The Pambula Lake system is quite small compared with other South Coast estuaries, but don’t let this deter you – the fishing can be quite exceptional at times.
Flathead are the main targets, and with good reason. This system hosts a huge population of duskies and going by captures in the past few weeks, they want to play the game!
Locals and visitors using a variety of different methods have caught fish to 5kg.
Soft plastics live poddy mullet and bigger blade lures fished over the weed/sand flats have produced some great bags.
Some anglers are bagging out within a couple of hours. Most are taking only a few for a feed and the remainder are being let go, which is great to see.
The fish are averaging 40cm to 45cm but if you use bigger soft plastics you will get bigger fish.
I have fished there quite a lot lately and have been getting a big girl nearly every trip, but the trick is to use big shad or fish-style lures. Casting them can become a repetitive routine, but stay at it and you will get that trophy fish – just make sure you release it after a couple of happy snaps.
The fish are quite widespread, but I have been getting better results under the whitebait schools. Tailor have been prolific at times, smashing the bait, and all the leftovers are like a huge mobile berley trail.
When this happens, snapper, bream and mulloway are also a possibility. This action will continue for months yet, but remember to get out early when the holidays get rolling, because the increased boat traffic will slow down the bite.
The oyster racks are holding some bruiser bream, which are proving hard to tempt in the clear water. This month the bream will respond well to surface presentations as the water warms significantly.
Expect the whiting to show up. A feed should be easy enough to get with the flats around Mangrove Island a good place to start. Use live bass yabbies or squirt worms for best results on a running sinker rig.
Anglers who target offshore pelagics should be licking their lips.
Yellowfin tuna to 50kg, albacore in big numbers at times and a few bities have turned up. The yellowfin are scattered, with fish turning up somewhere different every day, mostly around the 70-fathom line and further out.
Trolling a spread of different-sized pushers has worked well, with smaller lures faring best. There are some big fish there, too, with a visiting angler losing an 80kg fish boatside after the leader broke.
With the water warming sharply, striped marlin are a real chance. Again, trolling lures is the preferred way to target them early in the season.
Inshore, the reef fishing is still going strong. Snapper are still around, not as good as last month but still reasonable.
Morwong have been prolific on some reefs with sand and tiger flathead really having a chew now the water is warming.
All reefs are holding fish but the usual haunts of Long Reef, Horseshoe Reef and Lennards Island are still the pick. Use fresh squid if you can get it, it’s been working a treat.
The beaches have been a little quiet for salmon and tailor but the bream and whiting have picked up considerably. North Tura, Bournda and the northern end of Horseshoe Beach have been fishing well.
Light outfits with long traces and fresh bait are the key to good bags. Pipis, fresh squid and live worms have accounted for most of the fish.
There should be the chance of mulloway and gummy sharks from some of the deeper holes along North Tura. Fishing these deeper sections into the night on a rising tide is a good starting point.
The guys throwing lures from the stones targeting the pelagics should have some fun this month. Kingfish, striped tuna, bonito and frigates are all real possibilities.
The headland at Tura and the point inside Merimbula Bay would be your best spots. Both these headlands jut out a fair way and into the deeper warmer water.
Live bait tossed in at these locations is also a gun way to catch kingfish, but remember to use heavier gear for these guys.
Short Point, to the north of Merimbula, is fishing OK for blackfish with cabbage used in conjunction with berley working well.Reads: 5457