After a very cold month or so Spring couldn’t come quickly enough for most of us and hopefully September will be kinder to us.
Even with the cold, the local estuaries continued to fire with Pambula Lake the hot spot for flathead, trevally and jumbo salmon.
It’s been a few years since the salmon entered this system in any numbers but that has all changed. Schools of fish averaging 2kg have been prolific from Severs Beach all the way up to the Shark Hole.
They have been reasonably hard to catch, with thinner braid, lighter leaders and smaller lures a must for consistent results. There’s no worry catching your bag limit, just having a little patience and trying different lures will bring results.
Mixed in with the salmon are tailor and some big trevally with smaller lures again working well. Bait anglers have struggled in the crystal-clear water with only the odd fish being caught on bass yabbies.
Up in the main basin, flathead are feeding well along the shallower weed margins with a few flatfish nudging 80cm. Over the next few months, expect to catch a lot of quality flathead as they head downstream to spawn.
The oyster racks are holding good bream which are taking smaller hardbodies fished close to the structure.
Blackfish continue to keep the rock fishos happy, with a few drummer to 4kg still around to show who’s boss. Cabbage, cunjevoi and crabs have been the best baits.
Better ledges to try are Short point, Long Point rocks to the east of the main wharf and Tura Head.
Big schools of salmon have been seen in Merimbula Bay and when they come close enough to shore, those spinning from the stones have been having a ball. Merimbula Wharf has also been popular with some respectable pinkie snapper to a kilo or so caught.
Beach anglers have been catching salmon in plague numbers and some days every cast is a fish. Anglers casting chrome lures are having a ball with the average fish between 1.5kg and 2kg.
For those using paternoster rigs with one or two droppers, pilchards, bluebait and beach worms are best baits.
Decent tailor are with the salmon and the odd mulloway have been caught after dark in the deeper gutters. Expect a few bream, whiting and mullet to congregate around the estuary entrances.
Outside has been a mixed affair with the bottom-bouncers doing best with mixed bags. Snapper are thinning out a bit compared with previous months with school fish to 2kg with the odd bigger red but a lot of moving around is required to get a good bag.
Drifting over reefs with paternoster rigs is definitely the best method at present because you’re covering a lot of ground. Once you do get a few fish, it may be worth going over the same area again.
Fresh squid, slimy mackerel, striped tuna and pilchards have fared better than frozen stuff.
Best reefs to try are Horseshoe, Long and White Cliffs.
If trolling for salmon is you’re go you won’t be disappointed as most headlands are holding quality salmon and in numbers.
Joshua Washington, 12, with a couple of thumping winter salmon from Pambula Lake.Reads: 4408