Reefs fire up for kings
  |  First Published: December 2012

The reefs around the Merimbula area are going great guns for snapper, morwong and kingfish and should continue that way for several months.

Kingfish have made a welcome return to the inshore grounds with Haycock Point and Horseshoe Reef holding fish.

So far, most have been around 2kg-4kg and by-catch for those fishing for snapper. Take some live bait or jigs to either spot and you should get solid results.

Have a look around on the sounder and if you get some likely marks, pull up and drop over a live bait.

If you don’t get hit straight away, don’t give up; try a little further down the reef. This reef is quite long and runs from Haycock Point all the way down to Lennards Island.

If the kingfish are a little slow, bait-fish this section for snapper, morwong, and the odd pigfish.

Sand and tiger flathead also have been prolific, with The Sticks off the Pambula River entrance the best option. Some good-sized gummy sharks are around, too. They’re great on the plate and good sport on light line.

The game fishing out wide should be in full swing by now. Albacore, yellowfin tuna, striped marlin and some decent sharks should be available from the continental shelf to the 1000-fathom line.

With the water around 21° and getting warmer by the day, the pelagic action should heat up. Trolled lures and slowly trolled live bait will account for the majority of fish.


Pambula and Merimbula lakes continue to produce flathead, bream, trevally, whiting and blackfish.

Soft plastics have accounted for most of the flatties, with sessions of a dozen fish common.

Merimbula Lake has many deeper sections up to 9m although the majority of the flathead are being caught around the shallower ribbon weed edges. Cast your lures up to the edges and work them down the bank.

Bream are widespread throughout both systems with some big blue-nosed fellas making the oyster racks home.

Trevally and blackfish are in the channels and whiting are abundant on the sand flats. Live bass yabbies and squirt worms are ideal for the whiting but be prepared for the usual run of pickers that can drive you nuts.

The rock spin die-hards will be around in numbers from now on as a variety of surface speedsters become willing to hit a lure. Kingfish, striped tuna and bonito are all on the cards and you never know when that stray yellowfin comes just too close to the rocks.

Tura Head is the place to fish, but the wharf and the rocks in Merimbula Bay are also worth a look.

There will still be the ever-reliable salmon around if all else fails; these are great sport on light tackle.

Bream, blackfish and the odd groper hold close to the rock washes, so a lightly weighted crab, cunjevoi or green cabbage weed bait is another option. A little berley will enhance your chances of getting a feed.


The local beaches have been a little quiet for salmon and tailor but the bream and whiting have picked up considerably.

North Tura, Bournda and the northern end of Haycock Beach have been fishing well for the bread-and-butter species.

Light outfits with long traces and fresh bait are the keys to good bags. Pipis, fresh squid and live worms have accounted for most of the fish.

There should be the chance of mulloway and gummy sharks from some of the deeper holes along North Tura. Fish into the night on a rising tide with fresh tailor fillets or beachworms.

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