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Estuary smorgasbord
  |  First Published: February 2006



Estuaries around Merimbula have been fishing exceptionally well of late and this will continue for a few months yet.

Merimbula Lake has been a standout with a smorgasbord of species available. Flathead have been prolific with some sizeable specimens captured. A few weeks back we got an absolute monster of 96cm and 7.2kg, a true trophy fish that was released in superb condition.

The Top Lake has loads of duskies between 40cm and 55cm. Fish soft plastics or strip baits and you’re almost guaranteed a feed. Concentrate your efforts casting towards the banks that have ribbon weed nearby; the flatties love getting up in the shallows and the weed gives them more camouflage when feeding.

The oyster racks are holding some bruiser yellowfin bream. These big fish have big blue lips and casting at one certainly gets the heart pumping. Soft plastics like the Squidgy Flick Baits, Juro Firebaits and Storm Twitching Nippers will all catch fish.

Have a variety in the tackle box because what works one day doesn’t always work the next. Fresh peeled prawns, nippers and tuna cubes will also work.

The sandflats are full of sand whiting. Try wading the shallows to the left of the main jetty with live bass yabbies or worms – you should be able to pick up a few there.

The beaches will continue to produce over coming weeks. Bream, whiting, tailor, salmon, mullet and the odd jewfish will all hit baits with gusto.

The jewies will be a lot harder to target than other beach species but if enough time and patience is put in, the just rewards will happen. I like using fresh squid, tailor fillets and big bunches of live beachworms for the mulloway.

Fishing for these marvels isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I can guarantee that if you hook one, it’s like an addiction – you’ll be back on that beach in no time! Places to fish are Tura and North Tura.

OFFSHORE EXTRAVAGANZA

Offshore in February is like a lucky door prize. The water will be anywhere from 21° to 25° with a host of gamefish available. Black and striped marlin, yellowfin tuna, albacore, hammerhead and mako sharks will all be patrolling the warm current lines.

Lures and live bait will catch fish. Find the good water and the action won’t be far away.

If you’re new to the area or don’t have a boat, try a charter. Merimbula has some fine game boats so see the boys at Bluewater Sports who will point you in the right direction.

The inshore reefs have been awesome. Down south of Eden the kingfish have been prolific. We had a session there a while back when we bagged out on quality kingies inside two hours with three guys on board. Fish ranged from 4 to 10kg but some hoodlums were about and heavy gear was the only way to stop them.

Jigs were all that we needed that day but if you have live bait then some bigger fish will be taken.

Good snapper are getting around on the close reefs with Horseshoe and Long Point the pick. Fresh squid and pilchards are the best baits.

The flattie grounds are alive with sand and tiger flathead. When you find a patch, catching two at once on a paternoster rig is certainly on the cards.

The rocks will continue to fish well for all the usuals. For the guys who like throwing lures, small kingfish, tailor, salmon and the outside chance of a longtail tuna are a possibility. Fish Tura Head; it’s the deepest and most productive rock platform around here.

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