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November wind will blow over
  |  First Published: November 2016



It’s been a windy start to November for the Merimbula region. The mornings have been okay, but by 10:00am those 30-40 knot northwesterly winds have wreaked havoc on fishos. I know that’ll change over coming weeks and we get the traditional northeasters in the afternoons, but at the minute it’s difficult.

When you can get out, the estuaries will continue to fire up with local haunts producing quality fish. Pambula has been excellent with trevally, flatties, bream, salmon and luderick all chewing at times. The faster water in the channels from Shark Hole to the entrance is the place to fish with bait and lure anglers having success.

Anchored up on the draining tide with the freshest of baits, the bait brigade has had a ball. A few locals have cleaned up on bream, especially with a bit of colour still in the water. In the main basin, the edges in 4-5m have been okay for flathead, but they’re sporadic. This is likely due to the water temperature staying around 16°C. That will change over coming weeks.

In fact, this coming moon should be good for the flats. I don’t mind targeting them and have had solid success around that time. I’d be using plastics or soft vibes mixing it up a little until there’s a pattern happening. It’s funny, but when they’re not switched on, you need to change things up to get desired results.

Offshore, wind has made things difficult. Sportfishers have had to pick their days. When they’ve got wide, there’s been a few yellowfin around, mostly school fish in the 20-30kg bracket, but there will be bigger fish there. Solid jumbos have been caught north of us off Narooma, so if the currents do the right thing, we may be in luck. Trolling is the go early this season, as you get to cover the water and find the fish. If you come across a decent patch, cubing might be worth a look.

Closer to shore, there’s plenty of big kings about, certainly not what it was a few months back, but they’re popping up from headland to headland. The better places to search for a greenback are Tura Head, Long Point or Haycock to the south. Cast bigger stick-style softies or poppers for a stack of fun. If fish are deeper then a weighted slimy mackerel might be the method.

The local beaches have been exceptional over recent weeks, especially for bream and whiting. Most beaches hold fish. Bream to 1kg or so and whiting to 43cm have been captured and are good sport on the light tackle, not bad on the plate either. Better baits to use include pipis, fresh prawns and live beach-worms. North Tura, Tura Main, and Haycock beaches are the picks.

There’s plenty of salmon around. At times they’re thick and play havoc on light gear. If you target them on paternoster rigs, you’re in for some fun. I expect a few mulloway and gummy sharks to be caught for those who have a go. Fishing the evening flooding tides into the nights leading up to the full moon should pay rewards. North Tura is a hotspot for mulloway.

The rock-hoppers are still getting smoked by kings off Tura Head, but not like previous months. Being there at first light has been the key to getting a bite with all methods getting results at times. I’d expect to see a few smaller kings turn up too. November usually sees bonito and the odd striped tuna as well.

All these speedsters can be targeted with spinning shiners or whole pilchards on ganged hooks. If all else fails, a few solid sambos should keep you interested in between other species. There’s still some good bread and butter species like bream, drummer and luderick there for the taking. Fishing the washes at Short Point with fresh cunjevoi or prawns should see tasty fillets for the pan.

1

Craig ‘Hendo’ Henderson with a thumping whiting taken on a plastic. This fish was released.

2

Ritchie and son Josh, 11, with a few trevally they caught while fishing Pambula River – fish don't have to be huge to bring smiles to happy anglers. The lads managed 20 odd fish in pretty windy conditions.

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