Rains lift local lakes
  |  First Published: June 2012

The Autumn rains have certainly done the estuaries the world of good as Merimbula and Pambula lakes have picked up considerably.

Over the past week we guided four days on Merimbula Lake for a host of species. Every session has produced at least seven species with bream, flathead, trevally, snapper, tailor, blackfish and whiting all succumbing to a range of soft plastics and blades.

Most of the action has happened in the Top Lake with the shallower margins along the ribbon weed edges in 2m-4m the place to start.

Catches of 30-plus legal fish per session have been on the cards with some solid bream and smaller snapper to 40cm playing the game.

The lower sections in the channels have been a little bit quieter although I have heard of some nice bream and whiting being caught towards the entrance on bass yabbies.

As the water cools further and Winter takes hold, the channels should really fire up for trevally, salmon, tailor and bream.

On the beaches it's business as usual with any beach with a half-decent gutter producing.

Merimbula 's Main Beach has been good for bream, whiting and mullet with beachworms and fresh prawns the top baits. For salmon Tura Main and North Tura are the pick with some models to 4kg available.

Mixed in with the salmon are some decent tailor and June usually produces a better class of greenbacks with monsters of 5kg-6kg possible. These fish are quite often caught after dark, mostly by anglers targeting mulloway with big fresh baits.

But for those who like gentlemen’s hours, school fish to 2kg will be catchable. Use a paternoster rig with whole pilchards or blue bait on ganged or single hooks.


June is prime time for rockhoppers targeting blackfish, drummer and groper. These species love the cold water and any headland or rock platform that has a decent wash and cabbage-encrusted rocks will hold good concentrations of these species.

Short Point, Long Point and the rocks near the aquarium wharf are prime locations. Cabbage, cunjevoi, black crabs and fresh prawns will all work and a little berley in the wash will improve your catch rates.

Those after pelagics should find salmon, tailor and big bonito taking whole pilchards on ganged hooks, with the spin brigade getting plenty on chrome slices to 60g.

There's still the chance of a stray kingfish, especially at Tura Head. Last season some solid kings to 13kg were caught off this prime LBG location.


Those fishing offshore for tuna, especially yellowfin, will be happy because in recent weeks there have been some notable captures. I've heard of a few fish around 60kg plus a stack of 25kg-30kg.

Most have come from the continental shelf, where the water was 18°. The fish have been on top with quite a few caught on the troll but as the month goes on berleying and cubing will be the main method.

I think this June we will see some jumbo yellowfin – the bait is there and the conditions are right.

Later this month and into July we can expect southern bluefin tuna to patrol the wider grounds. They are catching plenty of solid fish south of us so it won't be long before they are on our doorstep.

Inshore, the snapper have been good with fish averaging a kilo the go. Most reefs are holding fish with Long Point the pick.

Fresh squid and tuna strips have been the best baits although soft plastics in the washes have fared OK, too.

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