When it’s hot, it’s hot
  |  First Published: April 2009

The game fishing off Merimbula has been a little sporadic, mainly due to the fluctuating water temperatures.

When it’s warm, black and striped marlin have been caught, with the 70-fathom line to the continental shelf the prime place for trolled lures and live striped tuna.

A few of the local charter boats have done OK with two or three shots on a good day on striped marlin averaging 80kg.

Expect a few yellowfin tuna to 40kg this month with the chance of a stud fish towards the end of April. Albacore, mako and bronze whaler sharks are also on the cards and striped tuna should be thick at times.

Sand flathead have been going great guns around The Sticks off Pambula. More people these days are using soft plastics with unbelievable success.

Almost any soft plastic has worked a treat and the best thing is you can catch 15-20 fish on the plastics without any dramas. They are relatively cheap, easy to use and clean.

There have been a few snapper and mowies on Long Point Reef with the 50m line a good place to start.

Down off Pambula, Horseshoe Reef and Lennards Island have produced some mid-range kingfish. Use fresh squid or live bait for best results with trolling skirted lures early in the morning also worth a go.

April is a good time for the rock spin diehards to throw metal around.

Mack tuna, bonito and the odd kingie can be expected, with Tura Head the pick of the platforms. The rocks north of the wharf inside Merimbula Bay are also worth a look.

I like quite large lures at this time of year with 50g to 60g Raiders a favourite.

Have a selection of lures on hand; what works one day doesn’t always do so the next.

Pilchards on ganged hooks also work; a slow mid-water retrieve can pay handsome dividends, especially for the bonito.


In the estuaries, some thumping big tailor have made the Top Lake at Merimbula home with fish to 3kg common.

We had a session their with clients a few days back and it was awesome. Snapper, flatties, bream, tailor, trevally and whiting scoffed our soft plastics but I did see some guys getting good flatties on live poddies.

All of our fish came from reasonably shallow water, with 2m to 4m ideal. This action will continue throughout April and should only get better.

Pambula Lake is still producing with local guru Nick getting some nice fish. Captures of 20-plus fish are on the falling tide.

Unfortunately the river is still full of red algae, which makes lure fishing a lot more difficult. The basin is the go with plastics around 70mm being ideal.

Local beaches continue to fire with most holding good concentrations of salmon. North Tura Beach has been a standout, with catches of a dozen fish to 2kg the norm.

The northern end of the beach towards Bourndal Island has a deep gutter which is productive very early in the morning on a rising tide.

Surf poppers are working well in a variety of colours, with Laser lures and whole pilchards also catching fish.

Tailor numbers should improve this month, with the rocky foreshore near the island fishing better for bream.

Cut crabs and pipis are great baits for bream with whiting succumbing to live beach worms. Lighter outfits come into their own, with running sinker rigs ideal.

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