Hit the warm shallows
  |  First Published: October 2012

The Merimbula area is in transition from cooler water conditions to full-blown Spring and this is certainly evident in the estuaries, especially in the shallows.

Sunny afternoons sometimes make the shallow water 2°-3° warmer than the tidal channel. These areas are ideal to cast smaller soft plastics and hardbodies for bream, flathead and, to a lesser extent, whiting.

Merimbula and Pambula Lakes have extensive shallow sand flats full of fish at this time of year. The fish get up there on the flood tide, feeding on small prawns, yabbies and worms.

A few locals have done particularly well using lightly weighted worms for the whiting, some of which are up to 43cm.

As the water warms things will get even better with surface presentations like walk-baits and poppers getting action.

In the basins of both estuaries flathead, bream and blackfish are chewing quite well with lure throwers certainly seeing the best of the action.

Pambula has some solid salmon and trevally in the lower river section with soft stickbaits on 2g heads the go. I'd also expect flatties to 90cm in both estuaries in water of 3m-8m.

Casting larger plastics to the edges of the ribbon weed will produce the goods but let these breeders go.

There's the chance of a mulloway, especially if smaller tailor are present. Many a good jewie has come from beneath a tailor school so it's certainly worth a few casts.


Anglers fishing the stones have had mixed fortunes. Some days the salmon are prolific and on others are very quiet. The only thing to do is keep going and when conditions are right the salmon will pick up.

Flat seas are not ideal for these pelagics.

The fish that have been caught are responding well to ganged pilchards on a slow retrieve and a few snapper have fallen to the same technique.

The place to fish is Tura Head; it’s a deep headland and this region’s LBG hot spot. It’s a decent walk in from Headland Drive but worth it, especially when the fish are on.

For fresh blackfish and drummer fillets, Short Point is the place to fish with cabbage and cut black crabs.

Offshore the snapper have slowed up but some fish to 3kg are still there for those putting in the hard yards. Most reefs are holding a few but the deeper ones have been best.

You can expect morwong, pigfish and the odd kingfish when targeting the reds with sand flathead in good numbers in 30m-35m straight of Bournda Island. There's been good reports of tiger flathead from 60m-70m, too.

I have heard of some quality gummy sharks to 12kg caught out the front of Lennards Island by guys fishing for snapper.

If last years diary is anything to go by, the game season is about to start. Yellowfin tuna to 30kg and some big albacore are on the cards but a lot will have to do with currents, bait activity and water temperature.

If the tuna are there, trolling with skirts and bibbed minnows will be the way to go. There have been heaps of small blue sharks and decent makos.

The beaches have been hit and miss in calm conditions but some salmon and tailor are still being caught.

This month we will see more bream, whiting and mullet taking fresh beachworms and pipis at places like North Tura and Tura Main.

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