Salmon City at the beach
  |  First Published: April 2010


The beaches around Merimbula have been awesome, with abundant salmon averaging a kilo and plenty to a thumping 4kg.

A lot of the sambos are falling to pilchards, blue bait and live beach worms fished on paternoster rigs although some anglers are having great success, particularly on the bigger fish, using a 4/0 ganged-hook running sinker rig.

Surf poppers in blue and white are producing, as are chrome slices up to 50g. All beaches are holding fish, but the hot spots have been the Main Beach at Tura and North Bournda, just south of Wallagoot Lake.

Look for the deeper gutters, which are plentiful, fish the incoming tide and you should soon be in business.

Tailor numbers are increasing and May always produces some solid greenbacks. I have heard good reports of nice bream and quite large whiting from Haycock Beach, just south of the Pambula River entrance.

Live beach worms have been the pick bait, with pipis and fresh peeled prawns fished in a berley also producing. Use super-light outfits to enhance your chances.


Offshore, yellowfin tuna should be around as the water temperature hovers at 18° or 19°. With a few decent fish already being caught, things are looking great for coming weeks. The best tuna I have heard of lately went 72kg, a nice fish that was caught while trolling for marlin.

The longliners have done well lately, so all things look great for a cracking tuna season. Anglers using live bait in conjunction with berley and cubes will do best, with the continental shelf the place to fish.

Look for temperature breaks, tide lines, bait activity and birds and concentrate your efforts around these. Albacore can also be expected, along with the odd mako shark.

On the reefs, snapper have been OK although the average size has been down. Fish around a kilo have kept most anglers happy, but we can expect the size to improve as we head into Winter.

Fresh squid, pilchards and cuttlefish are the best baits and places like Long Reef, Short Reef and Haycock Reef are ideal places to target a red. You can expect morwong, long-finned perch and tiger flathead when chasing the reds, especially when fishing the gravel on the edges of hard reef.


Merimbula and Pambula lakes are still producing bream, flathead, blackfish and school mulloway on bait and lures but fresh bait has certainly been best for fishos targeting bream.

Nippers and squirt worms are ideal but if you can’t get the live stuff, fresh prawns or striped tuna should suffice.

Pambula Lake is holding good numbers of trevally including a lot of kilo-plus models – great sport on the light stuff and not bad on the plate. This estuary will only get better as we enter Winter; it’s one place that consistently produces fantastic results over the cooler months.

May is also a good time for the rock spinning diehards to throw metal around. Mackerel tuna, bonito and the odd kingie can be expected, with Tura Head pick of the platforms.

Inside Merimbula Bay is also worth a look, with the rocks north of the wharf the place to fish.

I like using quite large lures at this time of year with 50g to 60g Raiders favourites. Have a selection of lures on hand; what works one day doesn’t always work the next.

For anglers after a feed, blackfish, drummer and bream will only get better as we head further into the month.

Lightly weighted cunjevoi, peeled prawns and crab pieces are the best baits, especially in a sparse berley. Better spots to try are Short Point and Tura Head with the rocks at Long Point also worth a look.

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