Estuaries start revive
  |  First Published: September 2003

Spring in Merimbula is one of my favourite times for fishing, with most fish in the estuaries starting to fire up after their Winter doldrums.

With the water warming up every day, the fish really do bite and fight a lot better. Big yellowfin bream will be cruising the oyster racks and sandflats, while the black bream will be congregated a bit farther upstream, spawning.

Live nippers and beach worms are always the best fresh bait, and a fresh chunk of striped tuna works well also.

Flathead really come on the chew this time of the year as well. They will slam a well-presented lure or bait without to much hesitation. Please remember, though, these fish are spawning so if you want a future of fishing for your kids, releasing the big breeders is the way to go. A good picture is a lot better than a dead fish in the boat.

Rock fishing is well worth a try at the moment for luderick, trevally, sweep, leatherjacket, drummer and salmon. Freshly-cut cunjevoi is my preferred bait.

We’re very lucky around Merimbula as the area has large headlands which normally provide plenty of protection from swells and wind in most conditions.

While out on the rocks, always carry a few metal lures, just in case some of the big schools of salmon turn up. They are great fun on the lures and put on one of the better fights out of all fish.

Gamefishing is pretty well over for a while now, but the big news around town has been the filming of three beautiful marlin being caught by the Rex Hunt crew aboard Rathlin Charters, skippered by Bruce Libbis. The segment is to be aired on television very soon.

Tiger flathead have really been on the bite of late, with Middle Beach and Tura Head being the pick of the bunch of places to drop a bait. These areas are easily accessible in small tinnies if the weather is right.

Always check the entrance to Merimbula Lake before you set off. It is normally not a problem but it can get very dangerous on larger southerly swells.

If you see it breaking across the entrance don’t chance it – no fish is worth the possibility of losing your life over.

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