Lakes emerge from slumbers
  |  First Published: September 2009

The lakes at Merimbula and Pambula have been fishing well despite the 14° water but that sort of temperature should be a thing of the past by the time you read this.

Flathead numbers are on the increase with a few fish nudging 90cm. We caught a superb fish of 88cm recently that weighed 5.51kg in the net and we released it in super condition.

This fish fell to a soft plastic meant for bream in shallow water on light line, so some fun was certainly had.

Most of the flathead have been form 40cm to 50cm bracket but October is renowned for big flathead, especially in the channels and towards the estuary entrances.

Anglers using soft plastics will have better success with lures around 80mm to 100mm.

There will still be the odd fish on fresh mullet strips, smaller live baits or live prawns. Expect a few bream, trevally and blackfish in the channels, with tailor numbers on the increase in the Top Lake at Merimbula.

As we head further into the month, whiting numbers will improve, with live worms on the sand flats the gun method.

Lately we have had great success with metal blades on the whiting, with some big fish to 43.5cm caught. I know it sounds mad but you can actually go and target them with this technique, it’s great fun and it works.

Beach anglers have done it a little tough with very flat seas but salmon to 2kg have been caught but a lot of the fish are further offshore than normal, making casting to them difficult. Those throwing chrome lures and covering plenty of ground have done best.

This month we should see an increase in bream, whiting and mullet as they head into the estuaries. A flood tide early or late in the day is prime time, with live beach worms, pipis and fresh prawns the preferred baits.

Better beaches to try are Tura Main, North Tura, Gillards and the Pambula River mouth.

Rockhoppers have had a field day lately with blackfish, drummer, bream and groper all chewing.

A few locals have done particularly well on the drummer casting lightly weighted cunjevoi baits into the suds and using a sand/weed/cunjevoi berley, though the unwanted pickers have played havoc.

As the water warms further this month, the pelagic species should arrive with bonito and rat kingfish first. Deeper headlands like Tura Head and North Head are the places to fish with whole ganged pilchards or chrome lures.

As with most pelagics, water temperature is critical so let’s hope for some warm water in close.


Over the past few seasons October has meant an early influx of albacore and yellowfin tuna on the continental shelf. This year may be similar as the sea temperature charts show some nice water just north of us and within trailer-boat distance.

This is great news to the game fishos as they have barely had an off-season. Trolling deep-diving minnows and smaller pusher-style lures around the shelf should work.

The long liners have also reported good captures of bluefin again so when the weather shows some stability, it may be worth a look out quite wide.

Closer inshore, snapper numbers have dropped a little but the average size has certainly increased. I’ve heard of a few fish to 4kg coming from Long reef, good reds for here and great on the plate.

Other areas to try are Lennards Island and Horseshoe and White Cliffs reefs. Best baits would be fresh squid, pilchards and slimy mackerel fillets on a paternoster rig used on the drift.

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