Inshore reds rewarding
  |  First Published: September 2013

With Winter officially over we can expect warmer days and a few more fish. In saying that, it hasn't been too bad lately, depending on what you’re after.

The inshore reefs have been great for eating-size snapper. These smaller reds averaging a kilo have been plentiful for months, with most reefs holding fish at times.

You may have to move around to locate the schools but once you find them, it’s all systems go.

Anglers who anchor have fared best with lightly weighed baits like squid strips, pilchards and tuna cubes.

Some locals are catching plenty on soft plastics, too, but they are going through packets of them because the leatherjackets have been out in force.

Mixed in with the reds are solid morwong, john dory and some big trevally so there's plenty of quality fish to be had.

This month we may see a few kingfish turn up but a lot will depend on water temperature and current. Over recent years some solid kings have made Merimbula home.

Those venturing wide do so at their peril because we have had a shocking year for the southern bluefin tuna. There were a few caught but certainly not in any numbers or size because at 100km-plus out, they were way to far for the average sport-fisher.

We may see a few yellowfin around the 70-fathom line to the shelf, as we have in previous seasons, but I’d save the fuel until we get some more consistent results closer to shore.


The, especially Pambula, continue to be excellent for trevally, blackfish, salmon, tailor and some solid flathead.

Anglers are doing well with soft plastics on light jig heads, although the bait brigade are struggling, as they usually do in this estuary during the colder months.

The lower sections are certainly the place to fish, with good blackfish on blades around the ribbon weed margins on a falling tide.

It's not uncommon to get 15-20 blackfish on these tiny bits of metal. I know the purists are head-butting their knees but it certainly does work.

At Merimbula the usual culprits like trevally and bream are firing well on smaller softies on 2g-3g jig heads in the main channel on the eastern side of the bridge on the draining tide. This action should improve further to as we head into Spring.

The beaches have been a little quieter, mainly due to the westerlies. The seas are flat in close with little whitewater.

When we get some swell Tura and North Tura are the best beaches to fish.

There's still been the odd salmon and tailor but you do have to work for them.

When it's calm like this, casting smaller shiners is a good method that usually brings some results.

On the stones you’re better off fishing the afternoons when there's a bit more onshore breeze. It can be harder to cast but there’ll be more whitewater.

Platforms to try include Short Point and Long Point, the latter a bit harder to get to but worth the effort.

I'd be trying crab pieces or cunjevoi in a little berley for drummer, groper and bream. Take a spin rod also, as Long Point is renowned for salmon and there's a good chance at a bonito, especially if the water warms a little and the current starts pushing south.

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