Reef action goes on
  |  First Published: March 2009

Reefs around Merimbula have been fishing well and the hot action will continue throughout March.

Snapper, morwong, kingfish, pigfish and a variety of other species have been caught in good numbers.

Snapper numbers have certainly increased with some anglers getting bag limits occasionally. Most inshore reefs are holding fish with Long Point, which runs east for around 2km holding some bigger snapper.

Some excellent captures of sand and tiger flathead have come from Bournda Island, just north of Merimbula, and The Sticks, located around a kilometre from the Pambula River mouth.

Fresh striped tuna fillets have been working well, with mullet and squid also producing. Horseshoe Reef has produced some quality kingies but better fish are being caught down the coast south of Eden.

Yellowfin tuna and marlin are proving a little hard to find, there one day but not the next, but once you have located them, expect some great action.

The yellowfin that are being caught are up to 30kg, with the odd fish to 60kg succumbing to trolled skirted lures.

This marlin season has been a little slow compared with the past few years but this will change shortly.

There is some quality water just north of us and the continental shelf is loaded with bait so expect the marlin action to heat up over coming weeks.


The beaches have been a little quiet, with the odd salmon but some nice whiting are taking live beach worms and pipis, with the by-catch of a few yellowfin bream.

I like using fresh striped tuna cubes in the surf for the bream and a little berley really helps increase the capture rates.

Better beaches to try are Merimbula main, Tura and North Tura with afternoon or evening rising tides best.

Despite the flogging that Merimbula and Pambula Lakes have copped over the holiday, it amazes me how these systems still produce outstanding captures.

Flathead are still abundant with some big girls up to 95cm caught. Soft plastics to 100mm and live poddy mullet have done well.

Fishing the shallower margins early in the morning has been a key ingredient to success, with lighter leaders also a must.

It’s not unusual to get bag limits in a session but thankfully more anglers are keeping only what they can reasonably eat and releasing the rest.

Bream and whiting have been abundant, with the channels fishing well on a rising tide with live nippers and squirt worms or poppers and walk baits.

Pambula has been the surface lure standout with a recent session with clients netting quality whiting to 40cm and nice bream.

In the top lake at Merimbula, tailor numbers have increased along with mulloway to 10kg on live bait lately.

There have been a few bruiser bream around the racks but they have been a little shy of all the boat traffic but that should improve as we head further into March. Use smaller hardbodies and poppers on a rising tide.

This is prime time for rockhoppers who love throwing metal for kingfish, bonito, salmon and tailor, with mack tuna and longtails also real possibilities.

Best places would be the rocks on the northern side of Merimbula Bay, Short Point and Tura Head.

Metal slices from 40g to 60g are ideal but remember to upgrade the trebles.

The washes will also hold a few bream, blackfish and drummer with fresh prawns, cunjevoi and cabbage ideal baits. Short Point would be the gun place to try.


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