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Lake mulloway challenge
  |  First Published: December 2004



Merimbula Lake has produced some big mulloway of late and more good captures can be expected over the summer.

The biggest fish I have heard about was 27kg, an absolute bruiser for this neck of the woods. Most of the jewies have been caught on fresh squid but I expect a lot more captures to be taken on soft plastics because this system is perfect for them.

The deepest part of Merimbula Lake I have found is nine metres and there are only a few areas with this depth. When using softies you should be able to work the deeper parts throughout the lake and give yourself a decent show of catching these elusive fish.

Pambula Lake is also worth a go, as it also has deeper parts that will also hold good jewies.

Don’t expect to catch fish after fish. Numbers like that just don’t exist here but always remember each cast you have you’re closer to getting one!

Quality flatties can be expected in both lakes with some really big fish being caught in Pambula. The best I have got lately was 92cm, a decent flattie in anyone’s language.

Bream, whiting and smaller snapper will also be on the cards with live bass yabbies the best bait. If you can’t get live bait, freshly peeled prawns or striped tuna should do the trick.

The rock-spin diehards will be around in numbers from now on as a variety of surface speedsters are willing to hit a lure. Kingfish, striped tuna and bonito are likely and you never know when that stray yellowfin tuna might come too close to the rocks.

Tura Head is the place to fish but the wharf and rocks in Merimbula Bay are also worth a look.

There will still be the ever-reliable salmon around if all else fails. Bream, blackfish and the odd groper will still hold close to the rock washes so a lightly weighted bait is another option. Crabs, cunjevoi and green cabbage weed are the best baits. Fishing the washes, a little berley will enhance your chances.

WARM-WATER THRILLS

The water offshore is often around 22° during January. If this is the case, striped tuna will be abundant. Striped marlin, yellowfin tuna and a few sharks won’t be far behind because stripies are part of their staple diet.

The continental shelf and second drop-off are the places to fish early in the season, with larger trolled lures getting results.

If you are out wide and come across some floating debris, put on a couple of smaller skirted lures. Mahi mahi are a real possibility if the water is warm enough. These guys are great fun on the light stuff and not bad eating fresh.

The inshore reefs should be alive with bottom fish. This season has been a ripper so far and this should continue. Snapper, mowies and flatties will all take a bait and most of the reefs will hold fish.

If you’re new to the area, Horseshoe Reef is a good place to start and White Rocks Reef further north of Merimbula is also worth a go. If the fish aren’t biting at one, go to another; they will be holding up somewhere.

There’s always the chance of getting some kingfish so keep the jig rods ready. Having a troll close to the many headlands along this coast can produce smaller tuna, salmon and kingies.

Bream, whiting, salmon and tailor will be on most beaches. Live beach worms are great while blue bait and pilchards will also get results. Tura and Bournda beaches are the places to fish. Look for the deeper water there.

A good conditioned dusky flathead out of the clear waters of Pambula Lake. At 85cm long and around 4kg, it’s a nice fish and was released to breed.

Good-sized bream like this 40cm specimen are always on the cards if throwing smaller plastics in shallower water.

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