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Red hot beach action
  |  First Published: July 2016



The beaches surrounding Merimbula are some of the most productive along the coast, especially in the midst of winter.

Pelagic species like salmon and tailor are prolific at present with bream, whiting, mulloway and gummy sharks also making anglers happy. Most beaches are holding fish with North Tura, Tura Main and Pambula the better ones to try as all these beaches have decent deep gutters along their length.

Pambula has been a standout with the mouth to the river section excellent. I know of several mulloway up to 11kg plus a handful of gummy sharks coming from this area over recent weeks, so it’s certainly worth a look. The anglers I talked to have been using fresh tailor fillets for bait and fishing the evening run-in tide into the night. Big bunches of live beach worms have also worked with some solid yellowfin bream finding the wrigglers hard to resist.

Offshore it’s exciting times to with tuna on everyone’s lips. The yellowfin have been sporadic, they are there but there’s plenty of miles between them. This month should see more numbers and bigger fish if the reports north of us are anything to go by.

What we will definitely see is SBT. This month is the start of it all for these brutes, and fish to well over 100kg are possible with trolling the better technique early in the season. As for their whereabouts, only time will tell, but I suspect the usual 60km plus drive east will be on the cards. There’s been the odd fish caught further south of us, so it won’t be long before they’re on our doorstep.

Another exciting fishery that’s opening up, but I suspect has been here all the time, is the broadbill swordfish. These creatures of the deep have been actively targeted and captured during daylight hours, which has never really been done before. It was always thought of as a nighttime gig, but that’s been proven wrong with 7-8 fish caught along this part of the coast over recent weeks. These things are big too, with 100kg fish the norm, and many bigger fish captured and lost also. It’s only a matter of time before a 300kg broady is caught, then the heavens will open up.

Closer to shore the snapper are in full swing. They’re not big fish, but there’s plenty of them. Most reefs are holding fish with Horseshoe a standout. It seems that a lot of the good fishing of late has been south around Pambula, so I know here I’d be going.

In the estuaries, both Pambula and Merimbula are firing nicely without being red hot. The channels in both systems have been productive for trevally, salmon, tailor and the odd flathead. Anglers fishing soft plastics in the fast water are faring best with sessions of 20 plus fish the norm, which isn’t bad for the middle of winter.

In Pambula, these same channels are loaded with big tailor all around 40-50cm. Yes, they are great fun, but your’re going to go through some tackle chasing them, so using a heavier leader than normal is certainly the go.

The main basins in both systems are very clear at present, and we desperately need some rain to give them a flush as it’s the clearest I can remember for a long time. This has made it a little more difficult to catch fish, and the only way we have been able to get quality bags is to fish very light leaders. I’ve been going down to 4lb for the flatties to get the bites, and it’s working, but you do rub a few off, especially the bigger fish. It’s a little frustrating at times, but at least you get the bites.

The stones are okay at the moment, but you do have to work for the eating fish. The westerly winds we have had of late have made it difficult, with little or no wash. Again, anglers who have done well have fished light and used a lot of berley. This will change once we get some swell and white water happening, which will help things enormously. Both Short and Long Point are the places to fish, but if the swell comes then Tura Head would be the pick.

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