Whale numbers soar off Far South Coast

Whale season ending: A breaching whale 'waves goodbye' off Merimbula. Photo: Wayne Reynolds onboard True Blue, courtesy of Merimbula Marina
Whale season ending: A breaching whale 'waves goodbye' off Merimbula. Photo: Wayne Reynolds onboard True Blue, courtesy of Merimbula Marina

This weekend, November 3-5, marks the 2017 Eden Whale Festival and we have a magnificent photo taken off Merimbula of a breaching whale on its way to Antarctica.  

There is little doubt that there are ever increasing numbers of whales in our local waters with estimates of between 20,000 to 30,000.  What is also without doubt is the number returning to Antarctica is much larger than those that travelled north earlier in the season ready to calve.

While on the subject of Eden, the port dredging is now well underway and the sediment plume has sparked up local flathead which are easy to target outside the work area.  Fish in waters deeper than 6 fathoms. 

Spoil is being taken to sea and dumped in waters of around 38 fathoms approximately 10km out from Twofold Bay at 150 degrees, 1 minute and 50 seconds East and 37 degrees 5 minutes South.   This disposal ground is the same area used by the Department of Defence when constructing the Naval Wharf. 

Once again anglers must not interfere with works but the sediment plume has certainly brought some large flathead onto the chew. Elsewhere flathead, both sand and tiger, remain quiet as local waters have recently cooled to about 15 degrees.  Try 25 fathoms at White Rock and Tura Headland.

 Snapper and morwong can be targeted along our local reefs and respond to both bait and soft plastics.  With the moon making, the best area to target gummy shark is south of Haycock along the Horseshoe reef.  Good squid have returned to the Merimbula Fishing Platform with best results from orange coloured jigs at evening.

Due to a sewage spill there has been a mandated 21-day closure of Merimbula Lake to fishing.   Angling is not prevented however with catch and release the order of the day.   Reports to hand show the temperature of the lake is rising and dusky flathead are active.  Tailor are active early morning and evening together with some bream and trevally.  Whiting are also about and respond well to poppers over the shallows. 

At Pambula Lake there are some very large tailor down near the entrance and schools of salmon are breaking water up-stream from the Shark Hole, little wonder with sightings of Dolphins in the same area.  Trolling in the Broadwater and across the deeper holes in the cross channel using silver lures brings results.  For beach fishing try Aslings Beach, Haycock and Tura Beach near Bournda Island for Australian salmon. Best bait remains whole Pilchard set on a gang hook. 

The Bega River remains closed and best angling is at Mogareeka near the ocean, where fish, including some whopping jewfish, are keeping to the deeper holes. 

With a new format and a prize pool of some $7700 for more than 50 prizes, the Merimbula Big Game & Lakes Angling Club will be holding its annual Tackle World Tri-Estuary Challenge over the weekend of December 2-3.  This fishing competition is catch and release only and is open to all anglers.  Entry forms from the Club, McKays Oysters and Tackle World Merimbula and Fyshwick. 

The Club in Spencer Park is open every Friday evening from 6.30pm.  Visitors are very welcome.  Come and enjoy the fishing report, the ambience, friendship and lovely views with very competitive bar prices.  Darragh Reynolds is your scheduled host.  All enquires to John McKay on 0427 639 585.  Membership Application, Membership Renewal and everything you need to know about local fishing is on the Club’s Website www.mbglac.com.au.      Keep your rods bent!