Lake small but lively
  |  First Published: June 2011

Compared with some of its South Coast cousins, Merimbula Lake is small but don't let this deter you, the place is full of life.

In recent weeks bream, flathead, trevally and big tailor have all been chewing.

The entire system is fishing well with the channels in the lower section great for bait fishos. Anglers using live bass yabbies and worms have fared best, especially on the flood tide.

Up in the Top Lake the weed-fringed margins have fired, especially when the whitebait schools are present.

Cast smaller plastics under the bait schools and get ready for some serious fun. Trevally of a kilo or more, bream, flathead, smaller snapper and big tailor are all possible as long as you find that bait.

Over at Pambula, it's a similar scenario although the place is full of that red algae which makes lure casting difficult, to say the least. It shouldn't be long before the water is too cold for this stuff to grow so fishing should become more practicable.

When it does clear, expect this beaut little system to really fire up, as it does every Winter.

June is prime time to target big salmon from the beaches and some fish have nudged 4kg recently. Fish averaging 2kg will be around all Winter.

You can expect a few decent tailor, too. Almost any rig will work but a whole pilchard on ganged hooks with a single dropper has been the preferred method.

Casting small chrome lures up to 50gram into the washes will also pay dividends. Use light braid on smaller outfits for hours of endless fun on these fine sport fish and a they make decent feed if prepared the right way.

Better beaches to try include Tura, North Tura and Haycock, to the south of Pambula.

There will still be the odd bream so have the light outfit ready with live beachworms or pipis. Fish the rockier corners of southern facing beaches like North Tura.

Anglers fishing the rocks are having a field day. Bread-and-butter species like bream, blackfish and drummer have all played the game, along with a few decent snapper.

Short Point, Tura Head and the rocks inside Merimbula Bay are all worth a look.

Conditions to fish the rocks have been good. Offshore winds have kept the swell down to a manageable level with safe conditions available but enough wash to make it worthwhile to fish.

Best baits for the snapper have been cuttlefish and whole pilchards on ganged hooks or single dropper rigs. Cabbage weed, cunjevoi and fresh prawns are great baits for the other species.

You can expect a few salmon and tailor if casting chrome lures past the wash zones, with the outside chance of bonito and mackerel tuna if the water is still warm enough.


Offshore fishers targeting pelagics like albacore and yellowfin tuna would be starting to get a little excited, because some solid models have already turned up.

The best yellowfin I've heard of lately went 77kg, a good fish in anyone's books. I'm expecting a top-notch tuna season; the longliners are doing well and the fish are just inside the continental shelf, which is reachable by most trailer boats off Merimbula.

A cube/berley trail would be the go although trolling bibbed minnows and skirted pushers will catch fish, too.

Those after bottom fish are having mixed sessions. When it's good the snapper are going off, but when it's slow it's really slow.

Those who are doing OK are moving around a lot and locating the fish, not waiting for the fish to come to them.

Reads: 1954

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