Photo Caption: Paul Burns of Belmont NSW show his magnificent 87cm Dusky Flathead caught in the Merimbula Top Lake using pilchard bait.

As of March 31 NSW Government public health directions require people to stay at home unless they have a “reasonable excuse”. A reasonable excuse can be “exercise” or “fishing for food”.

In an advisory dated 2 April Marine Rescue NSW passed on its advice from NSW Maritime:

You may fish alone off the shore, with immediate family or one other person. If you do decide to go boating the same self isolation rules apply at all times including at the boat ramp and on the boat. Please note that there are those who have the coronavirus but don’t know it, some people do not show symptoms (Dean of Medicine Melbourne University) this is why we must practice strict social distancing.

If you do decide you need to go boating, stick to your local waters. Heading off on a road trip & extended voyage Is not considered to be within the spirit of the restrictions. Visit the NSW Government website ( for regular updates.

All BVSC fish cleaning facilities such as at Coronation Bay, Kianinny, the Merimbula Wharf, The Marina and The Club’s Pontoon are closed until further notice as it is not possible to properly clean and sterilise surfaces that may come into contact with the virus.

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos has appealed to recreational boaters to stay on shore during the crisis, but assures the boating community that it remains ready to respond to emergencies. If you do head out, remember to Log On and Log Off with Marine Rescue NSW on your marine radio or the MarineRescue App.

The bar at Merimbula remains shallow and one should take extreme care crossing in small craft during low tide. This has arisen due to a false channel developed past Mitchies Jetty spreading the current flow over a wide area and limiting the normal channel scouring near the navigation buoy. Incidents continue to be reported.

Few reports are to hand but ocean flathead, our staple food fish, are certainly on the chew off Tura Headland. Try 15-17 fathoms. Flathead are also available in Merimbula Bay near the artificial reefs and off Haycock Beach at Quondolo at 13 fathoms.

For land based anglers good size Australian salmon are very active at Long Point, the reef off the Wharf Restaurant and Tura Headland. Try silver spinners, rapala bibbed lures and ganged hooks and pilchards. Good salmon reported also at Tura, Merimbula, Haycock, and Aslings beaches.

Good land based fishing continues at Mogareeka where one can move around to get the best shelter from prevailing winds. On offer are mullet, bream, trevally and dusky flathead, try pilchards or soft plastics.

All along the Merimbula channel down from the bridge tailor, trevally, dusky flathead the occasional flounder and bream remain on the chew. Fish from around the bridge, the Marina, the MBGLAC jetty and the Merimbula Wharf – abide by distance rules. Best time is low tide with soft plastics, nippers or pilchard baits. In the Merimbula Top Lake tailor are ever-present as well as dusky flathead trevally and bream plus the occasional snapper. Try off the boadwalk in the top lake area.

At the Merimbula Wharf luderick have gone quiet but some small kingfish are circling and may herald larger fish to come. Calamari squid are best taken before dawn and after sunset, try a slow sinking No.3 jig.

Unable to ensure “social distancing” the MBGLAC has closed its traditional Friday evenings members and visitors get-together at the Clubhouse. The situation will be monitored. Membership Application, Membership Renewal and everything you need to know about local fishing is on the Club’s Website: All enquires to Peter Haar 0417 021 066.

Keep your rods bent!