The Merimbula region has only a handful of decent rock ledges that are close to deep water.
We don't have a Green Cape or Outer Tubes on our doorstop, but we do have Tura Head.
This substantial ledge drops into 10m of water on its northern edge, making it ideal for anglers targeting larger pelagics.
Over recent weeks Tura has fired up nicely with kingfish, striped tuna, bonito, longtail tuna and huge salmon caught with a variety of methods.
Anglers casting 20g-60g metals have fared best, although pilchards on ganged hooks have snared a few bonito and salmon.
Fishers using live bait have had the best results, especially with the kings and larger tuna. I know of several kings to 15kg captured and of many more unstoppable fish finding the reef.
At that size they are a dream to most from the stones but correct tackle is required for results. I talked to a Melbourne visitor recently who said he’d hooked five big kings in a morning and couldn't stop any of them.
He was using live bait and big poppers and was the only one on the ledge that morning, much to his surprise. To say he went home with his tail between his legs is an under-statement but at least he got the bites.
This action will continue until late May, when we should also see a smattering of mackerel tuna.
Those fishing outside for table fish like snapper, morwong, pigfish and flathead are doing well on most reefs, especially on the deeper reefs like Horseshoe, south of Merimbula.
Here you can expect kingfish, too, with jigs, live bait and squid all working at times. It can be a little hit and miss but when they’re chewing it’s as good as anywhere.
Long Point and White Cliffs are also worth a look, though the latter is a decent drive north.
Wider, game fishers are finding marlin, tuna and a host of shark species and water pushing south up to 24°, there have been striped marlin to 130kg tagged, a few bigger blacks lost and it won't be long before a jumbo blue makes a mistake.
Anglers trolling and switch-baiting with live bait are faring best out on the 70-fathom line. You can jig all the bait you want out there.
Yellowfin to 25kg have been caught but they’re certainly not thick. Mixed with them are albacore to 12kg.
In the estuaries it’s the best month for consistency and Merimbula and Pambula lakes are fishing well for a host of species, it really depends on what you want to target and how.
A lot of anglers are after a feed so flathead, whiting, bream and flounder are high on lists. The channels in both systems are firing for these and live bass yabbies, worms, prawns and tuna cubes are all working.
Anchoring up and using a little berley is a deadly approach, particularly for bream and whiting. Don't overdo the berley or small stingrays will become a nuisance.
Those who like casting lures will get results on bream and plenty of trevally. You can expect some nice flatties and flounder also.
Top Lake at Merimbula has been going gangbusters for months. Flathead are in great numbers and I know of several crocs nudging 90cm being caught and all released, which is awesome to see.
On the beaches bream, whiting, mullet and salmon have played the game. Any beach with a decent gutter is producing but Haycock and North Tura are tops.
Use live beach worms and pipis will get the best bags. The lighter the line, the more you will catch, especially in calmer conditions with less whitewater.