The estuaries around the Merimbula area have been fishing exceptionally well, and this will continue for a few months yet.
Merimbula Lake has been a standout despite the flogging it has got over previous months. Flathead have been prolific with some sizeable models up to 6kg being captured. Most fish have fallen to soft plastics up to 80mm, but anglers using bait have also caught their share.
The top lake is the place to fish, with a lot of 40-55cm duskies being captured. I recommend casting towards the banks that have ribbon weed nearby. The flatties love getting up in the shallows and the weed gives them more camouflage when they’re feeding.
The oyster racks are holding some bruiser yellowfin bream with big blue lips. Casting at one certainly gets the heart pumping! Soft plastics like the Squidgy Flickbaits, Juro Firebaits and Storm Twitching Nippers will all catch fish. Have a variety in your tackle box, as what works one day won’t always work the next. Fresh peeled prawns, nippers and tuna cubes also work well.
The sand flats are full of sand whiting as well. Try wading the shallows to the left of the main jetty with live bass yabbies or worms; you should be able to pick up a few there.
Some decent mulloway have been caught by anglers fishing after dark as well, with the gun method being fresh squid fished on a rising tide.
The beaches will continue to produce the goods over the coming weeks. Bream, whiting, tailor, salmon, mullet and the odd jewfish will all hit baits and lures at times. The jewies are harder to target than other beach species, but if you’re patient the rewards are there. I like using fresh squid for the jew, or tailor fillets and big bunches of live beachworms for the mulloway. Fishing for these marvels isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I can guarantee if you hook one it’s like an addiction. You’ll be back on that beach in no time! Places to fish are Tura and north Tura.
Offshore during March is like a lucky door prize. The water will be anywhere from 21-25C with a host of gamefish species available. Black and striped marlin, yellowfin tuna, albacore, hammerhead and mako sharks will all be patrolling the warm current lines. Lures and live bait will catch fish – just find the good water and the action won’t be far away.
A lot of the action so far this season has come from the wide grounds, 70 fathoms plus, but it’s certainly worth the drive out. If you’re new to the area or don’t have a boat, try a charter. Merimbula has some fine game boats – just see the boys at Bluewater sports and they’ll point you in the right direction.
The inshore reefs have been consistent without being red hot. Some respectable snapper to 4kg are succumbing to fresh baits like squid, tuna and pilchards. Morwong, flathead, perch and pigfish should also be chewing, with kingfish on the cards from most reefs. Places to try are Horseshoe, Long Point, Turingal and Lennard’s Island. Both live baits and jigs will work for the kings. Trolling smaller skirted lures and bibbed minnows can also get good results.
The rocks will continue to fish well for all the usuals. For the lure-tossers, there’s the opportunity to tangle with small kingfish, tailor, salmon and the outside chance of a northern bluefin. Fish Tura head – it’s the deepest and most productive rock platform we have around here. You can get there by getting onto Headland Drive in Tura Head and following the track down to the platform. It’s a bit of a walk but it’s worth the effort.
Sarah Horsburgh with a beaut 66cm flattie from the South Coast. Quality fish like this have been around in numbers this season.
Ali Crowe (12) from Canberra with her best flathead to date. At 72cm it’s a great fish for a youngster.Reads: 901