There’s no better time
  |  First Published: May 2003

Merimbula and surrounding areas have some of the most beautiful beaches on the entire east coast.

The long, sandy stretches have large headlands at each end which give protection from the sea breezes, whichever way they blow. May is normally a pretty stable month weather-wise, with cold, crisp mornings turning into beautiful blue-sky days. It’s the time of year you can have whole days with absolutely no wind, which makes them perfect for all types of fishing.

Around the headlands drummer, tailor, blackfish, salmon and sweep congregate around the washes and, if sea conditions are right, it can be a great day out catching all these species.

Now the water is a little cooler, the crayfish will make a return to some of our many weedy bays. They are a real challenge to catch while snorkelling. Finding these delicacies of the sea is a real buzz and they make for a great feed. Remember your bag and size limits with crayfish because large fines apply and are handed out to those who do the wrong thing.

Merimbula Lake just keeps on producing quality fish, with large bream, tailor, blackfish and the odd whiting being caught. Flathead have begun to taper off now as the water temperature begins to drop.

The lizards seem to have copped a fair hiding this year with the addition of many effective soft plastics being introduced onto the market. The flathead population has handled it, with many anglers keeping only one or two and letting the rest go. These fish will fire back up again when the water warms up later in the year.

Beach fishing has really been firing lately with large salmon and tailor being caught, with some beautiful bream among them. The salmon have been taking lures and bait, with the ever-reliable pilchard being the best. One of the most effective set-ups for the salmon has been the paternoster rig with a surf popper on the top. The popper not only catches you a lot of fish – it will, in the long run, save you a fortune in bait.

In the past few issues I’ve reported on how low Brogo Dam has been fishing. I am pleased to announce that we have had steady rainfall and the Bega Valley looks as green as it ever has.

At the time of writing, the dam was just about to trickle over the spillway. Brogo Dam is a beautiful dam which, unfortunately, has no way of stopping bass from going over the spillway. This is what looks like happening again this year, with the bigger bass heading downstream to spawn. It’s a bit of a shame but the river has never had so many bass in it, that’s for sure.

I’ve just returned from two fabulous weeks away, camping at Lake St Clair and Glenbawn dam. I was lucky enough to fish with John Schofield, Tim Morgan, Trent Butler and company.

It was a real privilege fishing alongside these guys. I have come to know them through the BREAM competitions and the amount of knowledge they have shared with me on bass fishing in the dams, with lure and fly, is staggering. These guys are truly awesome fishermen and don’t mind showing you the finer points. Thanks heaps, guys!

Well that’s about it for this month. It’s a calm, overcast day here –my favourite for fishing. There’s only one problem – what sort of fish do I want to catch today? There are just too many to choose from!


Captain Kev does it again: Kevin Gleed with a nice jewfish caught on a soft plastic and just 4lb line


John Schofield with a beautiful Lake St Clair bass


Kane McKill with a great feed of crays and trumpeter.

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