.

BEACH JEWIES

The beaches will continue to produce bream, whiting, tailor, salmon, mullet and the odd jewfish.

The jewies will be harder than the others but put in time and just rewards will happen. I like fresh squid, tailor fillets and big bunches of live beach worms.

You can also double up with the chance of a decent gummy shark, especially after dark. There have been quite a few around North Tura and Tura Main with the best I have heard of 8kg.

Take the time to read the beaches at low tide before you go fishing. This enables you to know roughly how deep a gutter you will be fishing and how far off the beach it is once it gets dark. It will be worth it in the long run.

Offshore, the game scene is really hotting up and trailer boats have ventured to the 70-fathom line and had a ball.

Lots of marlin, smaller yellowfin tuna and a host of shark species have all chewed at times and this dynamite action will be with us for a while yet.

Skirted lures and live slimy mackerel have been successful, as has switch-baiting.

Inshore anglers after a feed have been doing OK with sand and tiger flathead plentiful. All the usual haunts are producing with the Sticks near Pambula a good starting point.

Snapper are small but they are plentiful. Long Point has been fishing well with fresh tuna, squid and pilchards the best baits.

The rocks will continue to fish well. Lure fishers will find small kingfish, tailor, salmon, bonito and the outside chance of a longtail tuna. Smaller slugs will tempt striped tuna and frigate mackerel.

Tura Head is the deepest and most productive rock platform around here, take Headland Drive at Tura Head and follow the walking track down to the platform. It’s a bit of a walk but worth the effort.

There have also been bigger kingfish there with one local angler saying three 15kg-plus kingfish followed his hooked bonito to the surface. A live bait under a balloon could work wonders.

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