The big flatties awaken
  |  First Published: October 2013

It's a cracking time of year to fish the local estuaries with the transition period in full swing. With the water around 18° and getting warmer by the day, those Summer species are getting active again.

Big flathead will be on most estuary sport fishers’ lists as the big girls come out of hibernation.

On Merimbula and Pambula lakes we can expect crocs to 90cm and bigger this month, with the main basins the places to fish.

I'd be concentrating around the ribbon weed edges in 4m-9m, depending on which system your fishing.

Cast your offering to the shallow edge and work it back over the drop. Soft plastics and larger vibes work a treat.

If you can locate whitebait schools, this will enhance your chances. There will be plenty of eating-size fish to 55cm, so it shouldn't be too difficult to get a feed for the family.

Anglers who like to target mulloway will be getting excited, with the Top Lake at Merimbula the place to fish.

Every year we see fish to 20kg caught, mainly by bait fishers, and this is a great time to put the effort in.

A flooding tide is best; anchor up on the eastern weed bank and fish back into 7m-10m of water. Best baits are tailor fillets, fresh squid and if you can get them, live mullet.

If the bigger fish aren’t for you then the lower sections of the channel below the main bridge in town will have bream, trevally, blackfish and flathead there for the taking.

As the month progresses more whiting will start to enter the system and be viable propositions on the flats on live squirt worms or bass yabbies.


With the wind that's been blowing, outside anglers have had sporadic fishing at best but when the breeze has abated, some exceptional fishing has been on offer.

The local reefs are still producing good bags of snapper, with switched-on anglers getting their bags on most outings. The reds are widespread so you have to put the time in to locate them but once you do, you’re in business.

Most fish are averaging 1.5kg-2kg with the odd better red nudging 5kg on squid strips, pilchards and tuna cubes.

Mixed in with the snapper are morwong, trevally and the odd kingfish. In fact the kings should really turn up this month.

Most years we start to see good schools of kings around 3kg-5kg with Long Point and Haycock Reef good places to start looking.

They should respond well to live bait, jigs and squid but they can be fussy early in the season so it's best to have all bases covered.

Those heading out wider looking for tuna may be rewarded but a lot will depend on conditions like water temperature, current and bait activity.

In recent weeks there have been albacore and a few stray southern bluefin caught but it will be hit and miss. Trolling smaller skirted pushers and bibbed minnows would be the go if you decided to take the long drive out.

I'd be waiting another month or so and save the fuel for when the fishing really hots up.

On the beaches and rocks the usual culprits will be there.

Bream numbers are increasing around the estuary mouths. I expect this great action to continue right through the month.

Mixed in with the bream are some solid whiting, with Merimbula Main producing some exceptional fishing. The flooding tide has been best with live beachworms and pipi the gun baits.



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