Inshore field day
  |  First Published: November 2008

Anglers fishing the inshore reefs and gravel beds off Merimbula have been having a field day with quality mixed bags.

Almost all species have played the game with sand and tiger flathead numbers increasing. The flatties are averaging 45cm, a good eating size, and over the gravel are snapper and the odd gummy shark to 8kg.

Almost all areas are producing fish with The Sticks, south of Merimbula in around 25m, a good place to start. Horseshoe Reef, a little further south, is also producing.

Further into the month kingfish will become more active with Turingal, Long and Horseshoe reefs the spots to troll fresh squid on a flasher rig or work jigs and live bait.

Out wider, things have been slow but should change. A lot depends on current, water temperature and bait but if last year is anything to go by we could be for some serious fun.

Yellowfin tuna and albacore are the main targets, with trolling the best method early in the season. Most of the action occurs out from the 40-fathom line.


On the beaches, bream, whiting and mullet will keep most fishos happy if they are using live beachworms and pipis.

Tura, North Tura and Haycock are the best beaches; look for a small deep gutter close to shore or fish the rocky corners on the northern ends. A little bread and tuna burley in the shore dump will greatly improve your catch rates.

Anglers chasing salmon have done OK but not as well as a few months ago. Smaller shiners have fared best. A few more tailor should turn up and at night you’re always a chance of a mulloway. Fresh pilchards and mullet fillets are the gun baits.

Tura Head is this region’s rockfishing hot spot and every year some good fish are hooked from this platform. Drummer, bream and blackfish will still be in the washes so if the surface action is a little slow, bread, cabbage, cunjevoi and fresh prawns are the gun baits.


This time of year the estuaries are perfect with the transition period over and the fish ready to chew.

Merimbula and Pambula lakes have fished well over previous months and I for one can’t wait for November. Mega-flathead, mulloway, bream, whiting and legal snapper will all be available.

Soft plastics up to 100mm will fare best on flathead with smaller plastics and hard-bodied lures fished around the shallower weed-fringed flats and oyster racks will for yellowfin bream.

When the water warms further, expect bream and whiting on surface poppers and stickbaits.

Bait fishers should do well in the channels in both lakes for bream, whiting and blackfish. Use Bass yabbies and beachworms for the whiting and striped tuna cubes and strips of slimy mackerel for bream.

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