Sunshine after rain
  |  First Published: August 2007

Merimbula and its surrounds have copped an absolute flogging with big seas, high winds and heaps of rain being the norm.

The weather is slowly clearing and the seas abating, so expect some pretty good fishing, particularly on the close inshore reefs.

Snapper will be the word on everyone’s lips this month as they forage around reefs, headlands and gravel patches looking for an easy feed after the big blow. Crabs, cuttlefish, squid and fish fillets should all work, with anglers throwing soft plastics around the headlands and bommies also snaring a few.

Nearly every time we get heavy seas here, the reds decide to play the game once you’re able to get out safely and target them. Probably the hardest bit about snapper is actually finding them but when you do, some memorable angling can be had.

The close reefs will certainly fish better than out wider, so concentrate your efforts around them. Some of the better spots to try would be Lennards Island, Long Point, Hunter Rock and the close reefs further north at White Rocks. It’s a fair way to White Rocks but could certainly be worth it.

With the reds, morwong, leatherjackets, sweep and john dory are all viable prospects.

The local estuaries are running quite murky, which is to be expected with all the run off from up the hills. This will help the estuaries in coming months, though, as they need a good flush every so often.

Before the rain they were fishing quite well. Pambula was a standout with big trevally, XOS tailor, flathead, bream and some decent reddies succumbing mainly to plastics. Our best session for the month was 60 fish comprising eight different species –not too bad for the middle of winter.

This sort of action will continue in this system regardless of the colour of the water. Fish downstream for best results with some good winter bream around the deeper rock walls. The main basin should have a lot of tailor in it with some decent flathead in the shallows towards the northern end of the basin. Use big soft plastics and live poddy mullet for the bigger winter frogs.


In Merimbula things had picked up before the rain. Some good trevally, bream and tailor were in the channels.

This system clears quite quickly down the front section so expect the winter action to continue. Smaller stick-style plastics will work best on light jigheads, while the bait fishos will need fresh prawns or striped tuna cubes.

Fish anywhere from the main road bridge up towards the entrance, this is where most of the action will happen.

The beaches have almost been a write-off over the past month. I could count on two hands the number of days you could have actually fished the beach with hope of success. In other words it’s been huge and holding bottom with any type of rig has been difficult

A few locals have had success casting bigger chrome lures into the suds. Salmon are the main species being caught with fish to 2kg average. It’s very hard to pick a gutter at present with all the whitewater but the better beaches to try are Tura, North Tura and the beaches north of Tathra.

When the swells do decide to back off, there will be some exceptional beach angling. This is the time to target a big mulloway or decent red from the sand.

A lot of feed would have dislodged from rocky beach corners and the cuttlefish would have been pushed very close to shore. Use squid, cuttlefish or tailor fillets for bait and fish after dark on a rising tide.

On the ocean rocks the drummer action will be in full swing. It was darn good before the blow so I’m expecting it to be even better now when the weather permits. Cunjevoi and cabbage would be the pick of the baits with all headlands producing fish.

My favourite ledge for the pigs is certainly Short Point with Tura head a close second. Groper, blackfish and bream will also make the suds home, with crabs being dynamite bait for groper after heavy seas.

If fishing the stones, please be careful because those rogue waves come out of nowhere. No fish is worth risking your life over, there’s always tomorrow.

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