Inshore Reefs Fishing Well
  |  First Published: June 2009

Anglers fishing outside are having a field day of late with an array of species on offer particularly those fishing the inshore reefs.

Snapper is the word with heaps of reds succumbing to a wide range of techniques and most fish averaging around the 1.5kg mark. There has been the odd bigger fish to 6kg to but I would expect a few more bumpy heads to be caught this month.

Almost all reefs are producing the goods at some time or another, moving around to you locate feeding fish has been the key. Concentrating your efforts on the gravel and not the hard stuff will certainly increase you’re catch rates also. Being able to use and read you’re sounder is paramount here and knowing how to tell the difference between bottom formations can be the difference between an OK or a red letter day.

The fish are responding well to whole pilchards rigged on either paternoster or running sinker rigs with squid, cuttlefish and striped tuna strips also working. Mixed in with the snapper one can expect morwong and trevally with John Dory a real possibility in the colder water.

Out wider the game fishermen’s only real chance of success is a stray yellowfin tuna or maybe southern bluefin tuna. Every July there’s a few good tuna caught and I think this season will run a little later than previous ones.

The local beaches continue to fire and I can’t see any reason why this will change. The ever-reliable salmon are in huge numbers at present with any beach with a decent gutter formation producing fish. They are responding to a wide range of techniques with both bait and lure anglers doing well.

I had a flick a few days back on my local beach at Tura, only for an hour or so with my daughter, we managed seven sambos around the 1.8kg mark and all taken on bream tackle casting small 25gram Shiners. Great fun, that’s for sure and anyone can do it. With the salmon schools expect the odd bigger tailor, too, with fish upwards of 3kg not uncommon. Better beaches to try are Haycock, Tura, North Tura and Gillard’s to the north of Tathra.

In the estuaries it has slowed down but that’s to be expected with the colder water. There are still plenty of fish to catch but what you target at this time of year and how you go about it will certainly determine how much success you will have.

It’s a great time for chasing trevally and bream in the channels with anglers using stick like soft plastics faring best. Having tidal movement is paramount here - casting at 45 degrees upstream and letting you’re offering come down with the tide will see good results.

I’ve found lately to that blades are working very well in water less than 5 meters around the margins for bream, whiting and blackfish (would you believe). I know it sounds silly, but blackfish in winter will hit a wide variety of artificials including soft plastics.

What has been abundant lately is tailor in Merimbula Lake. They are in plague proportions in the top lake and great fun on light tackle. Casting metal Shiners has been the go as trolling has been made difficult with the floating weed.

Off the stones the bread and butter species have put a smile on most rockhopppers’ faces. Blackfish, drummer, groper, bream and a few good snapper have all had a chew and I can’t see that changing at all this month. Drummer numbers and size will continue to increase as we head further into winter.

Lightly weighted baits fished in the washes will account for the bigger fish. Better baits to try for them are whole crabs, cunjevoi, bread and prawns if you can get fresh ones. Use a little burley sparsely, just enough to get them interested and hang on. Better ledges are Tura Head, Short Point and inside Merimbula Bay on the northern side near the wharf. The latter spot fishes particularly well with a southerly swell but care does need to be taken.

displays a 76cm model from Pambula Lake which was released in super condition.

the middle of July.

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