Thumper beach salmon
  |  First Published: May 2008

The beaches around Merimbula have been producing extremely well, especially for some thumping big salmon.

Most fish are falling to pilchards, bluebait and live beach worms fished on paternoster rigs but anglers also using a 4/0 ganged-hook, running sinker rig are also doing well.

Surf poppers in blue and white are producing, as are chrome slice shiners up to 50g.

All beaches are holding fish but the hottest spots have been the main beach at Tura and North Bournda, just south of Wallagoot Lake. Look for the deeper gutters, which are plentiful, fish the incoming tide and you should soon be in business.

Tailor are also around but are quite small. Over the next few months bigger tailor will be around and in numbers.

I have heard good reports of nice bream and quite large whiting from Haycock Beach, just south of the Pambula River mouth. Live beach worms have been the pick of the baits, with pipis and fresh peeled prawns fished with berley also producing.


Offshore, yellowfin tuna should be around as the water temperature at 18° or 19°. This is a great month to target them, especially the big fish, and a few have already been caught. The best I have heard of lately went 61kg and was caught while trolling for marlin.

Anglers using live bait in conjunction with berley and cubes will do best, with the continental shelf the place to fish. Look for temperature breaks, tide lines, bait activity and birds.

Albacore can also be expected in the cooling waters, along with the odd mako with some likely to be around 150kg or more.

On the reefs, snapper around a kilo mark have kept most anglers happy but expect the size of the fish to increase as we head further into Winter. Fresh squid, pilchards and cuttlefish are the best baits with places like Long, Short and Haycock reefs ideal places.


Merimbula and Pambula lakes are still producing bream, flathead, blackfish and the occasional school mulloway on bait and lures, with fresh bait certainly best for targeting bream. Nippers and squirt worms are ideal but if you can’t get the live stuff, fresh prawns or striped tuna should suffice.

Pambula is holding good numbers of trevally over a kilo – great fun on light gear and not a bad feed if prepared the right way.

There are also some big tailor in the main basin and while guiding there last week we caught a couple of greenbacks that pushed 3kg. On light braid they certainly go well.

May is a good time for the rock diehards to throw metal around for mackerel tuna, bonito and the odd kingie. Tura Head is the pick of the platforms but inside Merimbula Bay is also worth a look, especially the rocks north of the wharf.

I like using quite large lures at this time of the year with 50g to 60g Raiders a favourite. Have a selection of lures on hand; what works one day doesn’t always work the next.

For anglers after a feed, blackfish, drummer and bream numbers will only get better as we head further into May. Lightly weighted cunjevoi, peeled prawns and crab pieces are the best baits, fished in a sparse berley.

Spots to try include Short Point and Tura Head and the rocks off Long Point.

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