Lakes full of flatties
  |  First Published: December 2011

Longer days, warmer water and heaps of fish – it doesn't get much better than this, I reckon.

Merimbula Lake and nearby waterways have been fishing well and the flathead have really fired up, with some enormous girls being captured. The best we've managed lately was a respectable 91cm and there have been plenty over 80cm.

These bigger fish have come from the shallower margins of Pambula and Merimbula lakes in water from 1m to 4m.

We've been using 70mm to 80mm plastics in natural patterns and you will also get a good feed of 40cm to 50cm flatties when targeting these bigger fish.

There's been the odd mulloway from the Top Lake at Merimbula so casting a larger plastic or a live bait around the whitebait schools is worth a thought.

With the water around 20°, surface fishing for bream and whiting on poppers and walkbaits is certainly worth a try around the edges of the channels and sandflats.

Live nippers and worms will work for the whiting on the flats. The area behind the main wharf in Merimbula is a good place to start, especially on a flooding tide. You can also expect the odd bream and flathead here.

On the stones it's all systems go. The pelagic action has been great for months with heaps of bonito and salmon with the odd king from the deeper ledges of Tura Head and Long Point.

Chrome lures and ganged pilchards have fared best on the smaller fish with live bait the go for the bigger models.

A few local lads are still getting smacked by kings on poppers off Tura Head but not many are being landed.

Those after a feed should be able to work the washes for bream, blackfish and drummer although you won't get stacks in the warmer water. Try Short Point and Long Point with cabbage, fresh cooked prawns and cunjevoi.


Offshore sportfishers look forward to this time of year because it all starts to happen. There's already been a handful of yellowfin tuna caught with stacks of albacore.

The water just north of us is warm and it won't be long before the first marlin is encountered. There are probably striped marlin there already, with the water at 19°. Those smaller tuna are like jelly beans to marlin so slow trolling one is worth a go.

You will have more success trolling early in the season from the 70-fathom line out. If you find the bait and smaller tuna you should be in business.

On the beaches tailor to 1.5kg are increasing in numbers.

Salmon are still abundant and bream and whiting will become more plentiful.

I'd be concentrating around the estuary mouths like Pambula and Short Point (Back Lake) for best results.

Other beaches to try include North Tura and Tura, especially if a gummy shark or mulloway is your target. There's been the odd gummy caught by those fishing for salmon so try the flooding tide just after dark with fresh salmon strips for your best chance at one.

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