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Lower estuaries hot
  |  First Published: March 2010



Merimbula and surrounds have copped some serious rain lately but this will only benefit the fishing in the long run, especially in the estuaries.

Merimbula and Pambula lakes looked more like duck ponds than fishing destinations but over coming weeks these will clear and the fish will begin to chew.

The lower sections will be the place to fish, where the saltier water will be more prevalent. Even with the discoloured surface layer, good bream, whiting and flathead will be available with bait anglers having best success.

Fishos using yabbies, worms, striped tuna cubes and slimy mackerel will fare best using running sinker rigs fished hard on the bottom.

Plastic throwers will still catch a few but their turn will come once the water clears. They can expect great results with flathead, bream and mulloway in coming weeks.

Both basins will fish well with the shallower sections firing first; those fishing the deeper sections can expect some decent pinkie snapper as well.

The 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 very productive early in the morning on a rising tide.

Surf poppers are working well in a variety of colours, with shiners and half pilchards on paternoster rigs 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 when targeting these bread-and-butter species, with running sinker rigs and 6lb line ideal.

On the rocks it’s been mayhem with the best run of bonito for years. All ledges are producing with Tura, North Head and Merimbula Wharf all hot.

Early morning is prime time with smaller slugs up to 15g perfect.

These speedsters are great fun on the light gear and I’ve seen numerous triple hook-ups at the main wharf.

Mixed in with the bonnies are some huge salmon, good tailor and the odd rat kingfish to 65cm.

Those after a feed are to going great guns after the rain with blackfish, drummer, groper, bream and snapper all chewing at times. Tura and Short Point have seen a lot of the action with fresh cabbage, cunjevoi, prawns and bread all working well.

Offshore, bottom species like flathead, snapper and morwong are producing mixed results, with some days great and others pretty ordinary.

Most reefs are holding a few fish but you will have to move around to get a decent bag.

For game species it’s all systems go. Black, striped and blue marlin have been caught with regular reports of massive blue marlin being lost, though a few of those reports have occurred slightly north of us.

We soon will see an increased presence of yellowfin tuna and albacore, especially towards the end of the month.

Those that have been caught are small, averaging 10kg to 30kg. Most are being caught by marlin anglers towing lures but berley-and-cube crews haven’t long to wait now.

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