The usual fish are on fire
  |  First Published: December 2016

It’s hard to believe that summer is here already. The year has flown by and with Christmas around the corner, we’ll see an avalanche of visitors hitting our shores. The Merimbula region will look more like Bourke Street than a sleepy coastal town. It brings anglers – lots of them, so early morning starts will be the norm before the waterways get too busy with boat traffic, especially in the estuaries.

Those anglers putting in the time will be rewarded in both Pambula and Merimbula lakes. Both systems have been nothing short of excellent with most species playing the game. The top lake in Merimbula is red-hot at present and this will continue as the water warms further. Flathead, bream, whiting and luderick have all played the game. Captures of 20+ fish have been standard on most outings.

This is awesome fishing for this tiny piece of water. Soft plastics and blades account for most captures. The southern end of the lake has fished best with huge schools of whitebait present. Fishing around the dense bait schools is the go, especially when salmon and tailor are gorging themselves. These speedsters have been thick, so anglers will have some fun. Expect this action to continue. I for one can’t wait to get back up there over coming weeks.

The ocean rocks will continue to fish well for all the usuals. Anglers casting lures can expect kingfish, tailor, salmon and the chance of a northern bluefin tuna. I’d concentrate my efforts at Tura Head, as it’s the deepest and most productive rock platform we have around here.

The main wharf in Merimbula is also worth a look – there’s been the odd kingfish around. If you’re after the bread and butter species like drummer and luderick, you should still manage a few in the wash zones. Persistence will be required with plenty of berley. Short Point would be the pick of ledges to fish for them.

On the beaches, both bream and whiting numbers have really increased over recent weeks. This will continue right through the month. Anglers using a lightly-weighted rod with live beach worms or pipis will catch plenty. Most local beaches hold fish. The better beaches include North Tura, Tura Main and Merimbula’s main beach.

Just remember, most of these species will be caught just past the shore dump. A lot of anglers try and cast too far for these species and cast past them. They’re at your feet.

If you’re after salmon, they’re in great numbers with the usual haunts all producing. North Tura towards Bournda Island is the pick of the places. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few gummies caught around this moon too. There’s been a few caught on the sand when anglers are targeting flathead offshore, so they’re definitely a possibility. North Tura is best for gummies.

The inshore reefs have been pretty good for snapper near Horseshoe and Long Point. Fresh squid and pilchards are the best baits, but leatherjackets are a nuisance at times. A few fishos are getting them on soft plastics, with most fish around that 40-50cm mark - perfect for the pan.

Mixed in with the reds are morwong, pigfish and some solid kingfish. I know of a few anglers that have been shredded by the kings, so have the right tackle and target – it’s worth a go. Use live bait or stickbaits when they’re on the surface, as some solid schools of kings are on top. Being there when they feed is the key to getting results.

There are big kings amongst them and local fishing legend Bushy is getting stuck into them.


Jase Naeuman with a solid black bream, which was released. Surface action will be a favoured method of targeting them over coming weeks.


Another cracking kingfish from the Merimbula Wharf – it’s been a great year for them.

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