Plastics, vibes have the edge
  |  First Published: November 2012

It’s a great month to fish the local estuaries, with Pambula and Merimbula lakes fishing well with most methods at the moment.

However, anglers using soft plastics and vibes will have the edge because we are still in the transition period from Spring to Summer.

Flathead will be the main targets with fish of 80cm and more becoming common catches. This month is renowned for monster flatties and already a few solid fish have been captured.

The fish have moved down to the lower sections of the estuaries, with the ribbon-weed edges in 4m-6m of water ideal.

I like using big plastics at this time of year, 4”-5” models, fished pretty slowly with a methodical lift/drop presentation. A variety of natural colours work best.

Even with the larger lures you will still get a great feed of duskies up to 50cm and there's always the chance of mulloway as well.

Anglers fishing the channels have been doing well on bream, trevally and blackfish on bait and soft plastics. Anchoring, berleying sparsely and drifting out live nippers or striped tuna cubes has been great for bream and one can expect some nice whiting as the water warms further.

Patches of salmon have been entering both systems but one day it's all go and the next there’s nothing. You can catch them on shiners, plastics and bait but every day is different.

There's the odd big tailor in with the salmon so expect to lose a few lures if you’re fishing like this.


The beaches have been a little slow with the calmer conditions but there are still some quality fish. A few locals have been getting solid bream, mainly around the rocky corners of the beaches, with whiting and yellow-eye mullet in the shallower gutters.

Fishing the flooding tide on sunrise has been the key to their success with live beachworms and pipis the top baits.

When conditions suit, we can expect salmon to get cracking, with the usual paternoster rig with a bait/popper combination the best rig.

There should be a few mulloway in the suds taking fresh tailor slabs or big bunches of beachworms being ideal baits.

Better beaches include Tura, North Tura and Haycock.

Those throwing lures from the stones for pelagics should have some fun this month. Kingfish, striped tuna, bonito and frigates are all possible.

The headland at Tura and the Merimbula wharf would be the pick spots. Live-baiting at these locations is a gun way to catch but remember to use heavier gear, especially for the kings. Casting whole pilchards on ganged hooks will also work.

Short Point, north of Merimbula, is fishing OK for blackfish, drummer and the odd bream. Berley well and use cabbage for the blackfish and pigs and fresh peeled prawns on a lightly weighted outfit for bream.


There have been some quality snapper on the inshore reefs, nit a great number but the fish are averaging 2kg. Long Reef and Horseshoe Reef would be the pick with Lennards Island also worth a look.

There have been a few smaller kingfish taking trolled deep-divers and live bait and bigger fish will come this month.

Out wider albacore and smaller yellowfin tuna have been sporadic but everything depends on water temperature, current and bait activity.

The water a little further north of us has been 19° and when that gets wide of Merimbula, we can expect the tuna action to heat up. Trolling a spread of bibbed and skirted lures from the 70-fathom line to the Second Drop would be the go.

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