Good fishing in the chill
  |  First Published: August 2005

Those cold south-westerlies rule August around here but some reasonable fishing is still available.

The local estuaries have been fishing well despite the colder water over Winter with bream, trevally, tailor and blackfish making up the majority of the bags. The Bega River, just north of Tathra, had been closed to the sea for three months or so but with the rain last month some good fishing can be expected.

With the fresh, expect the best fishing to be from the road bridge to the river entrance. Bream will be the main target, with lures and bait both getting results.

I have found that when using soft plastics for the bream in the dirtier water, use lures that have a strong scent to them, or better still add an additive like Yum garlic scent or something similar. Fish the softies very slowly with sharp little lifts and hang on!

Pambula and Merimbula lakes are full of tailor with some thumping fish being caught. The best I have heard of was 3.7kg, an absolute brute for these waters.

Most fish are being caught on metal shiners but in a few sessions lately I have seen the softies outdoing metal. It gets pretty expensive throwing plastics at fish that are full of razor-sharp teeth but some blokes will do anything for a fish.

The entrance at Pambula Lake and the top section of Merimbula Lake are the hot spots for the choppers.

Good-sized trevally and blackfish are abundant in the channels with live squirt worms best for the blackfish and small softies accounting for the blurters.


Offshore, the snapper fishing has been going great guns with fish up to 5kg common. Reds of this size know how to pull and it’s great to see that these guys are around again this Winter.

Captures of 10 or more are frequent but the hard yards still have to be put in to get consistent results. Areas like Haycock Point, Lennards Island and Long Point are all worth a look.

Fresh squid and pilchards are the pick of the baits with larger soft plastics bringing some of the bigger fish undone. Barracouta have been a nuisance when using the plastics with a lot of bite-offs but I reckon we can live with that if a big red hits the deck.

Mowies, john dory and sand flathead are a welcome by-catch when chasing the reds so it’s certainly worthwhile putting the boat in and having a go.

The beaches will continue to fish well with salmon the main targets. Most beaches will hold fish; look for the deeper gutters and holes and a hard-fighting sambo won’t be far away.

North Tura has been fishing well close to the rocks on the southern end of the beach, where there’s a good gutter. Spasmodic catches of tailor and bream will come from this same section of beach so take a lighter outfit for the bream.

Some fishos make the mistake with beach bream of fishing too heavy. If you use a lighter rod around 2.6 metres and 6lb to 8lb line with fresh bait, your catch rates will soar. Pipis and beachworms are the preferred baits.

Quite often the bream will be feeding just beyond the shore break, so a small cast is all that’s required.

Drummer and blackfish have been keeping the rock anglers happy with pigs up to 3kg being caught on almost every trip. At this size they are a formidable opponent that requires skill and some degree of luck to catch consistently. Best baits have been cunjevoi and cabbage and Tura Head is the place to fish.

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