Merimbula’s Pinnacle Artificial Reefs performing better than predicted.

Photo Caption: Modern Fishfinder Sonar image showing the southern of the two pinnacle artificial reefs at the head of Merimbula Bay, south of Long Point.

Dr Heath Folpp Senior Fisheries Manager, Coffs Harbour Fisheries, presented the artificial reef program to a well attended clubroom last Friday. Artificial reefs are utilised world-wide to enhance recreational fishing opportunities, by creating additional habitat for local aquatic organisms and fish. First developed in WA the pinnacle artificial reefs at Merimbula are the first of their type established along the NSW east coast. The state of the art reef design deflects currents creating eddies and upwelling’s to provide intricate habitats for a variety of fish species. Dr Folpp let us know that each reef site is monitored using a combination of methods that include baited remote underwater video (BRUV), underwater vehicles (ROV) and state of the art sonar scans. Already less than a year after deployment (September 2018) the Merimbula reefs show favorable weed growth has occurred far more rapidly than anticipated. James McLeod and Luke Bidgood Fisheries Technicians, Port Stephens Fisheries also visited Merimbula last week to take performance readings of the Merimbula pinnacle reefs and train club members in the use of monitoring equipment. The DPI’s “Citizen Science” program now sees Club members taking BRUV readings on a regular basis reducing the DPI technicians visits to a quarterly basis.

Ocean flathead remain available north of Bournda at 20 fathoms as well as off Tura Headland, Tura Beach Golf Course and Short Point. With inshore ocean temperatures in some areas now down to 14 degrees local reef fish are likely to be a little dormant and snapper and morwong have become patchy about the local reefs. They are expected to come back on the bite as the temperature stabilizes. During the full moon some nice gummy shark have been landed. Try north of Baronda Headland out from Kianniny and the Horseshoe Reef area south of Haycock. Fresh baits are best for gummys, try anchoring and using a bottom berly bomb. Tailor and salmon are reporting from the headlands as well as the beaches. A big “bust up” reported from Tura Headland contained salmon and possibly kingfish.
Heralding the spawning season huge schools of yellowfin bream have been sighted in the Merimbula Channel off Fishpen. The beginning of the run-in from the sea is good for bream and trevally particularly over the shallows in the Merimbula Lake. Nippers without a sinker or soft plastics will get results.

The Clubs next event is its Presentation Night on Saturday 10 August. Following its change to length measurement not weight (the Kiss and Release principle) a whole new series of Club records will be presented.

On Friday 2 August the Club will be open from 6.30pm and all are welcome to visit. You can enjoy the fishing report, the ambience, friendship and lovely views with very competitive bar prices. All enquires to Lindon Thompson on 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