Fish haunt beach gutters
  |  First Published: September 2006

With the recent heavy swells lashing our coastline of late, some good deep gutters are appearing on most local beaches.

North Tura Beach has a ripper gutter at present with salmon, tailor, bream and big gummy sharks making a timely appearance. The gummy sharks have been from 12-22kg with a few others caught and lost. These are great fish from the sand to the plate.

All fish are being caught on a rising tide after dark and very close to the full moon. Expect more fish of this calibre over the coming month with mulloway also possible when fishing up to the full moon. Fresh bait is best with tailor or salmon fillets, squid, mullet and bunches of live beachworms.

The stones have continued to fish well for blackfish and especially for drummer. With the increased washes from the pounding swells the pigs have really had a chew.

Fish to 4kg are being caught, with Short Point the hot spot. Cabbage has been the gun bait and can be found at this location and low tide is the best time to wet a line.

Salmon and tailor have been thick at times too with most headlands holding fish. Some of the choppers are 3kg+ with chrome slice lures and ganged pilchards the best way to tempt them. Tura Head is certainly the place to fish with the rocks on the northern side of Merimbula Bay also worth a look.

The estuaries will continue to produce and only get better as we head further into spring. Merimbula’s flattie population should be out of hibernation this month as they have been fairly docile with the colder water lately.

Last season we started to get big fish in September with the channels holding some formidable specimens. I think these big girls are getting ready for spawning this month so if you’re lucky enough to get one, do the right thing and let her go, you will be rewarded in years to come with endless duskies.


Expect the yellowfin bream to pick up this month, too. These guys will start to head back into the lower estuary after a little time out to sea to do their thing. Some good fish will be available from the main road bridge to the bar entrance, fish the run-in tide for best results.

Bait and lures will work but lightly weighted plastics cast around weed edges, boat moorings and oyster racks will do the damage. A favourite lure for bream in Merimbula is the Squidgy Flick Bait in flash prawn colour, rigged on jig heads from 0.5g to1.5g. Weather and tide conditions will determine what size jig head to use.

If you have not tried this sort of fishing before give it a go, it’s great fun and bream love eating them.

Offshore has been like a lottery. August’s weather has been nothing short of horrible but when it does break, some good fishing can be had. Snapper are still around in good numbers with all the usual hangouts holding fish to 4kg with the guys using bait doing the best. Fresh squid and pilchards are working a treat, with the soft plastic brigade getting their fair share.

Chances out wide have been non-existent; the water has cooled and the tuna have left for now. They will return in another month or two if last year’s diary is anything to go by. We had a ripper start to the game season last year and let’s hope this season starts the same way.

Andy McGovern with a beaut 1kg+ trevally caught at Pambula. Fish of this size can be expected over coming months.

It just goes to show you’re never too old to learn. Emily, 83, caught this 68cm flathead on a soft plastic in Pambula Lake on her first outing using plastics!

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