July in Merimbula means frosty, cold mornings leading to anything from clear, windless days to howling southerly squalls – you just have to take each day as it comes!
After record rains in May, all the estuaries have had a big flush-out. The majority of the smaller waterways had not been open to the sea for a long time so the required clean-out has been most welcome. Since the rain the local estuaries have been firing with large fish. Those targeting bream with lures have even been landing tailor up to 2kg around the oyster leases.
July should see a good run of yellowfin bream come in the estuaries for their Winter migration, with some real monsters expected among them. You can try to catch these fish with lure or bait. The most likely spot in Merimbula is the main channel right in town on the bottom of the tide. I’ve always preferred going at this tide because the fish seem to be concentrated in the one channel.
For those anglers who are just beginning to delve into the pleasure of lure-fishing – there seem to be more and more each day – luck is on your side. Captain Kevin Gleed is soon starting up his estuary charter business again, which will run from Batemans Bay to Mallacoota, an area he knows like the back of his hand. He will be targeting estuary perch, bass and flathead, mainly on lure and fly. After spending the day fishing with Kev just recently, when we caught big bream and perch, I can assure you it will be a memorable experience and most people will learn some great tips.
Fishing off the headlands in July can offer great rewards. Fresh bait, such as, cunjevoi, crabs and abalone gut seem to do a fair job of hooking large drummer, leatherjackets, morwong and quality snapper. Long Point, Haycock and North Head, these seem to be the pick of the headlands.
On the offshore scene, local reefs should start to produce some nice snapper but with the water temperature slowly dropping, the dreaded barracouta will make their presence felt, scoffing anything that looks half-decent.
Don’t forget the estuaries for bream, trevally and tailor. Or maybe a nice little rock ledge facing north with that south-westerly wind behind you is more your style. Whatever or wherever you choose, it will be the start of a few chilly months, but one that can be hot for fishing.
The author with a nice estuary perch.
Adrian Lindsay with that monster jewie.
Kevin Gleed with a lovely yellowfin bream on a lure.Reads: 463