Even with the cool conditions, fishing in the local estuaries has been nothing short of exceptional.
Pambula Lake, south of Merimbula, has continued to fire with most estuary species eating soft plastics. This place amazes me during winter; the water is crystal clear but the fish keep chewing.
Using light braid, fine-gauge hooks on jigheads and longer and finer leaders certainly helps, but the fish are there in numbers and, best of all, they want to play. Sessions of 40-50 fish have been the norm with bream, salmon, trevally, tailor, blackfish and good-sized flatties making up the bag.
The Squidgy Flick Baits and 3” Berkley Bass Minnows have been the flavours of the month. The fish are quite widespread but once you find good concentrations, expect some memorable angling.
Merimbula Lake has slowed somewhat but trevally and bream are in the channels from the bridge downstream. Good populations of tailor are in the Top Lake with the odd decent reddie falling to fresh squid. The flatties are very quiet but if you concentrate on the shallower sections you should be able to get a feed. Smaller plastics and ganged pilchards dragged along the bottom should produce.
The Bega River, to the north, has been okay for bream and estuary perch. Thompsons has produced good results, especially for anglers using hard-bodied lures. Cast these upstream and close to the rock walls, trying to keep the lure in 2-3m and less. This has worked well for bream. With the estuary perch hanging in 7m, use plastics and fish them very slowly.
The stones have produced all the usual winter species with salmon in plague proportions at times. These surface speedsters are dynamite on light tackle and have to be the best all year-round sport fish in my books. They are readily available, they eat lures, bait and flies and, best of all, they fight like caged lions. All headlands are fishing well, with Tura Head and the main wharf in Merimbula Bay best.
For those after a feed, blackfish and drummer have continued to do the right thing. Short Point has been good with cabbage, cunjevoi and bread the best baits.
Outside fishing has been okay, with snapper most popular. Good bags are still coming in but the reds are wising up a little so use fresh bait where possible. Fish are averaging 2kg with the odd bigger fish to 5kg, especially around Lennards Island. Use lightly weighted baits early in the morning with berley for best results. Expect leatherjackets, trevally, morwong and red rockies when targeting the reds also.
The beaches have been fishing well for months now with salmon dominating. I had a session the other day at Tura, landing a dozen or so nice sambos to 2kg. Flicking small, chromed 30g Lasers in the suds on light braid was the key. Using bigger baits on heavier outfits would produce bigger fish I suspect, as some of the fish I lost on the light gear I didn’t have a chance with.
Bream and tailor have made the suds home with live beachworms, pipis and striped tuna cubes working well for the bream. Using berley and lighter outfits will increase your catch rates for bream.Reads: 474