If you’re not sure – bream it!
  |  First Published: June 2016

Winter is here again, but don’t let this deter you as some excellent fishing still exists for those anglers prepared to brave the cold mornings and put in the time.

June is the pick of the months to fish one of my favourite estuary haunts, Pambula Lake. Winter pelagics like salmon, tailor and big silver trevally call this place home over the coming months and the action can be fast and furious at times.

Flathead, yellowfin bream, blackfish and legal snapper are also on the cards. These bread and butter species are year round prospects, but for some reason they really fire up in this system when that water cools down. There have been some great captures from this system over the last weeks, with bream to 43cm, which are solid models for this area. There’s still some decent flathead around up to 85cm, with a lot of good tailor coming from the main Broadwater itself. All of the fish we have caught lately have been on soft plastics, with anglers using bait finding it hard to get a feed.

There are presently a few leatherjackets and smaller snapper in the system and this is causing the bait fishos a little headache. I’d suggest fishing the margins for best results with the main basin in 3-5m a good place to start.

Outside, the game boats have had a good time with yellowfin tuna to 62kg captured and a few bigger models winning their freedom. Good-sized albacore have been mixed in with tuna catches, with some fish pulling the needle down to 18kg. This action should continue through June, with the water still hovering around the 19°C mark. Large schools of slimy mackerel still dominate anglers’ sounders around the 70-fathom line. This is certainly the place to troll skirted lures or live bait, and cube for yellowfin and albacore. Depending on water temperature, marlin are still a possibility, it has happened this late in the season before, and I think the game seasons are definitely getting later in the year.

Inshore, the action has been patchy, with sporadic catches of snapper, morwong and flathead. The fish that have been caught are of decent size, so it’s certainly still worth a look out the front. Expect the snapper action to get better if last season is anything to go by. We had a ripper winter run with reds to 5kg last year, so fingers crossed it happens again.

Reefs to try are Horseshoe, Long and Lennards Island with fresh cuttlefish, squid and soft plastics the best baits and lures to try. If the reds are slow, there are ample flathead if a feed is what you’re after, it’s been a cracking season for the flats. The best depth to try is the 40m line off Pambula, it’s been firing nicely.

For the rock-hoppers, the bread and butter species will dominate this month. Blackfish, drummer, yellowfin bream and smaller snapper will make up most bags. As the water cools even further, bigger drummer will make their presence felt, with cabbage and cunjevoi the best performing baits. Spots to try are Short Point and Tura Head. June is a great month if a decent red off the stones is your caper. Tura Head and Long Point near the main wharf in Merimbula Bay are the pick with fresh squid and cuttlefish the gun baits. It’s even better to target these guys after a heavy blow, if this happens your chances will greatly increase.

On the sand, the beach anglers have had a ball recently, which will certainly continue. Almost all beaches hold fish with Tura, North Tura, Haycock and the mouth of Pambula River all firing at certain times. Big salmon to 3kg are the most common species being caught, but some XOS tailor have played the game. Expect a few bream on the beaches as they head out of the estuaries to do their thing. Paternoster and Ezy rig combinations on surf rods are ideal for these bigger fish. Pilchards, blue-bait and fresh squid are perfect for salmon and tailor, with live beach worms and pipis ideal for bream. A lot of the smaller salmon succumb to smaller laser lures up to 30g. They are great fun on lighter tackle with fish averaging 1.5kg on the metals. If you’re after bigger prey, a late night session with fresh tailor fillets might see a gummy shark or two, there’s been a few around and North Tura is the beach to fish.

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