Excellent catches reported from estuary fishing all down the Sapphire coast from Bermagui to Wonboyn.

Photo caption: Heidi Major visitor from Maroochy Waters Queensland shows a lovely Dusky Flathead taken by lure at the Bega River and then released.

Offshore conditions were not favourable over the Australia Day weekend. It was very uncomfortable in places with the meeting of NE and SE swells which were standing up due to the strong south trending South East Australian Current. During the Bermagui Blue Water Classic game anglers found it difficult to achieve desired results. Further south off Merimbula and Eden better catches were reported with tag and release of striped marlin and mahi mahi.

Bottom droppers continue to be harassed by swarms of slimy mackerel and are finding it hard in palaces to get their baits down to reef and sand for snapper and flathead. Best ocean flathead are coming from directly off Kianniny and SE of Turingal Headland. Further out at the 40 fathom reef swarms of chinamen leatherjackets abound. Some good flathead remain at the Pinnacles area inshore of the horseshoe reef. Snapper and morwong remain on the chew along the main reef areas; North Head, Lennards Island and Haycock. Salmon off the beaches and headlands remain patchy with some larger fish taken trolling off the headlands near Kianniny. Try Merimbula Main Beach SE of Fishpen.

A few luderick have been returned from Tura Headland and Short Point. Best time is just before high tide. At the Merimbula Fishing Platform luderick and some large calamari squid are available, generally best near dusk. Dusky flathead, bream, tailor, trevally and whiting are available both in the Merimbula Lake channel and in the Top Lake. Dusky flathead, tailor, trevally, salmon and whiting are reported from the Pambula River. The Bega River remains closed and continues to fish well at Mogareeka for both dusky flathead, trevally and bream.

The Merimbula Big Game & Lakes Angling Club’s annual Merimbula Lakeview Hotel Dusky Flathead Competition will be run this coming weekend 2-3 February. Highly supportive of the local environment, the Club is committed to the release of fish that could be legally kept and so this event is strictly catch and release with prizes awarded for the longest duskys as photographed on a DPI brag mat. First prize is $1,000 cash together with a special $1,000 prize jackpot for any plus one metre fish taken by lure only. Entry allows for seniors and juniors with free entry for juniors. All anglers are welcome to enter not just club members and the fishing areas include the Bega River, Wallagoot Lake, Merimbula Back Lake and the Merimbula, Pambula and Wonboyn Lakes. Entries may be done at the briefing to be held at the Clubhouse in Spencer Park on Friday 1 February from 6.30pm or on line – refer to the Club’s website

The Club house in Spencer Park will be open from 6.30pm on Friday 1 February. Visitors are very welcome. Come and enjoy the fishing report, the ambience, friendship and lovely views with very competitive bar prices. Darragh Reynolds is the scheduled host. All enquiries to Lindon Thompson 0411 873 880. Membership Application, Membership Renewal and everything you need to know about local fishing is on the Club’s Website

Keep your rods bent!