Back to the cruise
  |  First Published: February 2004

WITH the holidays over, things around Merimbula are getting back to a more cruisy pace.

The tourist influx was unbelievable, with fishing high on the agenda for the majority of them. Whether they fished beach, estuary, game or with the many charter operations in the area, I’d say they all went home with some great stories to tell.

I did a bit of a work stint in Blue Water Sports and was blown away at the amount of tackle sold. Everything from cheap combos to state of the art game reels went out the door and what really surprised me was the volume of soft plastics sold. Even the old-time lake bait fishermen are now throwing these lures and coming back in with stories of big catches and the ones that got away. In one instance, a lucky angler on his first outing with a new combo outfit landed an 11.6kg jewie on his third cast. Some people have all the luck!

With everyone gone, it’s now just a case of seeing what’s left out there. Merimbula Lake has been producing some thumper whiting on the sandflats right in the heart of town and there have been some beautiful trevally among them as well.

The beaches have been alive with schools of salmon but they’ve been tricky to catch in the clear water that has pushed in along the coast. Raider lures around 15g and the locally-made Gerald lures have proven to be the best producers, especially when retrieved at high speed from the beaches and headlands.


Game fishing this month is a great bet in the warm water and the fishing certainly is hotting up. At the time of writing, K-9 Charters has done three trips out for two black marlin landed and they have dropped several more, with a by-catch of some beautiful albacore to 15kg. So if you’re a keen game fisho, now is the time to get out there.

Out of Eden, the kingfish have been hot and cold off Mowarrie Point, with anglers bagging out easily one day with some real thumpers and the next day going home with little or nothing. The most productive way seems to be jigging these fish up or dropping a livie straight down when you mark the fish on your sounder. Take some heavy stand-up gear with you because there are some real monsters among them.

Finally, I’d just like to thank everyone involved with the Australian Fishing Championships TV series. We travelled as a team from Brisbane to Melbourne, laughing and catching fish the whole way. It was a great experience and I feel privileged to have been a part of it and can’t wait until the next one.

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