Summer is finally here! Warmer weather plus longer days is an equation that can only equal more time on the water – and I for one can't wait. The increased water temperature is really going to set the fishing on fire in the local estuaries.
Both the Merimbula and Pambula systems have been excellent recently with an array of species on offer. Good numbers of flathead have woken up from the winter slumber with some solid crocs around 90cm coming from both systems. These larger girls have responded well to bigger soft plastics and rubber vibes which are great fun to fish with and highly effective. There's a stack of different types of vibes on the market, I prefer to use natural coloured imitations anywhere from 10-20g. Choice of size depends on the depth I’m fishing as well as current and tidal movement. It's a good idea to have a selection of vibes because some days the smaller versions work better and vice versa. Artificials are easy to work and big flathead find it hard to throw the hooks due to the two trebles. They are also excellent for catching mulloway.
Other species that can be expected include bream, trevally, whiting, flounder and blackfish. All of these species are playing the game and anglers are getting great results whether fishing baits or lures. The bream and whiting are really starting to zone into surface presentations – again this is a great way to fish, it's a visual and highly exciting form of angling. Sure, it's not for everyone, but if you haven’t tried surface lure fishing you should give it a go. I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised with the results!
On the beaches fishing hasn’t been red-hot mainly due to the recent low swell. Those fishing the low light periods have come away with salmon, bream, and whiting. When it's tough on the beaches try and downsize your tackle and use fresh bait if you can. The fish are there but become wary when there's not much cover from white-water so a different approach is needed. You will be surprised what little changes like this will do to your catch rates. Beaches that have fished well include Haycock, Tura, and North Tura. There's a solid gutter at the northern end of North Tura beach near Bournda Island that is definitely worth a look. Mulloway and gummy shark are also possible, fish those moonlit nights on a flooding tide for you best chance of catching one.
The rock-hopping brigade have done it tough, especially those targeting drummer and blackfish. Little or no wash makes it difficult but expect that to change when the conditions become more suitable. If you’re after the pelagic species you will be a happy little angler as bonito have already turned up along with some monster salmon to 5kg. Casting chrome lures is the best method as the fish are travelling through quickly from headland to headland. There are still kings to be caught, but they have slowed up a bit over recent weeks. However, this should change in the near future.
Offshore it's business as usual, with the bottom bouncing brigade finding plenty of flathead from the 35m line. Bags have been caught quite easily of late and I can't see that changing anytime soon. If you’re after snapper you will be happy as these fine table and sport fish have continued to chew on most reefs. The reds these days are a year round proposition but the summer months tend to see a lot of school fish around the 1-2kg mark caught but not many bigger models conquered. That's ok though, as what they lack in size they make up for in numbers. The better reefs are Whitecliffs, Long, and Horseshoe with squid, pilchards, and soft plastics all working a treat.Reads: 618