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Time for yellowfin
  |  First Published: May 2006



May is renowned as tuna time down this way and going by the early reports we could have a bumper couple of months.

Fish to 25kg have been caught from the 70-fathom line to the shelf with a few bigger fish lost on trolled skirted lures. Yellowfin of 60kg-plus, albacore and mako sharks will be patrolling the shelf line with longtail and mackerel tuna a real possibility close to shore.

Anybody who has been lucky enough to tangle with a marlin will tell you that your first is something very special. I remember my first and it was awesome, you couldn’t wipe the grin off my face for months!

A local Merimbula guy named Steve had the catch of a lifetime a few weeks back. Game fishing for the first time with his wife aboard their half-cabin, they had the ultimate experience with a big blue marlin. Their lures had been in the water only a short time when the great fish hit a couple of lures and hooked up to a pusher more aimed at yellowfin tuna than marlin.

After a torrid battle that lasted for 100 minutes or so, the fish was gaffed and secured to the boat. The guys had a hard time getting it aboard but somehow they managed. The blue weighed 197kg and on 24kg stand-up gear, it’s a remarkable effort.

Congratulations must go to Steve and his wife, from all accounts it was the first time she had driven a boat and Steve actually fought and gaffed the fish on his own. It’s a fish of a lifetime and going by Steve’s enthusiasm it won’t be the last!

There are still a few striped marlin hitting lures and trolled live baits out wide but expect the marlin action to slow this month as the water cools.

REEFS FISH WELL

The reefs continue to fish well for morwong, flathead, trevally and snapper. This month bigger snapper will be around as they move closer to shore. Reefs like Horseshoe, Turingal and wide off Lennards Island in 30 to 40 fathoms are all worth a look. Fresh squid and cuttlefish will be the preferred baits.

The beaches have slowed a little, mainly due to the lack of swell and gutters but salmon have been around in numbers with tailor to 3kg. Bream and whiting have been quiet. I had a look at the beaches the other day and North Tura was the only one with a decent gutter. Pilchards, blue bait and fresh squid would be the top baits.

Some thumping tailor have made the Top Lake at Merimbula home with fish to 3kg common. We had a session there with clients last week and it was awesome. Snapper, flatties, bream, tailor, trevally and whiting scoffed our soft plastics and I would have to say it was almost the best session I have ever had in Merimbula. All fish fell to softies but I did see some guys getting good flatties on live poddy mullet.

Pambula Lake is still producing with local Mick Horne getting plenty. Captures of 20-plus fish are the norm but fishing the falling is the key. Unfortunately the river is still full of red algae, which makes lure fishing a lot more difficult. You can still fish it but patience is required.

Drummer, blackfish and good groper are making for fun off the stones. Tura Head and Short Point have been the hot spots with red crabs and cabbage catching most of the fish. A few salmon and small kingies being caught, too, mainly on sliced chrome lures and ganged pilchards.

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