Beaches and rocks for hot action
  |  First Published: July 2007

Cool mornings with south-westerly winds are the norm at this time of year but some decent angling is still on the cards for those fishos keen to wet a line.

Winter is prime time to target big salmon from the local beaches with some models pushing the needle down to 5kg over recent weeks. These bigger fish will be around all winter but fish up to 2kg can be expected on most outings.

With the salmon, expect a few decent tailor with North Tura Beach being a standout. Almost any rig will work but a whole pilchard rigged on ganged hooks with a single dropper has been the preferred method of late.

Casting small chrome lures up to 50g into the washes will also pay dividends. Using light braid on smaller outfits will produce hours of endless fun on these fine sport fish. Better beaches to try are Tura, North Tura and Haycock.

Anglers fishing the stones are having a field day. Bread-and-butter species like bream, blackfish and drummer have all played the game with a few decent reds hitting as well. Short Point, Tura Head and the stones inside Merimbula Bay are all worth a look.

Conditions to fish the rocks have been good – offshore winds have kept the swell down to a safe level but enough wash to make it worthwhile to fish. Best baits for the snapper have been cuttlefish and whole ganged pilchards. Cabbage weed, cunjevoi and abalone gut have great baits for the other species.

Expect a few salmon and tailor if you’re casting chrome lures past the wash zones.


The estuaries have been a little hit and miss depending on which system you fish. Every winter Pambula explodes with the pelagics with salmon, tailor and big silver trevally making up the majority of bags. We have had some awesome sessions there lately with clients with the action fast and furious.

Bream and flathead are also around but expect the flatties to shut down a little as the water cools further. The fish are very widespread but once you find concentrations of them, expect some great action.

A variety of soft plastics has done the damage for us but I know of some local anglers getting nice bags on fresh prawns.

At Merimbula things have slowed to a crawl. The Top Lake has seen tailor in numbers at times but they can be finicky. The bottom section towards the road bridge has a few bream and trevally but certainly not in any big numbers.

If fishing this system I would concentrate my efforts down the front section with the run-out tide being the best. Use fresh bait like nippers and prawns with a mixture of soft plastics if the bait action is a little slow.


Outside, things are also a little up and down. The water has cooled off dramatically and is hovering around 15°.

Most of the tuna species have headed to warmer pastures but southern bluefin are a real possibility. They love that cooler water and, going by reports of fish a lot further south, we may just get a decent run of them.

If they do turn up, trolling skirted and bibbed minnows will get you results.

On the reefs snapper should be chewing if last year is anything to go by. A lot of anglers targeted the reds last season with soft plastics and bait and cleaned up. They have been slower this month so far, but hopefully they will do the right thing over coming weeks.

Expect a few morwong, leatherjackets and john dory on the reefs as well. Fresh squid, cuttlefish, tuna fillets and pilchards would be the pick of the baits, with Horseshoe and Long reefs the places to fish.

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