Estuary fishing more than spectacular while outside, flathead are hard to find.

Photo Caption:  Is this Godzilla?  13 yrs old junior angler Tyler Breust from Bega showing his magnificent catch and release Dusky Flathead at Mogareeka taken from the shore using a poddy mullet bait.

Inshore the waters are warming with the lakes now above 22 degrees and dusky flathead really on the chew.  Duskys react to most lures particularly red colouredsoft plastic as well as bait including nippers and poddy mullet.  Mogareeka is a great starting point.  Lovely trevally are on the chew all along the Merimbula channel down from the bridge and in the Pambula channel near the Shark Hole.  Best time is low tide with both soft plastics or pilchard baits.

Lots of bait fish (slimy mackerel) are about which is a great inducement for the pelagics to feed in our waters.  The artificial reefs in Merimbula Bay a great place to start.   Morwong remain plentiful and respond to bait, micro jigs and soft plastics. Snapper are patchy at our local reefs try White Rock, Long Point, Haycock and south to Lennards and Boyds Tower.  The entrance to Merimbula has become very shallow and larger vessels cannot go out past the bar unless the tide is quite high.  Similarly they can’t pass under the bridge unless the tide is low!  Care is the order of the day.

At the Merimbula Wharf calamari squid are available morning and evening.  Best results from prawnlike slow sinking jigs.  With the holiday season now in full swing it is timely to remind angers that a fishing licence is needed to fish from the wharf and in fact to fish anywhere in NSW.  

Sand flathead are going through a quiet patch and north of Kianinny are very difficult to entice onto the bite.  Cut offs due to shoals of cuta certainly do not help.  Flathead become more common further to the south past Turingal Point. You need a good drift to find the right spot then go back again and again.  Try 17 fathoms where, although patchy, there are some lovely fish.  Others are off Bournda Island and Tura Headland.

The Gala Day Monster Charity Fresh Fish Auction, truly a Heritage event for Merimbula is scheduled for this coming Sunday 5 January at Spencer Park.  The Charity Fish Auction is a once a year only opportunity for locals and visitors to bid for just caught fresh fish.  The Merimbula Big Game & Lakes Angling Club donates all proceeds of the auction to Charity.  This year’s charity is Merimbula Marine Rescue; keeping us safe this summer.  To provide the fresh fish for the auction the Club runs a two day competition, open to all anglers; members and visitors, commencing daylight Saturday 4 January and finishing at 12.30pm on Sunday.  Fish are weighed in bag lots (according to DPI bag limits) with 28 prizes for heaviest bags of ocean flathead and heaviest bags of other (mixed) fish each day.  To entice everybody to join in the competition and provide fish for the charity auction there is no entry fee or registration required apart from attendance at the briefing at the Clubhouse in Spencer Park on Friday 3 January, open from 6.30pm.  All fish donated through the Clubs weigh room are eligible for one of the wonderful 28 prizes provided by sponsorship from local businesses and supporters.  Event details through www.mbglac.com.au  Assisted by Merimbula Marine Rescue who support the Rural Fire Brigade, there will be a great lunchtime BBQ, children face painting and refreshments so visitors can enjoy an in-park picnic.  Shortly after midday there will be light musical entertainment by local band Chill Set featuring blues, jazz, soft rock and funk influences.   Drawing of the annual Kayak raffle will follow the Monster Fresh Fish Auction which commencesapproximately 2.30pm.

An extra special message of good cheer and joy for all over the New Year.  TheClub will be open this Friday 3 January and this will include the Gala Day fishing competition briefing.  Visitors are welcome, come one and all and enjoy the ambience, fishing report, friendship and lovely views with very competitive bar prices.  Darragh Reynolds is your scheduled host. Membership Application, Membership Renewal and everything you need to know about local fishing is on the Club’s Website: www.mbglac.com.au.  All enquires to Peter Haar 0417 021 066.  

Keep your rods bent!