Local lakes fire up
  |  First Published: January 2010

Merimbula and Pambula lakes are fishing extremely well of late and we’ve had some great sessions on the bream in both lakes, with a good by-catch of trevally, whiting and flathead.

All recent fish have fallen to softies but there will be fish taken on surface lures, especially in Pambula.

Anglers fishing live or fresh baits will also get a feed with whiting and bream prominent on the flats. There are quite a few salmon to 2kg still in this system, too – great fun on the light gear and it’s just not the kids who love catching them.

Offshore in February is pretty exciting, especially when trolling lures.

With the water up to 26°, a wide range of game fish can be expected.

It has been a great start to our game season with a number of yellowfin tuna around 40kg with the odd jumbo to 80kg.

Striped marlin should be around in good numbers. There are large schools of slimy mackerel and striped tuna out wide, so the marlin won’t be far behind.

I’ve heard of only a handful of marlin caught so far this season so let’s hope it picks up soon.

Every year we also get incidental catches of wahoo, dolphin fish, and short-billed spearfish but a lot depends on how warm that water gets. Trolling lures is definitely the way to find fish.

Bottom bashers will have a good month with quality catches of snapper, morwong, pigfish and flatties, especially around reefs like Horseshoe, Turingal and Long Point. Fresh striped tuna fillets are the bait of choice.

Those fishing the deeper reefs or canyons will find Tassie trumpeter, gemfish and blue-eye trevalla. A lot of work has to be put in to regularly catching these great eating fish, but at dinner time you realise the effort was worth it!

Around the rocks this month there should be good captures of kingfish. You can catch them by trolling lures like Halco Laser Pros or Rapala CD 18s in mackerel patterns.

Always have a casting rod ready; if the kings come to the surface and are a bit boat-shy, cast jigs at them and wind flat out. I have had great success catching them that way and the surface strikes are awesome.

Areas like Tura Head and Horseshoe Reef are the areas to fish but almost any deeper headland will hold fish if bait and current are present.


The beaches will continue to fish well for salmon, tailor, bream and whiting.

The whiting will be a lot more active this month with the main beach at Tura a good place to start.

Look for slightly deeper water in close to the shore break. This can sometimes be only 10m to 15m out, so you don’t always need to cast along way.

Pipis and live beach worms will be the most productive baits but for salmon, chrome lures and paternoster rigs with blue bait and pilchards will work.

The Merimbula Wharf is a great land-based platform that always produces quality fish in Summer.

Salmon, tailor, bonito and the odd kingfish are all on the cards for those fishing the upper sections of the water column. Lures, live bait and whole ganged pilchards will do the trick

For those fishing the bottom, snapper, trevally, flathead and a host of cod species will be willing to take a bait.

If fishing with the kids here, please be careful: It is quite a drop to the ocean below.

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