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Rain not to dampen estuary fishing
  |  First Published: August 2013



The Pambula Lake system to the south of Merimbula has continued to fish well despite the recent rains and cold water.

This place amazes me during winter, the water is crystal clear towards the entrance but the fish keep chewing and doing the right thing. The fish are right throughout the system but the lower reaches, from the main basin to the estuary entrance, has fished extremely well. Sessions of 40-50 fish have been common, with bream, salmon, trevally, tailor, blackfish, flathead and big winter whiting making up the bag.

Soft plastics have worked well, but blades have probably been best. Slow lifts are all that's required and they should be fished with a relatively tight line. Applying a little bit of S-Factor will increase catch rates, especially when dead-sticking the blades.

Merimbula Lake has slowed somewhat, but trevally and bream are in the channels from the bridge downstream.

Good populations of tailor are in the top lake with the odd decent red falling to fresh squid too.

The flatties are very quiet, but if you concentrate your efforts in the shallower sections, you should be able to get a feed. Smaller plastics and blades will work, but expect to put the casts in to get the desired results.

The beaches have fished very well for months now and I can’t see that changing. Salmon are the main species that anglers have been targeting with some fish pushing the 5kg mark. At that size, they are even great sport on paternoster rigs rigged on heavier tackle. If you downsize to lighter spin tackle, you’re in for some serious sports fishing. Take a handful of 20-30g shiners plus a 7’ estuary combo with 6lb braid and you’re in for some serious fun. With the lighter outfits you can cast those small shiners a mile and cover a lot of ground. Sure, you loose a few fish when they jump off due to the extended length of battle, but that’s half the fun if you ask me. Better beaches to try are Haycock, Tura, and North Tura.

If you’re after a feed and are not too fussed about the sport, expect a few good yellowfin bream this month. Fishing just past the shore dump into slightly deeper water with as little weight as possible should do the trick. Use berley sparsely with live beach worms or pipi and you should be in business. I'd be fishing the north end of North Tura Beach close to Bournda Island if bream are your target.

The stones have produced all the usual winter species, with salmon in plague proportions at times. These surface speedsters are dynamite on light tackle and have to be the best all year round sports fish in my books. They are readily available, eat lures, baits and flies and best of all, they fight super well.

There's been some jumbo-sized tailor mixed in with the sambos with greenbacks to 70cm being caught. They are big tailor for this neck of the woods and fight extremely well. All headlands are fishing well, with Tura Head, Long Point and the main wharf in Merimbula Bay being the best.

For anglers after a feed, blackfish and drummer have continued to do the right thing with Short Point the place to fish. Lightly weighted baits like prawns, cabbage and cunjevoi cast into the wash should see a fish or two with groper on the cards as well.

Offshore, we have had a good run of yellowfin tuna prior to the rough weather we've experienced lately. Fish to 78kg were caught with multiple captures on some boats when they found the fish. Most fish were caught cubing, and the 70 fathom line to the shelf was the place to fish. There were albacore mixed in with the fin, with some monsters over 20kg being captured regularly.

It will be interesting to see what the offshore scene has to offer after this latest bout of rough weather. I'd expect the southern bluefin to be here, it's the right time of year and the water temperatures on the charts look good. All we need is Mother Nature to do the right thing and let the fishos get out there and see what's going on. Trolling will be the go to method for the southern bluefin.

Closer to shore, the snapper will be chewing big time after this rough weather. Most reefs will hold fish with Lennards Island to the south being the pick.

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