Hot fun on pelagics
  |  First Published: December 2011

With the water hovering around 23°, it’s no wonder the locals are having a ball on the pelagic action off Merimbula.

But they won't have it all to themselves when the holiday brigade settles in.

Over the past few weeks yellowfin tuna and albacore have been caught, with a few nudging 30kg – great to see early in the season.

In the next few weeks striped marlin and a host of shark species will be available, with a few black marlin as well.

All methods will work – trolling lures and live bait, switch-baiting, and berley and cubes will catch a few tuna. I’d be concentrating from the 70-fathom line out, where the most bait has been.

On the inshore reefs the action has been steady with snapper, morwong, kingfish and striped tuna.

The flatties have been quiet but this will change this month as the water warms, the area off the Pambula River mouth should produce results.

Decent reds have been encountered in 30 to 40 fathoms off Lennards Island with kingfish to 7kg at Long Point and Horseshoe Reef.

If one reef isn’t firing, move to another until you find the fish. Use fresh squid, striped tuna fillets, pilchards and live bait (particularly for the kings).

On the beaches bream, whiting, tailor, salmon, mullet and the odd jewfish will all hit bait.

Best baits for the bread-and-butter species are live beach worms, prawns, pipis and striped tuna cubes. Pilchards and bluebait will suffice for the pelagics.

The jewies will be a lot harder to target but fresh squid, tailor fillets and big bunches of live beach worms will work around Tura and North Tura, though any beach with a decent gutter is worth a look.


Rock anglers are in for a treat with kingfish, big salmon, bonito and striped tuna from Tura Head. It’s a decent walk in but certainly worth it.

Lures and bait have produced but I’d be sticking to casting chromies.

Some solid kings have been hooked from this ledge lately so 10kg tackle is an absolute minimum.

In the estuaries it's all systems go.

The Merimbula Lake boat ramp has been closed but is due to reopen for the holidays.

Pambula, just down the road, has been excellent and you can expect bream, flathead, whiting, flounder and trevally on bait and lures.

The main basin has been the place to fish and the oyster racks are great for the bream. The surface fishing has improved dramatically and you can expect whiting and the odd decent flathead also.

The river is holding some nice fish but the water is marked with that dreadful red algae that makes fishing difficult. If you can put up with it you will be rewarded.

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