Kingies infest the reefs
  |  First Published: March 2004

MERIMBULA and surrounding areas have an incredibly diverse range of fishing and I am happy to inform you that the future is looking unbelievably bright.

There have been immense schools of kingfish patrolling our headlands, and there appears to be no quick end to them in sight. In March you can expect kingies to be in schools from Tura Head all the way down to Green Cape lighthouse. Their day-to-day activities can be completely different: You may encounter them busting the surface and sending baitfish flying, or possibly sitting way down deep, requiring a very good sounder and some heavy tackle to get them to the surface.

A recent trip with two friends had us catching kingies up to 9kg busting out on the surface. No 8 Black and Gold Squidgies with light jig heads, wound flat out, were reaping the results. Watching these monsters whale the lures with no hesitation provided one of the most pleasurable day’s fishing this writer has had in many years.

The next day, of course, proved to be a totally different scenario. With no fish in sight, we had to sound them out. Shayne Butcher introduced me to deep-jigging with two large metal lures, joined together so they bang and clang. This, teamed with a tuna circle hook underneath, quickly achieved the results, with two 90cm fish persuaded to the surface. What a great technique – it seemed to really work on the shut-down fish. Thanks, Redbeard!

At the time of writing we have had a few schools of yellowfin roaming these waters, with some fabulous stories filtering in, especially about ‘the big one that got away’. I would love to say my crystal ball has predicted these fish at this time of the year, but I’d need to be a brave man indeed. Let’s just wait and see and keep our fingers crossed.

Salmon have been abundant on the beaches but, having said that, they are being very tricky and extremely flighty. With the magnificent blue water we have been experiencing they seem to be very tentative and easily spooked. The abundance of dolphins in the area has not helped, either, as the salmon seem to be constantly looking over their shoulders and wondering whose meal they will end up.

March is a prime time to target whiting in Merimbula Lake. Try one of the many sandflats on the higher tide or, alternatively, concentrate on the channel at low tide. Remember ‘fresh is best’ with bait, live beach worms being the best. If you are finding them a little tricky to catch you can always buy them daily at Blue Water Sports.

Now is the time to target big mulloway in local estuaries, using lures or fresh bait, live tailor or fresh squid being the pick. Pambula River around the Shark Hole or Merimbula’s Top Lake near the channel entrance should be prime spots to start.

Finally, to bass in Brogo Dam. If you happen to be good enough, you should be able to achieve a score an Aussie test batsman would be proud to produce.

As you can see, there are plenty to fish at the moment around Merimbula. If you happen to be in the area and have the day off, or even have a lunch hour free, get out there and have a go. It may be the best thing you have ever done and who knows what stories you’ll have to tell about the one that didn’t get away!

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