Reefs provide the fun
  |  First Published: March 2005

The reefs around Merimbula area have been fishing well for some time now and should continue so throughout March.

Good catches of snapper, mowies, kingfish, pigfish and a variety of other species have been caught in good numbers.

Most of the inshore reefs are holding fish. The reef off Long Point, which runs east for around 2km, is holding some good-sized snapper.

Some excellent captures of sand and tiger flathead have come from Bourndal Island, just north of Merimbula, and The Sticks, around a kilometre from the Pambula River mouth. Fresh striped tuna fillets have been working well, as have mullet and flattie fillets.

Horseshoe Reef has produced some quality kingies of late but better captures are being caught down south of Eden.

The wider grounds have been fishing reasonably well for yellowfin tuna and marlin. The fish are proving a little hard to find – there one day but not the next – but once you have located them the action is fast and furious. The tuna are of good size, up to 60kg, with the odd jumbo thrown in.

This marlin season has been a little slow compared with the past few years but this could change any day. The bait is there so hopefully more beakie captures are just around the corner.

The local estuaries are all fishing well, with the Bega River a standout.

Since its opening to the sea a few months back it just keeps on improving daily. Big flathead up to 90cm, a few school jew and good catches of estuary perch are the norm. Let’s hope this system can withhold the angling pressure it received over the holidays.

While on this subject, what about the guys who killed at least seven flatties over 70cm in one day in January and decided to brag about it? Let’s hope the fishing gods are looking down on them and may all their tight lines become limp. We certainly don’t want their type around our estuaries, that’s for sure. You are allowed only one flathead over 70cm per day.


Merimbula and Pambula lakes are holding some good bream. The fish are in the deeper sections and larger soft plastics with slightly heavier heads are doing the damage. Catches of 10 or more bream are common, with a good by-catch of trevally and duskies.

The salmon have disappeared out of Pambula Lake – let’s hope they decide to re-enter as they were great fun on the light tackle and the kids loved catching them.

The beaches have been a little quiet, with just the odd salmon. Some nice whiting are getting around now, with live beach worms and pipis producing the goods.

A few yellowfin bream are also on the beaches and most are being caught by the whiting fishos. I like using fresh striped tuna cubes in the surf for the bream; a bit of berley here really helps increase the capture rates.

The rocks are producing bonito and smaller kingies to the spin men. The salmon have tapered off a bit but it won’t be long before they’re back.

Some nice-sized snapper have been caught off Merimbula wharf of late, especially after dark on fresh squid.

Summer’s over and Winter will be here before we know it – don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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