Far south favourites
  |  First Published: October 2003

October is one of my favourite months for fishing on the far south coast. The temperature has warmed up a couple of degrees on land and in the water and the fish really respond to it.


In the estuaries the black bream are spawning and are right up the streams. They will attack a well-presented bait or lure with plenty of aggression.

Now is also the time to pick up large dusty flathead as a by-catch while targeting bream. These fish are also spawning so please remember that the big ones are the breeders. If you catch one, remember that the future of fishing is in your hands.

Estuary perch congregate in schools to spawn during September and October and can be found using sounders and a lot of patience. These fabulous fish closely resemble the Australian bass and live in all sorts of structures, from weed edges to large rocky drop-offs. They fight well and in my book should always be let go to fight another day.

Bass will be starting their run back upstream after spawning. Hopefully we’ll have a bit of rain by the time this issue hits the shelves so these fish can get a good start on their journey.

The channel in the Merimbula Lake has been firing lately with large trevally, blackfish and even the odd whiting. These fish have been mainly caught on bait on the low tide, but when the tide comes in try the sandflats around the oyster leases. Many of these fish move up into very shallow water on the peak of the tide.


On the ocean beaches the salmon have been going berserk lately with large schools on all the beaches. The water is crystal clear so you can see these fish everywhere. The best bait is the always the reliable pilchard, but I much prefer throwing metal lures at the schools in the gutters – it makes the for a great fight and heaps of fun.


October is also the prime time for whale watching on the far south coast, and every year there seem to be more and more of these serene giants gracing our waters. Merimbula and the surrounding areas provide ample vantage points to watching these beautiful big creatures. Better still, jump aboard one of the local charter boats we have here in Merimbula and head out to get up close and personal with these magnificent mammals.

I have just received, courtesy of Davis Mitchell Marine in Eden, a new 445m Quintrex Hornet Trophy powered by a Yamaha 60hp four-stroke. This boat is specially designed for lure- and flyfishing and to say that I’m impressed would be an understatement! The boat is a demo model so if you’d like a ride in it give Davis Mitchell Marine a ring in Eden and we’ll organise to take you out. I’m sure you’ll be suitably impressed, as I am.

Good fishing.

1) An estuary perch found using the latest Humminbird technology.

2) Bernadette Erbacher with a 4.25kg flathead that she released after capture.

3) The author with a lure-caught 1.5kg black bream.

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