Merimbula & Mallacoota Report

47 Market St, Merimbula | ph: (02) 6495 1681

Report supplied by Merimbula Big Game & Lakes Fishing Club

September 21, 2020

The southern whale migration has shifted into top gear with whale sightings all along the coast. Whale Watchers are being rewarded by spectacular sights with the southern migration back to Antarctica for the summer season now well underway.

As reported last week good snapper are on the chew between Boyds Tower and Mowarry. Try 15 fathoms. Congratulations to dedicated angler Bianca Bamford who caught some magnificient snapper using twin hook 40-60gm micro jigs with flashers, see photograph. Flathead remain quiet with the best place remaining the shelving waters off Mowarry at about 20 fathoms. Closer to Merimbula gummy shark are available on the inshore side of the horseshoe reef with a few flathead in deeper water off eastern edge of the reef. Try 25 fathoms. Snapper and morwong are fairly quiet but some good fish have been taken in the deeper parts of Haycock reef.

Some nice trevally have been taken along the lower Merimbula Channel. Try reddish soft plastics and fish beside the long moored larger craft. Australian salmon are spawning in the lower part of the channel and while difficult to get onto the bite some have been taken on soft plastics and small plastic lures while trolling. Tailor grace the main Merimbula Top Lake. Here it is difficult to troll because of the floating weed but drifting near a bust up and casting silver spinners can bring a great response

Salmon are also spawning in the Pambula River and again this remains the stand out fishing spot during the past week together with tailor and trevally. Try the channel between the Shark Hole and Broadwater. Soft plastics are a must for good results, for bait try pilchards.

The Bega River is returning some dusky flathead from above Thompsons and at Mogareeka. There are a few bream beside the rockwall up from the ramp.

Bianca Bamford with a local snapper taken using a twin hook micro jig.

September 14, 2020

Whales galore! Last Friday locals and visitors were overjoyed to watch a pod of humpback whales frolicking near the Merimbula Wharf. Fun and games for all. There is little doubt that the southward migration back to Antarctica for the summer season has commenced. When travelling south, especially with calves to protect, the whales tend to travel closer to shore than during their northern migration. Keep your eyes open.

Maritime services recently re positioned the channel markers near Mitchies to show the new channel position due to the vast amount of sand movement in the entrance area that resulted from breaching of the main bar and formation of a second “false channel”. Navigation advice is for all boaters entering the Merimbula Lake to keep to the left of the green marker buoy opposite Mitchies Jetty. Some have ignored this marker and ended up stuck on the shallow sands.

Good snapper are again reported from the Boyds Tower reef and Mowarry at 15 fathoms. Beast place for flathead is in the shelving waters off Mowarry at about 20 fathoms. We await the warming water in October for ocean flathead to really come back on the bite along our coast. Off Haycock a few gummy shark have been taken on fresh baits.

Some lovely trevally have been taken along the lower Merimbula Channel and congratulations are in order for Alan Wilkins for showing us all how to reel them in using soft plastics. Try red “worms”. Australian salmon are spawning in the lower part of the channel and some lovely fish have been taken on soft plastics and small plastic lures while trolling.

Salmon are also spawning in the Pambula River and this remains the stand out fishing spot during the past week together with tailor and trevally. We have reports of some nice flounder from the same area. Try the channel between the Shark Hole and Broadwater. Soft plastic are a must for good results, for bait try pilchards.

The Bega River is returning some dusky flathead from above Thompsons and at Mogareeka. Also about are lots of “bull” mullet, these can be taken using a floating line and bread burley, using bread and prawn bait, occasionally with small red soft plastics. There are a few bream beside the rockwall up from the ramp. Some nice estuary perch have been taken further up river. Note the Bass and Estuary perch season commenced on 1 September.

Lachlan Wilkins with one of three Australian Salmon he caught at North Tura Beach near Bournda Island.

September 10, 2020

Whales remain active as they continue their travel southwards on their migratory route home to Antartica. It is estimated some 30,000 whales will pass by and with a 6%-10% breeding rate we should see about 32,000 return in October and November.

Because the newly developed sand bar near Mitchies has engulfed the original port (red) marker and almost reached the starboard (green) marker buoy Maritime services have re positioned the channel markers to show the new channel. Boaters leaving and entering the Merimbula Lake need to know that the previous green marker buoy has been replaced by a red one and the green buoy moved across towards Spencer Park. This dramatic change in the Merimbula channel reflects the vast amount of sand movement in the entrance area which has resulted from the main sand bar, from Mitchies towards Bar Beach, being breached and a second “false channel” developed. We warn that some boaters have mistakenly tried to exit the lake using the false channel only to become stuck in shallow waters. When leaving the lake travel northwards in the channel until near the MBGLAC fish cleaning pontoon before turning towards the entrance.

Offshore a few snapper and morwong have reported from our local reefs; Haycock and Hunter in particular, with best bait pilchards and squid. Good snapper are reported from Boyds Tower and Mowarry. In the shelving waters off Mowarry some good ocean flathead have been taken otherwise they remain elusive but as waters warm should be back on the chew by October. Off Haycock a few gummy shark have been taken on fresh baits.

Anglers fishing our headlands and beaches have taken salmon and tailor and congratulations to Jim Clarke of Pambula for his great Australian salmon angling off Haycock Beach. A few calamari have been taken from the Merimbula Fishing platform using No.3 slow sinking jigs.

Pambula River remains the stand out fishing spot during the past week with ubiquitous salmon, tailor and trevally. Try the channel between the Shark Hole and Broadwater. Best bait pilchards with good trevally and bream on the chew.

There are some nice Australian salmon in the Merimbula front lake channel near the entrance. Trolling with silver spinners is giving good results which include nice tailor. There are tailor and trevally in the channel. Luderick have become active at the bridge responding to stringy weed. There are lots of “chopper” tailor in the Merimbula Top Lake plus some occasional bream and trevally. The Bega River at Mogareeka has finally returned some lovely dusky flathead. In the main reach above the launching ramp tailor react to trolled silver spinners. There are also a few bream beside the rockwall up from the ramp. Lake Curalo at Eden is now quite shallow and has closed again.

September 2, 2020

Large Bluefin Tuna reported off Tathra with Local Angling Restricted Mainly to the Estuaries.

Offshore angling received a boost during the week with a really nice 44Kg bluefin tuna taken by Bernie and Judy Sillis on Mr Hooker out of Bermagui, almost directly off Tathra, out past the first drop off. There is a report of a near 100kg bluefin from another vessel. Water temperatures are rising offshore, up to 19.4 degrees reported. Whales remain active as they continue their travel northwards for their breeding season in much warmer waters and provide a wonderful spectacle for nearby anglers.

As follow on from last week’s discussion about the long term possibility of Merimbula Lake closing – the negative effect on local business, not to say the Merimbula Oyster Industry, prompts us to consider all avenues for proper management of the lake entrance. Bill Deveril of Mitchies Jetty tells us that before the great storm of May 1974, the trees and vegetation at Mitchies extended along the barrier bar from Mitchies all the way to the entrance channel near Bar Beach. This cyclonic storm was named the Sygna after the Norwegian Bulk Carrier that was wrecked on Stockton beach near Newcastle. Winds of 165km and waves over 17m were reported at the entrance of Newcastle Harbour. Bill tells us that here at Merimbula waves were breaking right across from Long Point to Haycock, “The surge was so great that water was gushing up from the drains neat Twyford Hall”. “After the storm the vegetated sand spit had completely disappeared.” The barrier bar regrew and has lasted more or less in the one place until it was breached in late 2018. Bill tells us; “This is the first time he has seen the entrance awash since the Sygna storm”. Dredging may be required or even a “training wall” (breakwater). Recently the Coastal Infrastructure Unit from Crown Lands, and the Rescuing Our Waterways (ROW) program for navigation dredging was transferred into Transport for NSW Maritime’s; Maritime Infrastructure Delivery Office (MIDO). The program offers partnership funding to local government for navigation dredging under Andrew Constance the Minister of Transport.

Offshore flathead remain elusive however a few morwong have reported from our local reefs; Haycock and Hunter in particular, with best bait pilchards and squid. Off Haycock Beach a couple of large calamari squid were taken as by-catch on a two hook metal jig. A few calamari have also been taken from the Merimbula Fishing platform using No.3 slow sinking jigs. Anglers fishing our headlands and beaches have taken salmon and tailor and congratulations to Paul Hogie of Tura Beach for his lovely tailor taken in early evening at Dolphin Cove of Tura Beach.

In the Merimbula front lake the start of the run-in from the sea has provided some nice Australian salmon. There are tailor and trevally in the channel and lots of tailor in the top lake. Pambula River remains the stand out fishing spot during the past week with ubiquitous salmon, tailor and trevally. Try the channel between the shark hole and Broadwater. Stand out lure is the “Spanyid” Maniac 21. There are lots of “chopper” tailor in the Merimbula Top Lake plus some occasional bream and trevally. The Bega River remains open though still muddy with a fair amount of debris. Soft plastics used up river past Thompsons has rewarded anglers with the occasional dusky flathead and bream. There are also a few bream beside the rockwall further down river.

August 26, 2020

Offshore angling remains constrained as we go through patches of rain and wind associated with an Antarctic low pressure system that has brushed the SE of our Continent. Snow in the highlands even makes trout fishing very difficult!

Reports confirm lots of humpback whales inshore as they continue their travel northwards for their breeding season in warmer waters. We expect to see them back in October and November.

We have been advised that Maritime Merimbula have removed the light from the port channel marker near Mitchies Jetty. “Its probably not much use as a channel marker as its surrounded by a football field of dry sand!” quote by 81 year old Bill Deveril who owns Mitchies Jetty and has done so for more than half his life. Bill sees the massive movement of sands and erosion of Merimbula Beach as a natural event and says the area should eventually return to how it was. However Bill has one important codicil; “There is no doubt that in due course the lake will be closed by nature just like the Back Lake and Wallagoot.” Asked when this would happen Bill says “perhaps within the next 30 years, who knows.” We repeat our warning for great care exiting and entering the lake and also that Marine Rescue Merimbula will not cross the Bar more than 3 hours off high tide and two hours after.

An unusual member of the shark family the Australian swellshark or draughtboard shark has turned up in our waters and has replaced port jackson sharks as by-catch for our intrepid gummy anglers. The Australian swellshark or draughtboard shark (Cephaloscyllium laticeps) is endemic to southern Australia. With visual similarities to a wobbegong this bottom-dwelling species can be found on the continental shelf down to a depth of about 70 fathoms. It is brownish to greyish in colour with a broad dark saddle behind the eyes, and a dense array of irregular very dark spots, blotches and saddles. One main difference with the wobbegong is the lack of whiskers (called barbels) around their nose. They are definitely a catch and release species.

Offshore, ocean flathead are quiet and catches best reported as occasional. We await some warmer water to get them back on the chew.

Pambula River and Broadwater again remain the stand out fishing spots during the past week with Australian salmon on the chew near the shark hole plus trevally and tailor. The salmon will take silver lures, Rapala type hard body lures and fish baits. You can also troll the lower reaches of the river with best results from green flashed silver spinners.

In the Merimbula front lake the start of the run-in from the sea should provide some trevally in the channel and bream over the shallows. There are lots of “chopper” tailor in the Merimbula Back Lake mixed with some really nice fish, see photo. There are also occasional bream, trevally and dusky flathead.

August 20, 2020

Offshore angling is being constrained to one or two days each week as we move through patches of rain and wind associated with a series of south coast lows just like last weekend. For the intrepid there are good fish available like the wonderful gummy shark (flake) shown by Emma Badullovich in photo. Snapper and morwong are active at local reefs when the tide suits. We have reports of bag-out catches off the Haycock Reef taken around 20 fathoms about the turn of the tide ie an hour before and up to an hour after high tide during late afternoon fishing. Best bait squid and pilchards.

Reports confirm lots of humpback whales inshore as they continue their travel northwards for breeding. The DPI has trained members to undertake routine “Citizen Scientist” baited remote underwater video (BRUV) surveys of the Merimbula Artificial Reefs saving them long trips from Port Stephens. The underwater Go-Pro camera records sound as well as video. Our last survey detected lots of sound reminiscent of bleating cattle which were doubtless from passing whales. Water temperatures are hovering about 15 degrees and there are few slimy mackerel. Yakkas like the deeper water near the bottom.

Ocean flathead are quiet and catches best reported as occasional. We await some warmer water to get them back on the chew.

Australian salmon have become patchy best reported at the north end of Tura Beach. Salmon were also reported from off Haycock, Main and Tura Beaches. At the beaches some of the best salmon are taking poppers mounted above a single gang hooked pilchard. Try also 50gm light blue flashed silver spinners.

Pambula River and Broadwater again remain the stand out fishing spots during the past week with ubiquitous tailor, salmon, trevally and even some fine black bream. Keep to the northern side of the Broadwater directly opposite the boat yards. For salmon trawl the lower reaches of the river best results green flashed silver spinners.

In the Merimbula front lake the start of the run-in from the sea should provide some trevally in the channel and bream over the shallows. Nippers without a sinker or soft plastics will get results. There are lots of “chopper” tailor in the Merimbula Back Lake plus some occasional bream and trevally. Water in the lake is stratified with good salt water below the discoloured fresher water near surface. The Bega River remains murky and following heavy rains there is also quite a lot of debris. No action to report.

August 6, 2020

Following the last heavy rain and rough seas a break of sunny weather over last weekend saw a good number of anglers venture out of our principle ports at Quarantine Bay, Merimbula and Kianinny but like the week before returns remained poor. A school of bluefin tuna was reported off Green Cape but no hookups reported. Anglers have noted humpback whales inshore as they continue their travel northwards for breeding.

It was difficult to entice a bite out of snapper or morwong at our local reefs with the water temperature below 15 degrees or even flathead off the sands. Best flathead continue to come from directly off Kianniny at 17 fathoms.

Luckily gummies were on the chew inshore and some fine table fish (flake) were taken. Best baits are slimy mackerel and yellowtail. Good results were reported from off Haycock Beach, Lennards Island and near the Pinnacle reef north of Tathra. We are lucky these mainly Victorian caught fish populate our far south coast waters.

During winter while the ocean waters are cool it seems most of our popular fish have gone on strike so it is good to report Australian salmon are on the chew off the headlands and beaches as well as in the Pambula River. At the beaches some of the best salmon are taking poppers mounted above a single gang hooked pilchard. If you can bear the cold the best fish are taken just after dark.

Pambula River and Broadwater remain the stand out fishing spots during the past week with ubiquitous tailor, salmon, trevally and even a couple of Jewfish reported. Try the northern side of the Broadwater directly opposite the boat yards. At the Merimbula Wharf there are a few lovely calamari squid about during the evenings accepting slow sinking No. 3 jigs. In the Merimbula front lake the start of the run-in from the sea remains good for trevally and bream over the shallows. Nippers without a sinker or soft plastics will get results.

There are lots of “chopper” tailor in the Merimbula Back Lake plus some
occasional bream and trevally. With lots of cheering from the locals Curalo Lagoon at Eden was opened last week and has drained well. It is wonderful to see our bird life enjoying sandy beaches previously underwater. Reports from the Bega River, which remains open indicate some good estuary perch angling in the mid upper reaches, but these are a no take until the season re opens on 1st September.

July 24, 2020

Juniors and littlies have enjoyed the Merimbula School Holiday fishing competition organised by the Club and Tackle World Merimbula. None more so than when they returned their record slips to Tackle World and won their selection of a delicious icy pole for every completed slip! To date fish from every category; flathead, bream, tailor, trevally and Australian salmon have been returned and the competition remains ongoing until 3.0pm on Saturday 18 July. All winners will be contacted by MBGLAC within the following week to make arrangements for their $40 Tackle World voucher prizes.

Congratulations to Geoff McMahon President of Eden Game Fishing Club who landed a magnificent 62Kg yellowfin tuna last week a mere 54km due east of Long Point off Merimbula. Geoff used a 2m diver bibbed hard body lure. Lots of good sized albacore are reported from the same area.

Temperatures along the Continental shelf were reported in the 18-19 degree range but in closer have dropped to between 13 and 15 degrees.

This has certainly quieted down local angling, however good snapper and morwong have really been on the chew during the rising barometer, particularly off Lennards,, Boyds Tower and Mowarry. Best results have come from using micro jigs at about 15 fathoms. Bait fish are everywhere and in good numbers, try first the artificial reefs off Merimbula. Good ocean flathead seem hard to locate particularly in the north out of Kianinny. There is no shortage of undersize fish so try the deeper waters off Tura Headland (22 fathoms) where there are a few really good size tiger flathead.

Take care crossing the Merimbula Bar. Make sure you are wearing your life jacket. Because the Bar remains shallow Marine Rescue Merimbula is restricted to crossing only between 3 hours before high tide and 2 hours after.

There are good trevally in the Merimbula channel and tailor in the top lake as well as the Bega River and Pambula lake. Estuary perch are really on the chew in the Bega River and at Pambula as it is the breeding season but there is a spawning closure until 31 August and all fish caught must be released. Australian salmon can be taken in the lower Pambula River and near Bar Beach at Merimbula. Salmon are also travelling our local beaches, try Tura North and Haycock. Off the beaches some of the best salmon are taking poppers mounted above a single gang hooked pilchard rigged in paternoster style.

July 10, 2020

The last weeks fishing has been pretty good around the Merimbula region with the estuaries and reefs the better places to fish. Unfortunately the weather isn’t looking to promising from Monday till Weds with 150mm of rain forecasted and strong Southerly winds but it can’t be perfect always.

In the estuaries the water has got cold with 13 degrees the norm but there’s still some solid fishing to be had. At Pambula Lake the lower sections towards the mouth is excellent for salmon with anglers casting small metal slices, soft plastics and even trolling deep diving minnows all working at times depending on the prevailing conditions. The school in there at the minute is big and covers 100 meters or so which might sound silly but that’s what is it. You can expect a few trevally with the salmon with the odd good flathead under the salmon schools. Further upstream the main basin has trevally and tailor with the edges of the ribbon weed producing some nice blackfish on blades. These little bits of metal are a gun method during the Winter time and don’t be surprised if you get a few whiting on them to, every Winter fish to 45cm are caught and l know a few locals have been getting amongst a few to. In Merimbula the top Lake has slowed up a bit, you will still get fish but fishing light is the key to better results with soft plastics fished on lighter jigheads the go. Again concentrate around the ribbon weed edges and look for the whitebait schools which are abundant up there at present.

On the reefs the fishing is good but getting out early and fishing that daybreak period is certainly helping anglers who brave the cold at that time of the morning. We had a snapper fish today with 15 reds caught to 2 kilo mostly on soft plastics and squid strips but the bite was over by 9.00am. Fishing the shallower water in 22-25 meters of water was the go today but every day is different, some days there deeper but today the shallow reefs was the go. Try Haycock Point or Long Point both have been OK but be prepared to move around and locate the fish for more consistent results. Further offshore the last few days has been pretty quiet on the tuna front. There’s been a lot of boats venturing wide for little results. There was a 62kg yellowfin caught by a local angler in 17 degree water but they have certainly thinned out a bit over recent days. With the weather coming in tomorrow might be the last day possible to head wide until later next week.

Off the beaches the ever reliable salmon continue to do the right thing with plenty available on most beaches with a decent gutter present. Again the northern beaches seem best with Tura and North Tura holding good gutters and quality fish. With the calmer conditions over recent days anglers casting metal lures are doing better than the bait fishos. Crabs are becoming a nuisance when it’s calm so casting a few slugs might be the go. The Merimbula Aquarium wharf has seen plenty of slimy mackerel caught, these are fun fish for the kids to catch on a bait jig or small metal slice, they make great bait for the estuarine species like bream and flathead but that’s about it. There’s been a few salmon and tailor caught to when a school swims past but they have proved a bit tougher this past week. If your after a squid try after dark they to are finicky at present but those getting a few are rugging up and fishing the evening bite.

July 3, 2020

Those venturing offshore after a feed of bottom fish are in luck with multiple species chewing at present. Snapper, morwong sand and tiger flathead plus some decent sized gummy sharks have all played the game this past week and l can’t see why that will change anytime soon. I know of one boat getting 17 legal snapper for the session which is solid fishing, throw in a few flatties and a gummy or two and it’s nothing short of exceptional. The fish have been spread out but the better areas seem to be down south off Haycock Point in 25-30 meters. Other reefs that fished OK include Long Point, Turingal and a few fish close in off Tura Head which is pretty interesting as well. All these areas should still fish well this week with Lennard’s Island another spot worth a look.

Further offshore the water has cooled considerably with 16-18 degrees the norm now. It’s not all bad news though with a few yellowfin tuna and albacore getting caught wide of Bermagui and Merimbula over the past week. These fish will hopefully push south and don’t be surprised to see some big SBT over the coming weeks. There’s been a few monsters caught just North of us with Benn Boltons 148.3 kilo monster coming from Narooma a few days back. Considering they also lost a bigger fish after 5 hours to a shark there are some brutes around.

Inshore the beach goers are having loads of fun on salmon and tailor with the beaches north of Merimbula fishing extremely well. We had a local fella come in store this morning with a glowing report off Tura beach which comprised of 22 salmon and 3 big tailor in a few hours so exceptional fishing in my books. The salmon averaged a kilo or so but on the right tackle still a stack of fun. A few different techniques are working with a paternoster rig, rigged with a bait/popper combination with half salted pilchards the gun bait to use. Casting a range of smaller metal shiners up to 30 gram has also been good on these mid-sized fish and if a thumper comes along you’re in for some serious fun. If you’re after gummy shark or mulloway then you’re in luck. Both these species have been around with a few of the gummies nudging 12 kilo so nice fish and great in the pan. I’d be fishing either Middle beach or Haycock with fresh slab baits for the sharks or big bunches of live beach worms which jewies find hard to resist. Yes both these species are not thick so time on the sand after dark will hopefully get you the just rewards.

Off the stones the action is mixed depending on what you’re targeting. The bread and butter species like drummer and blackfish have come into their own over recent days with the water temperature dropping and solid wash available on most headlands. Using a float with cabbage weed or fresh prawns will catch you a feed, use a little burley here but not too much. You can expect a few bream and trevally on the prawns also with Short Point the pick of the headlands to fish. There’s still plenty of pelagic action happening off Tura head, mainly salmon but a lot depends on conditions to the results you are getting. Both lures and ganged pilchards have produced results though the bait guys do seem to have the edge at present.

In the estuaries Pambula Lake has really fired up this week. The main basin has seen plenty of the action with one local getting some awesome results. He got a mixed bag of no less than 9 legal species for the day which is pretty remarkable considering he caught them on a mixture of bait and soft plastics. Bream, whiting, blackfish, salmon, tailor, flounder, trevally, flathead and mullet made up his bag with a few of the bream nudging the kilo mark. The key was to fish very light leaders in the crystal clear water and fish light jig heads and sinkers. Casting towards the ribbon weed edges in the basin in 3-4 meters of water with a little burley was all that was required. In Merimbula Lake the lower sections in the channel is still firing for jumbo sized trevally. Fish to 50cm have been common and on bream gear they do put up a struggle. Anglers using smaller softies on light jig heads on the draining tide have fared best. The top Lake still has plenty of tailor about and the odd trevally and bream under the whitebait schools. This coming weeks weather looks pretty good, if your new to the sport or just want some local info don’t hesitate to pop into the shop and the boys will look after you.

June 24, 2020

What a week the offshore boaties have had with yellowfin on everyone’s lips. It’s been incredible to say the least with dozens of fish caught to 80kg plus and many more lost. Local crews are getting multiple shots per day, mainly trolling but the fish are very wide spread from Batemans Bay to the North all the way down to Eden. The better fish seem to be due East of Bermagui and Tathra and if you have a look at the temperature charts you can see why, it looks brilliant! The majority of fish seem to be in that 40-60 kilo bracket with the odd jumbo thrown in and some days plenty of 15-25 kilo fish so everyday is different. The fish are pretty wide East of the shelf but again this varies as the crews l’ve talked to have seen jumping fish in 70- fathoms so they can be anywhere at anytime. It’s interesting to that a few SBT have been caught to, mostly smaller fish in the 40 kilo size but they seem to be extremely wide. A few commercial longliners cleaned up the last few days fishing 50 mile East of Bermagui so the SBT are there also. This is great for the Far South Coast with this run of yellowfin the best we’ve seen for quite a few years, let’s hope it continues and if everything stays the way it is these fish will be around for weeks hopefully.

Closer to shore the snapper have really picked up a notch with some solid fish to 4 kilo getting caught. Some bigger fish hooked on soft plastics have won their freedom bricking their opponents so some much larger fish are about. Anglers casting an array of softies and micro jigs seem to be getting the bigger fish and if you anchor and burley with squid strips or pilchards you will be rewarded with a nice feed. Better spots to try include Turingal reef, Haycock and inside Hunter rock in 22 mtrs and Lennards Island to the South is also worth a look.

On the beaches it’s red hot if salmon is what your after. These Winter speedsters are everywhere with all beaches holding fish. Yes some are better than others depending on wind direction and gutter formation but Merimbula main, Tura and Quondolo to the South are all excellent. A few locals are getting 20 plus fish a session both on bait and lures so a lot of fun to be had. If you’re after a feed there’s been a few bream at the mouth of Pambula Lake with beach-worms the preferred baits to use. For the bigger prey like gummy and school sharks try Haycock beach to the South of Pambula, there’s still been the odd fish caught there but expect to put the hours in to get the rewards. Over the next 4-5 days the tides are not perfect unless you don’t mind a midnight bash.

Off the rocks there’s a report of a 42 kilo SBT caught at the Pulpit (Green Cape) on a live bait, l haven’t seen a photo but if reports are true this is an exceptional capture but best of all the SBT are in close to. This is pretty exciting stuff if you’re a LBG nut, l wouldn’t be surprised if a few more were caught to especially if a few more live baits are in the water. Closer to home the rocks have been a hit and miss proposition this past week. One day there’s salmon plentiful the next it’s a desert. This is typical of pelagic species you just have to be there when there swimming past and only time on the rocks will provide that. What has been good are the squid, there not thick but some quality hoods amongst them. Both Merimbula and Tathra wharves are the places to go, fish into the night for best results.

In the estuaries it’s pretty cold water now with 14 degrees the norm. There’s still fish to be caught especially in the channels with trevally, bream, salmon and tailor the more popular species to target. Below the bridge in the lower sections of Merimbula has been good on the draining tide which is perfect for the next 4-5 days in the afternoon. Casting smaller softies on light gelspun across the current should see plenty of action. Up at the Bega River near Tathra there’s some nice whiting and bream still being caught on smaller blades fished slow on the bottom. Concentrate in water depths of 3-6 mtrs of water, a lot of the action has come from these depths with the deeper sections of Thompsons in 10-12 mtrs still holding some nice flathead. You do have to fish a slow lift/drop retrieve and expect the bites to be light in the cooler water.

June 17, 2020

What a cracking week we have had on the weather front with offshore boaties getting out on most days with light westerly winds in the morning. The wind hasn’t got up till after lunch most days so plenty of time to fish and get amongst them.

The bottom bouncing gurus are doing quite well with flathead numbers quite solid once you locate a patch. You may have to move around a bit to find them but once you do you will be rewarded. Like last week the deeper water seems the go 34-36 mtrs straight of Tura Head has been OK as has Bournda though it’s a bit more of a drive North from Merimbula. I’ve heard of some nice fish around the Sticks near Pambula also, but you are getting 3-4 smaller ones before a decent keeper comes along. If all else fails this just might be worth a look. Those after snapper are doing quite well especially anglers anchoring up and using burley with lightly weighted pilchards or squid strips as bait. Yes it’s a bit more work than just drifting but sometimes the harder yards need to be put in to get the desired results. Try down South off Hunter rock in 17-22 mtrs plus the inshore grounds at Lennard’s Island, both have been producing reds to 3 kilo. If fishing jigs then Horseshoe reef or Turingal reef to the North are both worth a look. Further offshore we haven’t had to many reports of more yellowfin caught just a few albacore and smaller SBT but the bigger SBT can turn up anytime now. The charts look pretty good and with some solid fish coming from Eastern Victoria our turn won’t be long let’shope so anyway.

In the estuaries the Bega River upstream of Thompsons wall has seen some nice black bream and bigger Winter whiting fall victim to smaller metal blades fished dead slow near the bottom. A few locals are getting 10 plus legal fish a sesion which is OK for this time of year with the water a chilly 12 degrees. There’s still a few flathead being caught downstream near the bridge plus the odd mulloway on fresh squid baits after dark mainly by anglers fishing from the shoreline. This area is relatively deep and with not much tidal movement pretty easy to fish. Closer to Merimbula the top lake still has plenty of tailor about with loads of trevally along the southern shoreline where the weed meets the sand (3-5 mtrs of water). Casting smaller blades or softies will see plenty of action and don’t be surprised to see a few decent yellowfin bream in the same area. Over at Pambula trevally, salmon and tailor continue to bite in the lower sections in the channel not far from the River entrance. Casting metal shiners to surface feeding fish has worked but slowly twitched stik-style soft plastics like the ever reliaible bass minnows has worked a treat. Fish these on a 1/8th size 2 jighead and you should be in business. In the main basin some good blackfish and whiting are falling to blades fished slow along the ribbon weed edges. Yes l know that sounds silly catching these two species on bits of metal but trust me it works and works good.

On the ocean beaches and rocks salmon are still plentiful with bags of 15 plus fish in a session not unusual. This weeks afternoon/evening tides look ideal for the beaches l for one will can’t wait to wet a line, it should be excellent. I’d look at Tura main, North Tura or Quondolo beach just south of Pambula. All these beaches have decent deep gutters it’s just a matter of picking one out and having a go. Both bait and lure anglers will do well and there is certainly a chance at a gummy shark or bronze whaler if fishing bigger baits like salmon fillets or fresh squid after dark. Off the rocks the drummer have been slow this week, maybe there’s not enough wash but really not sure. When l have a local drummer guru come into the shop and say it’s tough then it is. Yes this can change anytime let’s hope so as these bruisers are a Winter favourite of many. You will get plenty of salmon off Tura head and Tathra wharf but the kings have been quiet with the odd jumbo tailor thrown in to. There’s been plenty of squid about after dark with darker coloured jigs seemingly working better at present. Another area to try is Eden wharf. Lots of trevally, barracouta and big slimy mackerel to be caught on soft plastics or small jigs but you need to fish light. Local gun Jacko has been kicking goals on the above especially the trevs with some crackers to just under 50cm, quality fish on light gelspun line.

June 12, 2020

Finally it looks like the country is getting back to some sort of normality which is great to see. Merimbula and it’s surrounds have had a very lean year with bushfires and now Covid but the long weekend just past saw plenty of people about and heaps of fish caught.

On the beaches it’s been excellent. Salmon are in great numbers and some quality fish to 3 kilo amongst them. Almost any beach with a decent gutter is producing with Haycock, Tura main (north end) and North Tura beach all firing on the right tides. The usual paternoster rig with a bait/popper combination has worked well with a few fish coming on metal shiners. It seems though the evening tides into the night sees the best action and l know of several gummy sharks coming from the Southern beaches South of Pambula with the best a cracking 17 kilo fish. A few others have been lost with the odd small bronze whaler thrown in to just to make things interesting. The tailor action has been a little slow on the beaches regarding numbers but if you do get a greenback 60-70cm tailor have been caught. These bigger fish have mainly come from North Tura up towards Bournda Island so it might be worth a look also.

Off the stones and wharves yes salmon have been good on metal lures with pilchards rigged whole on ganged hooks under a bobby cork float also producing. There’s been the odd kingfish encounter to but they have slowed up somewhat, you just have to be there when a school swims past and even then they have been cagey. With the water cooling off to 15 degrees in close barracouta numbers have increased which is great for the kids to catch but not much good for anything else apart from snapper baits. What has improved though are drummer numbers with a few switched on locals getting solid fish to 45cm. At that size they pull hard and you need to be rigged up properly to get them out but gee it’s a lot of fun. If after the pelagics then Tura Head, Merimbula and Tathra wharfs are the go, for the drummer try Short Point and the southern end of Tura Head with cabbage and prawns the better baits to use.

Offshore anglers are pretty happy with them selves most days especially if bottom bouncing with flathead numbers solid on most days. The deeper water is certainly the go with 36-40 meters and sometimes deeper the preferred depths to fish. Straight of Tura Head has been good with the area around the artificial reefs in 30 odd meters of water holding fish also but you have to work through the smaller ones first to get a decent feed. Further south at Haycock and inside Hunter rock has been good for snapper on bait, plastics and micro jigs. The fish are mostly pannies around the kilo mark but l’ve heard of a few 3 kilo fish caught but they certainly ain’t thick at that size but definitely possible. You can expect a few morwong and other reef dwellers and if your fishing on the gravel a gummy shark or two wouldn’t surprise either. Further offshore the game crews have had mixed fortunes of late. Some days there’s life, others just plain ordinary. If your wide enough you’re a chance of albacore and a yellowfin, there’s been a few caught of both species over the last week with a 55 kilo yellowfin coming from Eden. These fish are wide with a 50km drive on the cards most days. What looks promising is the action coming from down South, the SBT run is literally on our doorstep, l’d expect to see fish over the coming days or week with trolling and covering the kms trying to locate them the go. If you’re after a deep water eating ooglies there’s been plenty of ling about with a few blu eye trevalla and the odd hapuka caught also. Depths of 250-300 fathom seems to be the depth to fish at present.

In the estuaries it’s slowed up a bit with the colder water but the channels in Merimbula Lake are seeing plenty of trevally being caught. Anglers casting soft plastics are faring best, you can expect the odd flathead and bream also in the same areas. The top lake has plenty of tailor about, look for the diving terns as to their whereabouts, casting metal shiners or trolling deep divers will see plenty of action. It’s worth a cast with a larger soft plastic under the tailor schools to, l know of several big flathead caught recently doing this with the best at 87cm. Yes you loose a few softies to the tailor but getting a big flathead makes it all worthwhile.

December 19, 2019

The estuaries have been a stand-out. Both Merimbula and Pambula Lakes are excellent for flathead, bream, tailor and whiting with a few blackfish thrown in to. The latter Lake has been OK over recent weeks but with the increased water temperature over recent days it’s ready to explode. A few local gurus are having a field day on top water whiting with the shallower margins in the top basin being the better place to try. A mixture of surface lures helps as some days walk-baits are better and other days poppers seem best. Having a mixture of both will see some tasty fillets for the pan if so desired. You can expect a few bream to plus the odd better flathead when fishing like this and if you haven’t witnessed a big flathead hit a surface lure in shallow water it’s certainly adrenalin rushing stuff. For those soaking a bait the channels in both systems continue to produce trevally, bream and a few flatties. The lower sections below the main bridge in Merimbula is the go with the draining tide seeming better this past week or so. Use softer baits like prawns, pipi and even beachworms for best results. If you’re after a whiting or two then the Mitchies jetty area at Fishpen has been consistent of late with pipi the go to bait to use. Up at Tathra the Bega River is dropping and still closed but continues to fish well. The flats have been excellent for whiting and bream with the deeper sections around the bridge area and Thompson’s wall great for bigger dusky flathead and mulloway. I know of several silver slabs hooked over recent days with the fish averaging 9-10 kilo with a few bigger fish lost also. Anglers casting bigger soft plastics up to 7 inches have fared best though the bait crews are getting their fare share of action after dark to.

On the beaches the tides are getting better for later in the weekend though they have fished well this past week despite conditions not being ideal. We had a session down the local Tura main in not nice conditions but the fish didn’t mind with double header salmon getting caught on a bait and popper combination. There great fun when 2×2 kilo fish are pulling either way and even on surf gear they pull hard. I expect the beach fishing to only get better with Haycock, Tura main and north Tura all worth a look for the pelagic species. If shark fishing from the beach interests you then NOW is the time to go. There’s plenty of bronze whalers in close with a few school and gummy sharks also getting in on the action. One visitor hooked 4 in one afternoon, landing one around 6 foot and loosing two others after short battles then the last one which they saw decided to spool them. They have to be big fish to do and all these sharks were hooked in shallow water of 4-5 foot just past the shore break. That just shows you don’t need deep water to target them.

The ocean rocks and local wharfs especially Tathra wharf are exciting places to be at present with the kingfish bite at the minute. On Tuesday a 13yr old angler caught a 17 kilo king from the wharf with others lost to and everyday is the same, you just gotta be there when they decide to chew. I know of another around 15 kilo which was caught at 11.30am during the week so that just shows they can turn up any-time. Using live bait has accounted for a lot of the hook-ups though a few anglers casting bigger stick-baits and poppers have raised fish also. Whilst waiting for the king bites salmon, tailor and the odd frigate mackerel have filled in the time with some thumping trevally around the wharf pylons. Over at Merimbula there’s been plenty of squid caught with a few salmon, tailor and smaller kings captured when the schools swim past. Using lures and whole pilchards has been good and with the bottom here very rough using a bobby cork float at various depths will see better results for you.

Offshore the flathead are finally waking up, Local gun Ian caught 17 solid sandies over 40cm in a short period of time, finding a patch was the key but when he did it didn’t take long to get a feed. Water depths of 34-36 mtrs was the go straight off Bournda Island with fresh squid the bait of choice. He said the leatherjackets were a nuisance but persistence paid off. For the reef dwellers the snapper have picked up again over recent days which is good to see. They have been patchy but better now with a few crews getting a dozen or so fish in a session which is pretty good in my books. Bait anglers drifting are certainly cleaning up with the micro jigs still accounting for a few fish. Both Haycock and Lennards are worth a look as is Long point early in the morning. There’s reports of kingfish on the surface as well, they are coming up boiling in solid patches but only staying on top for very short time periods. If you’re lucky enough to be close when they do and have a popper/stick-bait ready you just might be in luck, let’s hope so.

December 5, 2019

It looks like the weather gods are finally on our side with the next 4-5 days looking good with light winds for the mornings which is great for those anglers venturing offshore.

The reefs continue to fish quite well for snapper, mowies with a few pigfish and smaller rat kings thrown in also. There certainly not thick you do have to work for them and move around a bit but when you locate a patch you can expect a nice feed for the pan. It seems this past week that crews using bait seem to have done better than those using micro jigs and the like but everyday is different so going out with an assortment of techniques should keep you in good stead. The usual haunts like Haycock continue to produce though l have heard a few solid snapper coming from Whitecliffs to the North so it might be worth a look up there. Those after a feed of flatties are pulling there hair out at the minute. They have been surprisingly tough, yes you will get a few and scrape a feed up but they should be easier to catch than what they have been of late. The better depths seem shallower with that 28-32 mtr line being OK straight off Tura Head, the artificial reef area SE off Long Point has seen a few fish caught around it to so worth a look. Further offshore has been disappointing for those who have ventured wide, give it a few more weeks to see that better water get further South before going wide. Down at Eden Mowarry Point to the South has seen a few kings caught up to 12 kilo, mostly on live baits but the fish have been seen on the surface but like they have been for months now hard to entice to bite. You just gotta be there when the switch for them turns on and that’s just time on the water.

The beaches have picked up a little with some great whiting on Merimbula main and the very Northern end of Tathra Beach in front of Mogareeka. I’ve seen fish to 44cm caught mostly on pipi and live beach worms with a few bream and yellow eye mullet thrown in to. The mornings have certainly fished better and those using lighter outfits seem to be getting more consistent results. If you’re after a salmon or two then Middle beach has been pretty good, a few visitors have popped into the shop getting more bait and tackle telling us there catching quite a few down there which is great to see.

Off the stones/Wharves, Merimbula wharf is still seeing plenty of squid caught with the best time being late afternoon into the dark especially when it’s blowing from the NE. You get a lot of cover here with that wind direction and it’s very fish able. You can expect a few salmon and tailor when they travel past with sightings of schools of kings in 15-20 fish packs swimming past also. I haven’t heard of any landed but good to see them about. Hopefully a few will make a mistake and make some lucky angler there day. Over at Tathra it’s a different story though, the kings have been seen there and getting hooked, there’s some big fish amongst them to so bring the heavy gear if planning to send a few live baits out. It shouldn’t be too long before we start to see a few bonito around, these little speedsters are great fun on the spin tackle and are not bad on the plate if looked after correctly.

In the estuaries it’s good, very good and that will continue. All systems are firing nicely, the Bega River is excellent for flatties with some CROCS about to 93cm. Most people l have talked to have caught quality fish with the lower sections fishing best for the flat fish. Anglers casting an array of softies and vibes have done best with a few mulloway caught to whilst targeting the flatties which is good to see. Further upstream along the rock-walls expect bream, EP’s and if you get far enough upstream then bass come into the equation also. These dynamite sports-fish are awesome to catch, let them go though they are way to good to only catch once and that way the next generation of fishos will enjoy it just as much as we all are now!!

For those after top water action it’s all systems go. Whiting are abundant especially around the islands near Blackfellows, there’s quite a bit of water there with the system closed and if it’s windy all the better. It gives you plenty of cover in the shallow water and the tings (whiting) certainly will respond better. Over at Merimbula the top lake is productive for flathead, trevally, tailor and bream with a few legal sized snapper getting caught around the artificial reef. Casting plastics, blades and fresh bait will see some solid fishing and l’ve heard of a few kingfish up there like we saw last season which is bloody awesome to see.

November 11, 2019

The last weeks weather has been nothing short of terrible with very windy conditions since the last report. The good news is the next 3 or 4 days looks promising especially those looking for a feed offshore.

Anglers that did get out early before the winds really got up were rewarded with some nice snapper from Long Point and Horseshoe reef near Pambula. The fish were scattered but when you found a patch getting 4 or 5 in quick time was possible. Anglers using bait seem to be getting more fish this week rather than micro jigs but every day is different. There were a few morwong and pigfish caught to with plenty of leatherjackers to make a nuisance also. Over the sand the flatties are good one day then quiet the next. I think a bit has to do with current as to how they bite and it wouldn’t hurt to see some better water in close as it’s still pretty green and a cold 17 degrees in close. With the windy weather not much to report on the game scene but hopefully a few boats will venture East this weekend.

The beaches have been a little slow with the calmer conditions but there’s still some quality fish to be caught. A few locals have been getting solid bream mainly around the rockier corners of the beaches with whiting and yellow-eye mullet in the shallower gutters. Fishing the flooding tide on sunrise has been the key to their success with live beachworms and pipi the preferred baits. When the conditions suit expect the salmon action to get better with the usual paternoster rig with a bait/popper combination the best rig. In saying that there are fish being caught though the size seems smaller than usual. Most of the salmon action has been early in the morning with both Tura, Haycock and North Tura all worth a look.

Those fishos fishing the stones have had the best of it with salmon to 2 kilo, tailor and the odd bonito all succumbing to metal shiners in the 40-60 gram range. Some days are better than others but if you strike the day their on then your in for some serious fun. A few locals are getting 15 odd mixed fish per session with the morning definitely being more productive. The bite windows of a few l’ve talked to say the bite may only be an hour or so but fast and furious with almost a fish a cast stuff, but as quick as it turns on it turns off just as fast. The trick is to be there when it fires which is easier said than done but spending some time on the stones should see you be rewarded nicely. The better ledges are Tura Head and Short Point though l know the rocks off Tathra point have been OK as well. Those after kings are seeing a few fish especially at Tathra wharf but getting them to eat something seems a lot harder. Hopefully they will feed better soon so everyone can get amongst them.

In the estuaries it’s all systems go with everything having a chew at times. Both the Merimbula and Pambula lakes is the place to fish with flathead, blackfish, bream, tailor, salmon and trevally all on the go. It really depends on how you want to target your species with most methods working. Bait anglers anchoring up in the channels have done exceptionally well on bream using fresh striped tuna cubes. Using a little burley has helped with the falling tide best. Those after whiting should see increased catch rates as the water warms, it’s been pretty cool the water the last week but there’s still a few whiting getting caught. Wading the flats is a great way to target them with nippers and worms the better baits. Anglers casting plastics and blades are having loads of fun with the main basin the place to fish. Casting back towards the ribbon weed edges in 3-4 meters of water is where most fish are coming from. This action will only get better as the weeks pass. What will start to hot up this next NEW moon is the prawns. There’s been a few seen around that 2 inch mark, they will get bigger with the lower sections of the channel around Mitchies Jetty a good place to have a look.

We welcome Adam Monday who will be supplying a fresh water fishing report to us.

The 1st of May is the start of the annual Trout spawning season in the Snowy Mountains and restrictions take place on the Thredbo river and it’s tributaries, the Eucumbene river and it’s tributaries and upstream of the Eucumbene Dam wall including Providence Portal. Fisheries officers will be out enforcing the rules and checking in with anglers so make sure you check the current rules before fishing these locations or any location you might be unsure of.

Well Anzac Day brought the arrival of our first decent frosts and with frosts brings cooler waters and more active Trout, we just need rain to get some water flows for the Brown trout to spawn in.

Lake Eucumbene.
Sitting steady at 25% capacity.
The fishing is still a bit slow on all approaches throughout the entire lake.
The keen fishos putting the time in have been landing a few in the 2lb range with the occasional nice Rainbow also showing up.
Gold or bright green winged lures have seen a bit more action over other colours of late.
Bait fishing with yabbies is your best option as most fish kept for the table have been full of yabbies.

Now that the frosts have arrived the fly fishos will be breaking out there wet fly’s for the lakes and hitting the rivers in search of a trophy Brownie.

Lake Jindabyne.
77% capacity and falling again, at least the surface water temp has now dropped to 13deg. Jindy’s water level has been up and down for some weeks which isn’t helping us anglers on the fishing side of things with everyone finding it very tough to entice a fish on everything from bait to fly’s.

Boaters are sounding up good sizes and numbers but not much action, covering all water depths is required to hopefully locate an active fish.
Bait fishing is much the same with persistence and luck rewarding some.
Targeting the edges in search of any cruising fish is definitely your best approach in the current conditions

Hopefully with the below zero overnight temps and frosty mornings the waters temp will quickly drop a few more degrees and the fish might start moving again.

Tantangara Dam.
Sitting steady at 25% capacity.
I’m hearing reports it’s now rather fresh and frozen of a morning and fishing lines and guides are starting to freeze up, with these temps the fish should fire up

Tantangara has started fishing a little better and seems to be a little more productive over Eucumbene.

Anglers are seeing most of there action just after sunrise.

Trolling and casting metallic coloured lures during the day and dark colours during the lower light hours has seen some nice Brown Trout in the 2lb range landed, table fish were reported to also be full of yabbies.

Bait fishos have been getting results using PowerBait under a bubble/float or yabbies unweighted.

Report 26/4/19

Its been a cracking Easter for the Merimbula region with heaps of visitors and plenty of fish to catch. The action isn’t over yet either with offshore crews getting amongst an array of species.

Those after flathead are feeling pretty good with ample fish chewing. There’s a solid mix of sand and tiger flathead if fishing the deeper water between 45-50 meters straight off Tura headland. The fish are solid to with the majority over the 40cm mark which makes it easy when checking size limits. There’s been a few gummy sharks mixed in with the flatties with a few nudging 12 kilo which are pretty solid models. On the reefs morwong and snapper have been OK but you do have to work for them. The main problem is the leather jackets and green toads which are thick some days and with the water temperature dropping a few barracouta have also turned up and played havoc. The best advice is to move to another reef or head wider and chase a few flatties. A little further south off Eden the kings are there but can be hard to entice. Mowarry Point is the place to go with live bait fished hard on the bottom getting a few fish. These brutes are big to with not many fish under 10 kilo with quite a few around that 15-18 kilo mark so it does make it worthwhile if you connect to one. Further offshore the game crews are having mixed days but the bite for marlin is certainly best due East of Merimbula over recent days. One local boat got 4 last weekend on bait balls but other boats saw bugger all but that’s game fishing for you. If you’re after a dolphin fish the FAD is still holding plenty but you have to be early to get a fish or two before they shut down with all the boat traffic. You can expect smaller mako sharks if burleying closer to shore, l know of several 5-6 footers this past week with some bigger whalers as well.

Off the beaches it’s excellent. There’s plenty of salmon, tailor and the odd bream as well. Almost all beaches are holding fish and with the tides only getting better as we head into the weekend some fun will certainly be had. The usual haunts like Tura main, North Tura, Haycock to the South and Middle beaches are all worth a look. Using paternoster rigs is the go having a pilchard on one hook and surf popper on the other, you get to cover all bases like this and the pelagics can’t resist them.

The ocean rocks and wharf at Merimbula has been very good for smaller kingfish. There were a number caught yesterday morning but mostly undersize but only just. The bigger kings have been seen but proving quite difficult to catch. These smaller fish still go great guns on the right tackle with fresh pieces of squid unweighted working well with smaller yellowtail used live also doing the trick. Off Tura head there’s been salmon, tailor and the odd bonito with pilchards fished on ganged hooks being the best method at present. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a few better kings get caught this next few weeks as the spearfishers have been seeing quite a few around the headlands.

In the estuaries it has slowed up a bit bust some nice fish are still being caught especially those anglers fishing with soft plastics. Both Merimbula and Pambula main basins is the go in the deeper water with depths of 4-6 meters the place to fish. Concentrate just off the ribbon weed edges here and you can expect some solid flathead, trevally and bream. The channels in both systems are very clear at the moment so fishing lighter leaders and only the freshest of baits has been the key to better results in the faster water. Up at Mogareeka just north of Tathra it’s still going pretty good with some nice bream ans estuary perch along Thompsons wall. It seems the morning bite is better with smaller softies hopped down the wall getting the desired results. A little closer to the mouth good flathead and the odd mulloway have been caught with fresh squid and live mullet the go. After dark has been prime time but early morning tide changes should also prove effective.

Freshwater Report – 26/4/2019

We welcome Adam Monday who will be supplying a fresh water fishing report to us. We hope you find all these reports beneficial From the team at Tackleworld Merimbula

I hope you all had a safe &; relaxing Easter break.
Everything certainly aligned for perfect weather over the Easter long weekend. full moon, lovely warm temps, sunshine and no wind made for beautiful days and warm evenings, for those who were not in the snowy’s targeting Trout that is.
The weather up here was too perfect for trout fishing.
Lake Jindabyne and Eucumbene were fishing very slow, Tantangara wasn’t much better and the streams appeared to be without any fish. I fished both Jindy and Euc with a mate and only netted one Rainbow and a little brown between us over several hours and sessions flicking lures. I also fished a local river and didn’t sight a single fish which was unusual for this location. Sunday afternoon I had the itch and went to a location with my brother that holds smaller Rainbows & usually produces something for us, we successfully netted/released 5 fish between us on 3cm Bullet Lures.
The reports coming in from all the lakes was frustratingly slow, no matter what style of fishing, the fish were just shut down and not Moving.

Tantangara Dam.
Currently 27% capacity.
This past week nothing has been consistent in producing fish, it appears persistence and luck have been the best methods.

Lake Jindabyne.
78% and falling again.
The fishing is very slow, possibly due to all of the above mentioned plus the water level keeps going up and down – like a cold beer after work. The surface temps are around 17deg which is approximately 5deg warmer then previous years at this time. Some lucky anglers caught the occasional brown from the edges. Boaters tried everything to no avail.

Lake Eucumbene.
Currently sitting at 25% capacity & steady which should see the fishing improve. Eucumbene had slightly better reports then Jindy & Tantangara over the Easter weekend. Some of the lucky & persistent anglers managed a few Rainbows and Browns in the 1lb – 2.5lb range.
Trolling: flat lining the shallows and tree lines seen the odd boat hook up.
Bait has also been a hit and miss with the pre dawn hours getting the most bells ringing. A local angler at Old Adaminaby using worms netted 3 nice browns yesterday afternoon, hopefully the fish are moving again.

Thredbo River.
I visited this location on Easter Monday.
It’s a stunning time of year with the trees covered in bright yellow leaves and the crystal clear waters trickling below.
The water level is very low in the Thredbo and starting to allow you to rock hop across in sections which is concerning. This river a fly fishos paradise. One very lucky fly angler netted a stinking big Brown on Easter Saturday, apparently 10lb+ in under a foot of water, I have seen photos and it’s a very impressive big Brown, possibly ex brood stock. Just shows you never know what lurks below in the Thredbo.

Report 18/4/19

Thanks to M.b.g.l.a.c for this report.

The past week has seen great flathead catches along the coast, with probably Tura Headland near Merimbula and Baronda Headland north of Kianinny the most productive at 15-17 fathoms. There are also good flathead at 25 fathoms off the Horseshoe Reef SE of Merimbula. Chinamen leatherjackets (although good to eat) remain a problem together with small cuta and now green oceanic toads. The green toads are related to the puffer fish, the dangerous Japanese delicacy which must be cut carefully to avoid the toadfish venom tetrodotoxin which is one of the most dangerous poisons known to man, up to 100 times as deadly as black widow spider venom.

Slimy mackerel seem to have left our inshore areas, being replaced with small cuta especially about the Merimbula artificial reefs (36 54.826/149 56.245 and 36 54.870/149.56.256). Some good flathead have taken up residence between the structures but getting a line down to them past the couta can be a real problem.
Salmon remain patchy, best at Haycock and Aslings Beachs, try the rising tide morning and evening. Salted pilchards are excellent baits.

Morwong remain on the chew at Haycock near Merimbula, White Rock near Kianinny and at the Pinnacle north of Baronda Point. Snapper have been patchy but are expected to fire up each side of the full moon. Try Long Point, Haycock, Lennards Island, North Head and south to Boyds Tower Reef and Mowarry. With the full moon we expect some good gummy shark along the reef edges such as Horseshoe Reef at 17 fathoms.

Luderick at the Merimbula Wharf are starting to spawn and can be seen at shallow depth beneath floating weed. Good sea mullet are hanging around the Merimbula and Pambula entrances, try burling with bread to get them onto the bite! Just after dark is the best time for some really nice calamari from the wharf.

Bream, trevally, and large tailor, are available in the Merimbula channel. In the main lake bream shoals of baby snapper are on the prowl and make it difficult to target dusky flathead, trevally and bream. At Pambula Lake good tailor, mullet, trevally, dusky flathead and salmon are about. Here schools of small bream can make angling difficult. At Mogareeka there are lovely trevally, dusky flathead, bream and whiting as well as pan sized snapper. Try drifting with live nippers. Trolling with silver spinners and bibbed lures in the same area can target both tailor and salmon.

Snowy Mountains Trout Fishing Report

We welcome Adam Monday who will be supplying a fresh water fishing report to us. We hope you find all these reports beneficial From the team at Tackleworld Merimbula

Last Saturday I hit the road early and headed for Providence Portal after recent reports to hopefully sight some fish moving up. We walked from the portal upstream into the tree lined country flicking along the way, we only sighted 4 fish with the largest Brown being around the 2lb range. We spoke with several anglers throughout the day who all had zero success, one couple had only netted 1 pan sized Rainbow over the entire week using bait, one fly flicker I know had netted several very small browns over the week-fishing daily whilst camped at Dennison.

The portal is open and flowing strong – meaning Tantangara is dropping, even with these inflows Eucumbene has dropped this past week, shutting the fish down and leaving muddy banks to contend with. The fishing at Tantangara had also shut down due to the fastly decreasing water level. Big change from the previous weeks.

Yens bay and the Buckenderra end of lake Euc has had the best results yet slow and mostly small fish.

Moving around Lake Eucumbene to find areas with the breeze/wind pushing in will be the better areas to target. constantly swapping out your offerings and changing up your technique throughout the day will better your chances of netting a fish.

Eucumbene is at 25% capacity and now steady.

Tantangara is at 29% capacity and now steady.

Lake Jindabyne is 79% capacity & now falling.

The overnight temps in jindy are hitting single digits which is cooling off the surface temps bringing the fish higher up in the water column. Fishing the deep waters is only required on the clear sunny days when the shallower sections are crystal clear and quite.

The Good old Tassie Devils in #121 #97 #129 #Y94 #Y82 have been pulling fish.

Rapala CD-5, F-7, XR-4, CR-6 are perfect for flicking from the banks and trolling. Lures with bright orange or gold work well and often produce conditioned fish due to the gold fish that are in the lake, these bright colours mimic these bait fish.

Fly fishing has been tougher for most, pre sunrise hours seeing most of the success. Kalkite end and waste points have been fairly productive for boaters, land based anglers have had the best success around the township end.

Targeting the area of the lake where the Thredbo river flows in is always an ideal area especially after rains and leading into winter and spawning run.

Mud eyes and Berkeley Powebait under a float/bubble is seeing smaller Rainbows and Brown Trout landed during the afternoons, 3pm onwards. The calm sunny days are perfect for Polaroiding the edges for those cruising fish.

Moonbah River
Is a stunning waterway but like all streams in the area it’s running low & needs rain.

This stream mostly produces small Fish to around 1.5lb on dry flys or small spinners. You do have to cover ground to produce the goods!

Nils Master & Celta spinners are the go too spinners for this little waterway & for shallow running minnow style lures “check out the Jackson lure range” using a very slow roll, occasionally bouncing off the bottom, usually gets there attention. Being a small crystal clear stream always cast ahead of yourself so you don’t spook unsighted fish, casting along the undercut banks and tussock lined edges might entice those hidden fish.

Thredbo river
Is a stunning location where you need to be in the zone and willing to put the efforts in spending the day covering ground insearch of some string pulling action.

It’s a fly and lure fishos ideal location for presenting your offerings. Stealth mode is required due to its gin-clear waters. You can honestly have sessions without netting a fish even though you can see them holding on the bottom, then other days with several fish netted. It’s one location where persistence & presentation pays off.

Fish the faster waters and target the undercut banks & shadow lines “keeping your shadow off the water”

The spawning run isn’t too far off, the odd fish will start moving upstream.

Murrumbidgee river
Via Yayouk Rd Adaminaby, this section has been on and off, I think it just depends how much ground you cover and the hours put in.

A couple of guys staying on the river over the past week have been presenting dry fly’s early and late evening which seen them landing good numbers of small browns with only 3 Rainbows netted, they also reported running double wooly buggers when the suns high which netted a few more pan sizes between them. “As long as your catching size doesn’t matter.

If your thinking off fishing this area, hike deep downstream from the bridge and then work your way deeper throughout your session.

Keeping your eyes peeled for fish along the way.

In the shallow & fast running sections “check out Jackson lures Cyarl range of lures” Celta’s and small soft plastics are also ideal. In the deeper sections running minnow style lures upto 75mm with a running depth upto 1.2m is perfect. Daiwa Double Clutch in 60mm & 75mm, Ecogear ZX35 & ZX40’s, ZMan grubz in 2.5inch with 1/12 to 1/8 jig heads “rig weedless for less snag ups” Jackson Lures plus Bullet Lures in 3cm & 5cm models.

Report 29/3/19

The last week offshore has been a little hit and miss for the game crews with some boats seeing plenty of action and other boats only kilometres away being very quiet. It really depends if you’re on the bait or not as to how much action you are seeing. The marlin that have been caught are mostly stripes though a few blacks over the 100 kilo have been captured also. The shelf is still the place to fish with the water anywhere between 22.5 and 24.5 degrees depending on the day, it’s changing quite quickly with the currents so having a good look at the SST charts before going out should be advantageous and hopefully get you better results. The majority of fish are coming off bait balls but a few crews are still getting the odd one on skirts and switching them to.

Closer to shore down South off Eden the kingfish have been OK with-out being red hot. Mowarry Point has seen fish to 12 kilo caught, mainly by anglers fishing live bait hard on the bottom. The kings might only bite for an hour or so, so being there when they do can be a little difficult at times, but if you concentrate around the tide changes that may just help a bit. There’s been reports on kings around South head to, a local fella came into the shop the other day and told me of a few brutes that he lost. This school was on the surface smashing slimy mackerel and were very hungry but didn’t stay up top for long. He said the school was big and the fish around that 15 kilo mark so you just never don’t know when there going to turn up. Inshore the snapper and morwong population has kept anglers busy with most reefs holding fish though the leather-jackets are a nuisance at the minute. These line chewing breakers are frustrating to say the least but if you persist with them a good feed on snapper should happen. What have been good are the gummy sharks and flathead. There’s plenty of both around in shallower water of 22-28 meters and it seems the jackets are not as thick in close. Try straight of long Point but a little more SW on the gravel for these fine eating species.

Off the stones it’s all systems go and certainly some exciting times are ahead. At Tathra reports of NBT (northern blufin tuna) and yellowfin, yes yellowfin have been seen in close off the point and in solid numbers. The guys l’ve talked to that have fished the rocks and caught plenty of both species say it’s impressive to see these larger pelagics in close once again. It’s probably got to do with the water a warm 22-24 degrees with plenty of current and bait plentiful. Now none have been caught just seen but it’s only a matter of time before one of these torpedoes makes a mistake and someone lands one. In between seeing these bigger fish a few bonito, kings and plenty of frigate mackerel are keeping anglers busy. Down at Eden the main wharf in town is firing nicely also. There’s plenty of kings there to but they are only taking fresh squid strips and it needs to be fresh. These fish are smaller models around the 60-70cm size though larger fish have been seen down deeper. The main problem here is landing them as soon as they are hooked the pylons become the kings friend once again and cut most anglers off. If you’re lucky enough one will go the wrong way and you’re in business.

In the estuaries it too is going well with all the local systems firing at certain times depending on what you’re targeting. The lower sections of Merimbula towards Mitchies jetty is excellent for whiting. A few have been caught on pipi and worms though one visiting angler caught a dozen crackers on strips of filleted salted pilchards. Now l must admit l did raise my eyebrows a little but when l saw the photos l was pleasantly surprised, that just shows me anything can happen on the fishing front. Other species including flathead, bream and trevally are also being caught with bream numbers definitely on the increase over the past few days. Local gun Rob Wood caught 5 nice bream in 5 casts in a 15 minute bracket and left them biting so things are looking up on the bream front. Over at Pambula the lower sections towards the mouth have been excellent for flathead on the draining tide. Fishing the deeper edges around Severs beach has been good with mid sized soft plastics in the 70-80mm range doing a lot of the damage. Casting into the shallows and working your lure over the drop-off is the go with a few flats nudging 80cm so solid fish.
Off the sand the beach goers might find it a little tougher with the Neap tides we have at the moment. This will get better as the days continue but l would look at fishing the afternoons into the evenings with the majority of tides only up to 1.4 meters till the end of month. In saying this there’s still plenty of fish about but you just need to fish when the tides are right. If you’re after whiting then Merimbula main is the go, if the pelagic species are for you the Tura main has been a stand-out especially the northern end where there’s a cracking gutter close to shore.

Report 21/3/19

We have finally received some much needed rainfall over the past week, with in excess of 100mm falling in parts around the Merimbula region. This has been long overdue and very welcomed by most, but best of all it has given the local estuaries a bit of a flush and in turn really fired them up especially the Bega River just North of Tathra. This unique piece of water has everything going for it from mulloway around the deeper rock-walls to monster bass in the upper reaches. But what’s firing best at the minute is the bream and whiting and in solid numbers. These two estuary stalwarts have really picked up since the rain with a few local guns getting over 50 fish per session with a mixed bag of 50/50 but that depends totally on what you are targeting. The bream have been a mixture of black and yellowfin with the fish quite wide spread throughout the system, it depends on how you want to target them but most methods are working. There’s plenty of fish over the flats downstream which are responding well to surface presentations. This is also where a lot of whiting can be found, this may be due to the fresher saltier water on the surface closer to the mouth especially on the incoming tide but this is only a theory but it seems to be working at present. The various shallow and deeper rock-walls are worth a look to with soft plastics hopped down the faces or deeper hard-bods fished parallel to the wall doing the trick. A few lads l’ve talked to over recent days say it’s good and for them to say that it must be. Closer to home Merimbula lakes main basin is still firing despite the rain. I mentioned a few months back that kingfish had been caught in there and they are still in there. A mate of mine caught 7 over the weekend all around that 60cm mark so great fun on the light gelspun tackle. You can expect plenty of tailor and some thumping silver trevally under the tailor schools with the ribbon weed edges holding some solid flatties.

Offshore last weekend was a bit of a wipe-out with the weather but the last few days has been perfect and the next 4 days look great. That’s good as the local club has it’s marlin comp this next 3 days so hopefully they will get plenty and l’m sure they will. The marlin action had slowed to a few days ago but it’s picked up considerably since with a few crews getting doubles mainly stripes but there has been black and blues caught north of us where the water is a warm 23 degrees. If you look at the charts this water should be due East of us on the weekend so all looks promising. Closer to shore the kingfish finally had a chew down at Mowarry Point with most of the fish around that 8-12 kilo mark. Anglers fishing live slimy mackerel hard on the bottom have done best, you might have to move around bit to locate them but they are there and when they chew expect some solid action. Some days the kings are in close 20-22 meters and other days out at 36-38 meters so be prepared to look for them. On the reefs it’s slowed up, there’s still a few morwong and snapper to be had with the deeper reefs off Tathra fishing better. A few locals are still getting a feed down at Haycock Point with Hunter reef just North also fishing OK.

On the beaches the salmon fishing has fired up big time. It’s been relatively quiet lately but with the bigger tides and solid swell most beaches are holding fish. The usual haunts like Haycock, Tura and North Tura are all worth a look if it’s the pelagic species you’re after. Casting metal shiners and paternoster rigs will work. A lot of beach anglers have never caught a mulloway, me included from the sand but with this full moon we have tonight it’s worth a go. I heard a report of one angler getting 5 mulloway in a session 2 nights ago from the main beach at Tathra. The majority of fish in the 90-100cm bracket so nothing to be sneezed at. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a gummy shark or two plus a few whaler sharks come from the same areas.

Off the rocks Tura Head has picked up this week with plenty of frigate mackerel, smaller kings and some big salmon mainly on the tide changes but a few anglers who are persisting are the ones who are getting the results. Casting an array of metal shiners plus sub surface diving lures seem to be the go, though casting the smallest of metal shiners is a must for the frigates. Surely there’s gotta be some better kingfish there, so hopefully some lucky angler will get their chance soon. Over at Tathra wharf it’s been good for months and continues to produce. This is one spot big kings patrol and l know several brutes have been lost there over the last 5 days. Most have been hooked on live frigates but they are a pain to keep in one spot and it can become hectic if a lot of fishermen are about.

Report 15/03/19

Well it’s been an interesting week on the fishing front with some anglers doing OK and others blanking out. It seems the fish are there but you need to be fishing at the right time for more consistent results especially in the estuaries.

Both Merimbula and Pambula lakes are still producing but the hard yards need to be put in to get a quality bag. Flathead are abundant but the bigger fish over 60cm seem to be in hiding with the best l’ve heard of this week going 90cm. Yes that’s a big fish but when you here of only a few over 60cm it’s quite tough. Anglers that are using lighter leaders and smaller presentations seem to be doing better with soft vibes being a stand-out particularly when fishing the main basins in both systems. Try concentrating in 3-5 meters of water along the ribbon weed edges that are abundant in the basins. There seems to be a lot of whitebait in these same areas and that’s where a lot of the flatties are coming from. If using soft plastics 70-80mm fish/shad tails are the go but fish them pretty slow with a methodical lift/drop presentation, it’s fairly basic but seems to be doing the trick nicely. Up past Tathra at Mogareeka (Bega River) it’s been steady with some solid yellowfin bream coming from the deeper sections off Thompson s wall. Casting smaller grub style plastics down the walls has seen quality fish caught with a few nice ones over the kilo mark so solid fish. There’s been the odd EP mixed in with them and l wouldn’t be surprised to see a few mulloway come from this same section. If targeting the silvers then larger softies or soft vibes should work but be prepared to put the hard yards in.

Offshore the weather looks promising over the weekend so there should be no excuses getting out there. A mate of mine is fishing this morning and getting some quality snapper on soft plastics and micro jigs down south around Haycock Point, he said it’s a bit sloppy but fish-able with the reds around that 2 kilo mark. There’s a few mowies and pigfish to so all looks promising for the next few days. Those after a feed of flatties are moving around a bit, the fish seem to be spread out and not in patches with quite a few of the flatties around that legal mark. This can be a little frustrating getting the ruler out all the time but if you want a feed and not a fine you will do almost anything. I’d be trying deeper water off Tura Head 38-42 meters, you should be able to get a feed there but with the current use plenty of lead to get down. Further offshore the marlin bite has slowed but there’s still enough around to keep you interested. There seems to be more blacks caught at present, this may be due to the water temps and strong southerly currents with a few this past week over the 100 kilo mark. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a monster black or blue hooked further East of the shelf this weekend if the game crews get that wide, the SST charts look very warm wide of us. At the FAD the dollies are still abundant, if you get there first your in business with a few god ones around the 7-8 kilo mark. When more boats get there they are becoming shy so try and get there early.

Off the beaches the tides are better this weekend than the previous 4-5 days so expect some solid action. Whiting numbers have been good and should only get better with pipi and beach-worms the go to baits. Look at Merimbula main if targeting whiting or the mouth of Bega River at the northern end of Tathra beach, both have been good. If you’re after a few salmon the middle beach just north of Long Point has been the go. We’ve had several people comment about the salmon there and they are pretty solid fish to with a few thumpers pushing 3 kilo. A lot of these fish are responding well to big metal shiners in the 50-60 gram size so a decent surf rod is needed to cast these bigger weighted lures out.

Off the stones the usual haunts like Tathra wharf and Tathra headland have been the stand-outs. Both places have been excellent for frigate mackerel, with salmon, smaller kingfish and the odd bonito also playing the game. There’s been some big biteys coming from the wharf to mainly by anglers fishing live frigates, all these sharks have been released. Over at Tura head it’s the same story. Lots of pelagic action though being there early has been the key to better results. With the currents and water temps the way they are, l’d expect that further south of Eden around Greencape might just see some kingfish action. When we are getting frigates up here that usually means both The pulpit and City rocks hold some big kings, let’s hope it’s the same now.

Report 7/3/19

Well it’s been a pretty windy last few days with a decent swell running but the outlook for the next 4 days looks nothing short of exceptional. This is great news for the game fishing crews and l expect it to be a very busy weekend on the water with the Victorian long weekend on. Both local and visiting anglers targeting marlin are in for some fun with plenty of beaks about. There’s been more action this past week due East of Merimbula but further south off Eden has still be firing well. We had a few crews in yesterday that couldn’t get out, one boat went 6-4-1 another 6-4-3 on Tuesday with the majority of fish stripes and on bait balls. There were plenty of other fish seen so all looks good for the coming days.

At the FAD there’s plenty of dolphin fish about with a few crackers around 8-9 kilo, still not huge but solid fish. There’s reports of yellowfin tuna to though the fish are scattered and in the 15-25 kilo bracket. Most of this by-catch as to speak has come from crews trolling a mixture of skirts. What is interesting though is the very hot water further north of us, it’s a staggering 26 degrees off Sydney and heading south fast with 4 knots of current. Hopefully this hot water will push out, if it gets here it might just slow the striped marlin bite considerably. What it could do though is we might see an influx of smaller black marlin in close which would be good for the trailer-boat crew. When the water in close gets hot we usually see this happen. But going by the temp charts today the eddie due East of Merimbula looks excellent and will hold plenty of fish.

Closer to shore the flatties remain positive with the 32-36 mtr line again the gun depth to target. If you head any further out the leather jackets become a pain so stick in a little closer. Both Bournda Island and Tura Head due East is the go though plenty of fish are coming from the grounds near where the new artificial reef is. If you’re after snapper then Haycock Point, Hunter reef and Lennard’s Island to the south are all good at times especially around the tide changes, they seem to be chewing better then. As for the kingfish it’s a broken record, they are there but not interested. Once they decide to play rest assured l will let you know how and where there chewing.

The beaches remain excellent for whiting with Merimbula main still the pick of them. Using lighter outfits with pipi or beachworms has been productive. The tides over the next 3-4 days are not that great for the beaches but you will still get a feed if you put the effort in. What is firing on all cylinders though is the rocks and wharves. Both Tathra and Merimbula have seen frigate mackerel, bonito, big salmon and smaller kingfish with plenty of fish being caught. Most have fallen to smaller metal shiners anywhere from 10-15 gram for frigates to 60 gram for the larger pelagics. Casting a few poppers early in the morning might stir a decent kingfish up. There’s still been a few cruisers under the smaller fish and with the low tide early morning and late afternoon this might just be enough to entice a strike. Squid have been active at night on both wharves and l know of several decent sharks coming from Tathra especially.

In the estuaries it’s business as usual. The lower sections in the channels remain active with bream, whiting, flathead and trevally all playing the game at times. Both bait and lure casters have caught fish with the section on the Eastern side of the Merimbula bridge being very popular. I can’t see why this will change in the short time and with the moon the way it is it should be pretty good fishing over the coming days. The top lake has been OK for flatties, they have slowed up a bit but using soft vibes has accounted for a lot of the fish. These lures are deadly when fished correctly and quite often the only way to get a decent bag up during a session. Those anglers after top water action are heading to Bega River. Fishing upstream of Blackfellows lagoon past the islands has been good. You will catch plenty of bream and whiting and don’t be surprised to see a few decent flatties hit the surface walkers. Bass and Estuary Perch have been good further upstream also.

Bass, estuary perch and flatties are all possibles out of the Bega River as these local gurus have founded out recently, great fish lads.

Report 28/2/18

The outlook for the weekend’s weather isn’t looking to promising with strong Nor East winds predicted, but if you get out on daylight you might just get a few hours in before the wind blows you home.

Inshore the fishing is exceptional with flathead numbers being excellent at present. Most anglers are getting there bags inside a few hours with all the usual haunts holding fish. Water depths of 28-36 meters seems to be the go with Tura Head, Bournda Island and the Sticks near Pambula seeing plenty of the action. On the reefs it’s slowed up a bit but you can still get a feed of snapper and morwong if you put the time and use fresh bait. That shouldn’t be to hard as slimy mackerel are thick in close just past the bar entrance, drop a bait jig down in 12-14 meters and you should be in business. In this same area there’s been a few undersized kingfish, salmon and the odd bonito harassing the slimy schools so casting a few poppers or metal jigs should see some action be had. Those after bigger kings are becoming extremely frustrated as plenty of fish have been seen on the surface but like the last 3-4 weeks they are not playing the game. Yes there’s been the very odd fish caught but when these bigger schools decide to chew, a stack of fun will be had and l for one can’t wait!!!!

Further offshore the marlin bite continues to be down south of Eden. One local boat went 5 from 6 on Sunday and saw a few others also. The majority are striped marlin in the 80 kilo bracket so good fun on 15kg stand up that’s for sure. The shelf is still the place to fish, but with this wind coming l’m not to sure how many boats will be heading wide over the weekend, only time will tell.

In the estuaries we are on the neap tides so there hasn’t been to much water flowing into the systems within a tidal cycle. This does make fishing the channels below the bridge in Merimbula easier to fish especially with soft plastics. The fishing is OK, but you do have to work for them. Casting a mixture of stik-style soft plastics in natural colours has been effective on flathead, trevally and a few bream. There’s plenty of casts between fish but it’s still definitely worthwhile. Further upstream in the main basin it’s still fishing well with plenty of flathead to be caught around the weed fringed margins. Water depths of 4-7 meters is the go with soft vibes working a treat. We had a visitor come into the shop who caught 19 for the session with the best at 83cm which is pretty good going in my books. The key he said was to fish very slow with quite long pauses between lifts, quite often the fish was on when the next lift was executed. He also mentioned that he caught a few legal pinkies, bream and heaps of tailor when they came to the surface after the whitebait schools. Over at Tathra, the Bega River is still producing some quality bream and flathead around the bridge area and closer to the entrance. Bait anglers seem to be having more success with fresh prawns and striped tuna strips the go to baits. Fishing late afternoon into the evening has been prime time and l have heard of the odd mulloway coming from the same areas though most have been lost.

On the beaches Merimbula main is still good for whiting with pipi and beach worms the go. The morning tides are excellent for the next 4-5 days so l expect it to only get better as the days pass. If you’re after the pelagic species then Tura main has been good, there’s a cracking gutter about half way along the beach there. It’s a bit of a walk to get there but will well be worth it. A few salmon to 3 kilo have come from this gutter, mainly on bait and if a shark from the sand is what you’re after there’s been a few caught from this same spot after dark on salmon fillets.

For the rock-hoppers it’s been very good especially at Tathra wharf. Frigate mackerel are abundant at the minute with a few bigger bonito and salmon with the odd better kingfish to. Casting shiners is the go for the frigates but make them small with 5-10 gram being optimum. A few lads are live baiting the frigate mackerel and catching plenty of sharks with a few l’ve heard about around the 8 feet mark so a decent bitey. This same technique has worked on kings but l know most of the ones that have been hooked have been lost with the anglers shell shocked as to how hard these brutes pull and brick you. The best l’ve heard landed is 11 kilo this past week.

Report 21/2/19

Well it’s been another cracking week in paradise with little wind, slight seas but best of all heaps of fish. The next 4 days look perfect to especially those anglers venturing offshore. Marlin is the word at present with a lot of fish about with plenty of beaks tagged but there’s plenty of stories going around of the one’s lost so l expect this weather window to really allow some exceptional captures over coming days. The majority of marlin are stripes in the 80-100 kilo category but l do know of one at 124kg which was weighed. What is good to hear though are the black marlin that are getting about also. I’ve heard of 4 this past few days tagged with one fish over 130kilo so a solid model. Most of the action is happening just south of us off Eden, the shelf here has been the hotspot but that can change depending on currents, temperature and the like. The beaks have responded well on bait balls, pitching live slimy mackerel is the go, it’s exciting, visual and works a treat. In saying that there are still plenty being hooked on trolled skirts in the 10-14 inch range. Having a look at the charts l can’t see why anything will change in the short time so if you have the time now might be a golden opportunity ta target a beak or 2. Other species like dolphin fish, smaller yellowfin tuna and albacore are all possibles especially if trolling, but the past week has seen the by-catch numbers diminish quite a bit. Closer to shore the flathead remain excellent with plentiful fish about.

Surprisingly the shallow water from 12-20 meters has been prolific with Merimbula Bay a good place to start. There’s been a few smaller gummy sharks taken to, with the odd snapper also in the shallows. On the reefs Haycock has been the pic followed by Lennard’s Island a little further south of Pambula. There’s been a bit of current running in the deeper water so a bit more lead may be required to stay down near the bottom. You can expect morwong, the odd snapper, pigfish, and there’s been a few John Dory about also which are dynamite on the chew. For those after a kingfish they have again been sporadic and hard to entice. They have been seen but it’s like a broken record they are hard to catch. A live squid or mackerel is your best chance, down-rigging them at deeper depths might just turn the table the right way.

In the estuaries it has fired up some what with the very big spring tides we have at present. Yesterdays high was a huge 2.04m so for those throwing a few surface presentations around for bream and whiting have done very well. The more water has allowed anglers to get up amongst the mangroves in both Merimbula and Pambula Lakes which isn’t usually accessible with smaller tides. I know of several groups who are having a ball with captures of a dozen or so fish the norm. For those fishing the main basins in both systems flathead remain plentiful, the top lake in Merimbula has seen some cracking duskys this week to 89cm. These bigger girls have been released but if you’re after a feed you won’t find it to hard, there’s plenty of 40-50cm fish about. Quite a few tailor are about on the surface to, these little speedsters are averaging 35cm so nice tailor and great on the smoker also.

Off the beaches it has been very consistent with most beaches holding a decent gutter holding fish. North Tura, Tura main and Haycock have been the pick if targeting salmon and tailor. If after whiting and bream then Merimbula main and Middle beaches are the go. Both these places have great gutters in close which have been excellent for the eating species. Try using beach worms or pipi as bait, but remember to fish light, you will get better results. With these big tides at night and the full moon Merimbula main has also seen some decent sharks caught, mainly bronze whalers but a few school sharks to. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a mulloway or two come from the same areas with big bunches of live beach-worms excellent baits for mulloway.

The rock hopping brigade have done it a little tougher this week but there’s still a few fish to be caught. The aquarium wharf has seen salmon, tailor and smaller kingfish throughout the day with anglers casting a myriad of metal shiners getting the majority of fish. The fish are coming through in schools, it’s just a matter of being there when they travel through. This can sometimes be hours at a time but persistence will certainly pay off in the long run.

Report 14/2/19

The weather outlook for the Merimbula region looks sensational for the coming week to say the least. Those anglers fishing offshore are in for a good time with flat seas, no swell and lots of fish on the chew so get out there and get amongst them. In close the bottom brigade fishing the reefs are having a ball with plenty of snapper, morwong and the odd kingfish to with most reefs holding plenty. Down south around Hunter rock has been excellent with water depths of 18-22 meters being ideal for the reds. They have responded well to mid sized soft plastics in white though a decent sized jighead between 11-15 gram is needed as the current is pushing pretty hard. The fish are averaging 50-55cm so not monsters but still a stack of fun on lighter gelspun tackle and pretty good on the plate also. A little further out at Haycock there’s plenty of morwong with the odd red and gummy shark also. I know of several solid kingfish in the 10-12 kilo bracket also caught in the same areas whilst targeting the bottom species, these crews have had a live bait out on the surface and caught the kings like that so there’s still a few hoodlums around. If you’re after a feed of flatties the Sticks off Pambula beach has been good in 32 meters of water. There’s plenty to be caught there but if that fails try the 36 meter line off Tura Head, it’s also been very productive.

Further offshore the marlin are still about. Last Saturday saw several boats have cracking days with one boat tagging 7 stripes. The weather turned foul after that but going by a few reports today there’s still fish about especially off Eden. The next few days will see plenty of boats about and we will have a true indication as to how many marlin are around.

Off the rocks it’s firing! Plenty of salmon off Short Point, one customer got 30 odd sambos yesterday which is solid fishing, all on chromed lures in the 60-80 gram size. He left them chewing he said with the average fish around 4lb so lots of fun to be had, Off the Aquarium wharf this morning there were 7-8 kings caught, only smaller under sized fish but apparently there were a few bigger cruisers underneath the smaller fish but they wouldn’t chew. These beasts can be hard to entice but a live squid under a bobby cork might just get you the result you want. Over at Tathra wharf frigate mackerel are still about with the odd salmon and bonito. I haven’t heard of any kings there this past few days but the weather wasn’t perfect for it either. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this place fire up especially with this coming moon rising.

In the estuaries the Bega River is still open and will be for a few months. It has a solid entrance and with some flow pushing down it should remain open for quite awhile. Anglers fishing around the bridge region are getting quality bream on prawns, striped tun and live beach worms. You can expect a few flathead to and a jewie is certainly on the cards if fishing after dark on the flooding tide. Further upstream Thompsons rockwall has seen bream and EP caught, mainly by fishos casting soft plastics down the deeper sections of the rockwalls. This can be hard to do with the tidal movement in the deep water but persist you will be rewarded. In the main basin at Merimbula it’s still going great with flathead the main target species. As the weeks gone on they have got better after the recent rains. Anglers using soft plastics and live poddy mullet have fared best with the lower sections in the channel being great for trevally and whiting.

Off the beaches North Tura is this weeks hot spot. We’ve had many customers coming in catching plenty of salmon off there. Early mornings has definitely been better with lures accounting for plenty of fish. Over on Merimbula main opposite the airport entrance whiting have been excellent on pipi and live beach worms if you can get them. You can expect a few salmon and bream to, there’s a cracking gutter close to shore there at the minute which is holding plenty of fish.

Report 7/2/19

Finally we’ve received some much needed rainfall around the Merimbula region with 50-100mm falling in a day depending on where you were. This is great stuff especially for the estuaries as it’s been awhile since they have received a decent flush. The Bega River was opened yesterday by council, this will only help this system in the end but in saying that it was fishing pretty well beforehand. I expect it to remain open considerably longer than the last two times as there’s plenty of water pushing down which should make for a deeper entrance. This will only make the fishing better in the long run and hopefully a few decent sized schools of mulloway will make residence whilst it’s open. I’ve had a few anglers in this morning that despite the water being quite dirty have caught some cracking yellowfin bream and flathead mainly on fresh prawns. They were fishing around the bridge area and expect it to fish well over coming days in the same area and closer towards the entrance especially when the tide turns and you get that cleaner water enter the system. Other baits to use include striped tuna strips, mackerel fillets and chicken gut, all will work well at times. Closer to town the main lake in Merimbula is excellent at present.

There’s plenty of flathead about with the local club having a competition there over the weekend (and other estuaries also) with the best Flathead at 83cm, a solid fish which was released which is great to see. Talking to a lot of people who fished the comp the flats were about in great numbers with plenty of eating sized fish chewing to. Using a mixture of bait and lures worked well with the shallower bays seemingly getting the better quality fish. There were plenty of tailor about with trevally, flounder and the odd legal pinkie snapper making up the bags. I had a surface fish for a few hours up there last Friday, there were bream about the racks as well as some cracking flatties though the whiting where very quite in the still conditions. In the channels it has slowed up somewhat, you will still get a few trevs, bream and flats but you do have to work for them. When this fresh clears l expect the fishing down stream to really fire up and l for one will be getting amongst them.

On the beaches the salmon are a little hit and miss but when you come across a school some fun will be had. The fish are averaging a kilo or so, not huge but still a stack of fun. The main beaches north of us are fishing better with North Tura certainly the pick. Casting an array of metals in the 30-40 gram class should catch you plenty, if your after bigger fish then the usual paternoster rig with a bait/popper combination is the go. The water in close has turned over in recent days with the temperature around 18 degrees so the whiting have been a little light on. They will come back good once the temp rises again with pipi and worms the gun baits to use. Merimbula main would be the pick of beaches to try for a whiting or two.

Offshore the weather hasn’t been great for the game fishers heading wide with sloppy seas playing havoc with trailer boat craft. Those who have ventured have been rewarded but the hard yards are being put in. There’s still a few marlin about from the 70-fathom line East, if you can find the bait you will more than likely get a fish or two. Most of the beaks are stripes but l wouldn’t be surprised to see a few blacks about. What have been good are the dollies, there’s plenty about with a few bulls nudging 18 kilo so cracking fish. The FAD which is around 33km from town has seen a lot of the action. Closer to shore the flatties remain active though the leatherjackets have become a nuisance. I’d be looking in 32-36 mtrs straight of Tura Head or Bournda Island if after a feed for the pan.

Off the stones the Merimbula Aquarium remains the stand-out with plenty of squid hitting it’s decks. Some of the hoods are around 30-32cm so nice eating though putting a live one out under a bobby cork or balloon may see it turn into a decent kingfish. There was one caught down there this morning with a lot more seen but they are proving hard to entice at times. Persistence will pay off here, put the time in and you will be rewarded. There’s been a few salmon and frigate mackerel caught to, mainly by anglers casting smaller metal shiners around the 10-15 gram mark. Over at Tura Head salmon numbers have been OK as well, some bigger fish have been taken there over recent days with 2/2.5 kilo fish the norm. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few hoodlums there also so taking the big guns down might just do the trick. Again live squid or yellowtail would be the preferred baits.

Report 1/2/19

The up coming weekend weather looks a bit windy in the afternoons with strong NE winds predicted but if you get out early you should still be able to get a few quality hours in. The past week has seen the kingfish action slow down a bit, the fish are certainly there but getting them to bite has been hard. There’s still been the odd fish to 9 kilo caught mainly on live squid from the Merimbula wharf area up to Long Point. Some big schools have been seen on the surface from kings of just legal length to 10 kilo models so just being there when they decide to chew is the go. What may tempt a bite from these critters is casting some very big soft plastics on light jig-heads on reasonably light gelspun and leader, yes you may loose a fish with the light tackle but it might pay off if you get enough bites out of them. Mixed in with the kings are plenty of big salmon so expect some fun from these bruisers if the main course doesn’t want to play! Further offshore the marlin bite has slowed also, the fish are definitely further south of Merimbula with Eden to Mallacoota the hot spot at present. I heard from a good source of one boat down Coota going 16 beaks from 21 bites which is spectacular game fishing in anyone’s books. In saying that there’s still been fish off Merimbula just not in those mad numbers. The 70-fathom line has seen the majority of action with the bait down deep so it might pay to get bait closer to shore before heading wide. Those after a feed of reefies will be happy with plenty of morwong, snapper chewing and flathead on the sand. The shallower waters seem best for the reds with Lennards down South the pick.

In the estuaries this weekend should fish well with the NEW moon approaching. The prawns will be in full swing and the fish not far away. The lower sections in the channels of Merimbula and Pambula will fish best for bream, flathead, trevally and whiting with prawns, striped tuna cubes and a range of smaller soft plastics doing the trick. Up at Bega River it’s extremely high and l wouldn’t be surprised to see it open sometime over the weekend. With the recent storms over the last 3 days we have received 50-60mm of rain, this has really filled the Bega up as it’s been closed for months now. This should be great for the angler with bream, mulloway and some very big flathead ready to chew before it breaks. If you can get live poddy mullet or prawns fish the section near the bridge or entrance, l really do expect this area to fire this next few days.
On the beaches the salmon have been OK, there not in big numbers but enough to keep things interesting. There responding well to metal shiners fished on lighter outfits with 25-40 gram sizes the go. Try looking around Tura main and North Tura as both these beaches have decent gutters at present. I’ve heard of a few bigger tailor this week to which is a little surprising for this time of year but who’s complaning they are great sports-fish also.

The rock hoppers continue to shine and have done for the last 2-3 months. Again kingfish is the word with both the Tathra and Merimbula aquarium wharves the go to places to fish. There’s been several solid kings to 9 kilo off Merimbula and an 11 kilo fish of Tathra. Most have fallen to live baits with early mornings the best time to target one. Squid is the key bait here, you can catch plenty at both places, fish them under a bobby cork or balloon and hang on. At Tathra the frigate mackerel have fired up and it’s great to see them around again. Casting very small shiners in the 10g range should see plenty caught.

Report 25/1/19

The last week around the Merimbula region has seen some exceptional fishing with offshore anglers having a ball especially on the pelagic species. Marlin is the word out wide with several crews in the week getting 3 plus beaks in a day, all tagged, and mostly stripes around the 80-90 kilo mark. These fish have responded to a variety of techniques with slow trolling live mackerel, skip baits, trolling skirted pushers and switch-baiting all producing the goods at various times. Your also a chance at finding a bait ball and pitching live baits into a pack, this does happen at times and can truly be very exciting if it happens to you. It’s just not marlin that are around, there’s plenty of dolphin fish getting caught with some big bulls amongst them with 18-20 kilo fish about. These fine sports fish can be in big numbers around floating debris or artificial FADS and will readily take live baits, trolled skirts or bibbed minnows, plus whole pilchards and occasionally metal jigs. There’s still been a few smaller yellowfin about the shelf whilst trolling skirts intended for marlin but these fin have been 25-28 kilo only. Closer to shore the kingfish have still been tough, they are there and in good numbers and size but can be hard to tempt to bite. If you persist you could be rewarded as Simon was with his 130cm fish caught on a live squid in his kayak off Long Point. His capture was a great effort from the yak and l’m sure he will remember for a very long time. There’s been others caught to, and a few lost, there’s definitely no pattern to them you just gotta spend the time on the water and target them. I’d be concentrating around the points like Tura Head, Long and Short Point plus Haycock further south of Pambula. They can turn up anywhere but l believe live squid will be your best bet, try slow trolling them on a down rigger, that might just do the trick.

Off the stones Tura Head has been OK, some days it fires and others not so great. Again being there for periods of time will see you get results, casting a mixture of 40-60 gram metals, whole pilchards on ganged hooks and live baits under a bobby cork or balloon, is your best way to tempt a kingfish, bonito and big salmon from that ledge. The bigger wharfs like Tathra and Merimbula seem to be fishing better with Tathra a stand-out of late. Local gun Toan has scored 3 kings over 10 kilo from there in recent weeks and has been dusted up as well by fish to big to handle. I know he spends a lot of time down there but the hard work has certainly paid off for him in spades. What’s good to see is plenty of frigate mackerel in close, these little speedsters are great fun on light gelspun tackle and ideal live baits for kings and tuna. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few more Northern blufin tuna encounters over coming weeks to, l know of one solid fish lost and several more missed opportunities over recent days and with the water a nice 23 degrees in close anything is possible.

The beaches have been OK without being red hot but Tathra main towards the entrance of Mogareeka has been pretty good for whiting. There’s a great little gutter running close to shore that has seen plenty of whiting caught on both beach-worms and pipi as bait. You can expect a few bream to with salmon also on the cards. Closer to town Tura main is the pick this week with the evening tides excellent especially for a shark or mulloway. Again salmon have been active but the evening tides are certainly fishing better.

In the estuaries there’s still a few stray kingfish in the main lake at Merimbula. We had a fella come in this morning that caught a 63cm one and lost another also whilst fishing for flathead. The main basin has still been good for flatties, trevally and tailor with the shallow margins producing whiting and bream on surface walkers. Over at Pambula Lake it’s been better with the channels from Shark hole down being great for flatties and trevally. With the monstrous tides we have had of late fishing the last hour of the draining tide and the first hour of the flood has seen anglers getting better results. A mixture of soft plastics and bait has worked, it really just depends on what technique you want to use.

If you’re after a few squid then your in luck with the main wharf inside Merimbula Bay being great at the minute. Darker jigs in the 3.0 range seem to be best with late afternoons into the evenings a top time to target them.

Report 17/1/19

Its been another cracking week on the weather front for the Merimbula region with hot days, little wind, warm water but best of all heaps of fish. The estuaries are firing big time with the top lake in Merimbula a stand-out. It really depends on what you want to target but the flathead fishing is exceptional with 3 big girls over the 90cm mark caught in the last week. Yes these fish were released which is great to see but there’s plenty of eaters to be caught also with some groups getting in excess of 20 legal flatties for a session which is pretty good angling. The majority of fish have fallen to soft plastics fished along the edges of the ribbon weed with a few coming from the mouth of Boggy creek on the draining tide. It’s not just flathead being caught either, snapper, bream, trevally, tailor and kingfish have all been caught over recent weeks. Now l know the eyes would have lit up about kingfish but yes it’s true, there’s been a solid school up there with the fish between 60-70cm so a few legals mixed in there. Most of the kings have been caught by anglers fishing bait intended for flathead but if a few early mornings were put in catching them on plastics and metals is certainly a possibility. Those anglers fishing the surface for bream and whiting have done well also. The racks on the southern side of the main basin has seen plenty of the action but try fishing the flooding tide it’s definitely been better.

Offshore is excellent with the game fishing brigade firing on all cylinders. Marlin is the word with plenty of stripes getting about from the 70-fathom line East. One local crew went 4-4-2 yesterday and with the exceptional weather coming up (except Saturday looks nasty) it should be all systems go. Most beaks are getting caught trolling skirts but some crews are seeing bait balls on top with fish around them. Pitching live slimies into these bait balls has caught fish, this technique will only get better as the month gets longer with more fish present. If your keen going wider fishing bigger lures on heavier tackle may just see a big blue marlin be caught. January is a great month for them and with the water a warm 24 plus degrees wide it’s certainly worth a look. If the beaks isn’t your thing then the bottom fishing for the bread and butter species continues to be good. The local reefs inshore around Long Point and Haycock has seen some nice snapper with plenty of morwong also. There’s been a heap of gummy sharks to and with the full moon approaching these tasty fish should only get better in numbers and size. On the sand the flatties have been good to, the shallower water seems to be best with some great catches in 19-22 meters in Merimbula Bay. There’s been a few reports down south around Haycock of flatties also.

Off the rocks it’s slowed up a bit with little swell but fishos getting out very early are still getting a few. Some decent kings are still getting caught at both Merimbula and Tathra jetty’s with live bait the go. You will pick up the odd salmon and there’s been the odd bonito caught to which is great to see. If your after some sport the frigate mackerel and big slimy mackerel can be caught from both jetty’s. If a squid or two is for you, you will have to fish late into the night for best results. Those anglers that are putting in the time are getting results with 3 inch 15 gram squid jigs in natural darker colours seeming best.

Off the beaches the whiting are going nuts with Merimbula main a stand-out. Small casts just past the shore dumps in the gutters are all that’s required with beachworms and pipi the better baits to use. If you’re after salmon then Haycock beach down south of Pambula is good as is North Tura, with the tides being excellent for the next 4 days especially the evening ones, Good luck all.

Report 11/1/19

Offshore the first Marlin of the season have arrived in our waters with some in as close as 40 fathoms. Game anglers simply await suitable weather conditions.

Ocean flathead both sand and tiger are on the chew off Merimbula, Tura Beach, Bournda Island and Tathra, try 20-22 Fathoms. Snapper and morwong are in good form on our local reefs.

At the Tathra Wharf large kingfish are on the prowl and at the Merimbula Fishing Platform calamari squid are back and some large ones landed. Best results after dark.

Fish in the Merimbula Lake remain active. Dusky flathead, bream, trevally and whiting are available. Good tailor are prolific at Pambula Lake. The Bega River although closed continues to fish well at Mogareeka and some magnificent whiting are reported from the flats beside the bridge.

Report 4/1/19

Although the weather has been warm and with generally light winds a local northwards trending eddy off the East Australian Current has caused the prevailing NE swell to stand up, making near shore conditions quite difficult. Trying to fish with wave crests topping is no fun for most anglers. A small craft was also reported swamped at the Pambula River mouth last Friday. Luckily the anglers were wearing life jackets and all rescued safely. Further offshore we have reports of striped marlin from 50 fathoms outwards and lots of good bait fish outside the FAD at 70 fathoms.

Ocean flathead are on the chew and there are few reports of chinamen leatherjackts so with good conditions it’s fairly easy to bag out. Flathead are reported from off Baronda Headland at 15 fathoms, at Kianinny and SE of Turingial Headland at 20 fathoms and also Tura Headland and off the Horeshoe Reef at 24 fathoms. There are also reports of good flathead around the shark buoy near the Merimbula Lake entrance which may be acting alike a FAD. Snapper are certainly on the chew at our local reefs with good catches reported from all down the coast from Goalen Head, White Rock, Long Point, Haycock, Horseshoe and south to Lennards, North Head and Boyds Tower. Try micro jigs. Morwong have also remained on the bite and respond to bait and soft plastics. Gummy sharks are a little difficult to find, although a lovely gummy measuring 875cm was reported from near North Head.

Kingfish are prowling both the Tathra and Merimbula wharfs and at least one whopper was landed at Tathra. At Merimbula some very large calamari squid are available just after dark, favouring prawn like jigs now that the prawns are running. Luderick are back on the bite, seeming to favour cabbage weed at the moment. Australian Salmon remain patchy on both the headlands and beaches.

Although closed the Bega River continues to provide plentiful dusky flathead at Mogareeka and continues to fish well for whiting over the flats. Try the rock wall just up from the launching ramp for bream. Fish in the Merimbula Lake remain on the chew! Dusky flathead, bream, trevally and whiting are all available.

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