Snapper is the word on every angler’s lips around here and we have just had the best Winter snapper run for a long time.
The local fishos have been having a ball with catches of 20-plus snapper common (bag limit 10 per person). The fish haven’t been huge, averaging 1kg to 3kg, but the odd fish up to 6kg has been caught.
Fresh squid and cuttlefish, with pilchards as a back-up, have accounted for the majority of fish but the new era of soft plastic fishing for snapper has certainly been the downfall of many reddies, too.
Most of these lure-caught fish have been in relatively shallow water but depending on current and wind, fishing the softies in 30 metres of water is possible. Braid is a must and jig head sizes of 12g and above need to be used and if conditions suit, some excellent sport fishing is available.
The snapper have been widespread and most inshore reefs around Merimbula are holding fish.
If you’re concentrating on bait fishing, Horseshoe Reef, just south of the Pambula River mouth, is the place to fish. A lot of the bigger snapper have been taken from this area, with big morwong and the odd kingfish also appearing.
If using the softies, Lennards Island and Long Point out to 30 metres is the go.
The local estuaries have slowed up over the past few weeks but expect that to improve this month.
Pambula River was fishing extremely well up to a month ago but the flogging it has received from the pros lately has seen the fishing go down hill rapidly. There are still some good bream in there around the racks but the fish are so spooky you can’t get near them.
Some nice flathead and tailor are up the front of the system, well away from the nets, with softies and bait producing fish.
The Bega River, just north of Tathra, is the hot estuary at present. Bream, estuary perch and flatties have been caught in good numbers.
Fish from Thompsons to the road bridge with small soft plastics or hard-bodies for best results.
The river mouth is still open here, so expect some nice whiting to be around the shallow flats on a high tide later this month. Squirt worms and nippers are the pick of the baits.
The beaches continue to fish well. Salmon and tailor have been prolific on most beaches and sessions of 20 or more are the norm. XOS tailor to 6kg have been caught and I saw one the other day that was 850mm long and had dentures like a great white shark. The fish was not weighed but I guess it was around 5kg.
Tailor of this size are formidable opponents from the sand and on beach gear they certainly know how to pull. Congratulations to the guy who caught it, who took a couple of photos and then let it swim free.
Most of the tailor are falling to pilchards and blue bait fished on paternoster rigs with metal shiners accounting for a lot of the salmon.
Some good bream are coming from the same gutters. The numbers are not there but they are quality fish. Beachworms are working well for the bream but are hard to find after the heavy seas of late.
Blackfish continue to keep the rock fishos happy, with a few drummer still around to show who’s boss. Cabbage has been working well, with the rocks at Long Point the pick of the spots for the blackfish.
Big schools of salmon have been seen in Merimbula Bay and when they come close enough to shore, the guys spinning from the stones have been having a ball. The Merimbula wharf has also been popular.Reads: 457