Water temperatures dropping to a new degree
  |  First Published: May 2017

The Merimbula region has received some much needed rain over recent weeks giving the local estuaries a good flush. This has really fired the fish up. Both Merimbula and Pambula lakes are fishing extremely well. The rain has discoloured the water to a degree and the water temperature dropped, but fish don’t seem to mind.

The top lake at Merimbula has been a standout for all species with bream, snapper, trevally and greenback tailor all succumbing to a variety of techniques.

Anglers fishing smaller blades and soft plastics are definitely doing better than the bait fishos. I’m not to sure why, but who’s complaining when their eating artificials with gusto?

I had a recent guide there with regulars Fitzy and son Bailey and the fish were really playing the game.

We managed 20 odd legal fish for the morning session with the best being a 44cm black bream.

Now Merimbula Lake is not known for it’s black bream with this beast being the best I’ve seen come out of there for quite a long time. It’s possible this fish plus his mates got pushed down out of Boggy Creek with the recent heavy rains but one will never know it’s only an assumption.

What is good, is that there’s some quality black bream around and best of all their chewing too. We got most of our fish on smaller grubs fished on light jigheads very close to the bottom with only the smallest of lifts required. If you moved the lure any more than a foot off the bottom you didn’t get a bite. This was paramount to having a solid session compared to just a good session. It just proves that variance to the norm can reap you rewards when playing this game.

Offshore anglers fishing the close in reefs and gravel beds for snapper, morwong and kingfish are doing it tough at present with a cold band of water hitting our coastline. This will certainly move on, but it also shows that winter isn’t that far away.

What is a nuisance is the amount of leatherjackets that are causing havoc to anglers with bite-offs being the norm. This does become quite expensive when your loosing rig after rig but hopefully they will move on so anglers can get a feed and keep the family happy.

Sportfishers fishing wider are having no trouble at all with the water still 22°C at the shelf.

Marlin is still the word, not as many as last month but most crews are still getting a few shots a day which is great to see.

I’ve heard of sporadic catches of smaller school sized yellowfin tuna to 30kg being caught when trolling pushers for marlin so it might be time to lay a berley trail down with cubes and fish strips.

May is well known as the start of tuna time so if early indications are anything to go by we might be in for a cracking yellowfin season, only time will tell.

The local beaches are red hot at the minute with salmon and monster tailor both chewing big time. There’s been reports of tailor to 4kg, which are true greenbacks with a few bigger models lost as well.

One visiting angler told me he lost five big fish before landing one, it went 8lb the one he landed and said the ones he lost earlier were bigger. Now they’re big fish and exciting stuff! I’d expect these fish to be on most beaches with a half decent gutter that’s holding bait but Tura Main and North Tura would be the pick to fish in my books.

For the rock hopping brigade it’s all systems go with salmon, tailor, smaller kingfish, bonito and mackerel tuna all viable opponents.

May is the best month for all the above with Tura Head definitely the place to fish.

It’s a deep headland that holds stacks of bait and some very big fish at times. The northern ledge is the deepest and perfect for live baiting either under a balloon or bobby cork.

You will catch all the bait you need here but they can become a little tricky once that sun gets high so you’re better off getting in early and not running out.

Casting bigger shiners and poppers is another option with some anglers doing very well on whole ganged pilchards wound in slowly. Good luck with whatever technique you’re using.

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