Bluefin tuna on prowl up and down coast

Club Members Heather Sutterby and Harley Jenkins show a pair of Southern Bluefin Tuna taken out from Kianniny.
Club Members Heather Sutterby and Harley Jenkins show a pair of Southern Bluefin Tuna taken out from Kianniny.

Local game fishers continue to enjoy the influx of southern bluefin tuna with schools found all along the coast.

Merimbula Big Game and Lake Angling Club officials said sometimes the tuna are close in about 25 km from shore other times as far out as 45km.

Although patchy, the schools are easily identified by bird activity and water break up where the tuna are in a feeding frenzy. The most common method is to troll small skirted lures. Many anglers have personal preferences of trolling speeds and patterns, but in general, a trawling speed of 11km per hour is popular. The tuna can also be targeted well with cast lures.

Whale sightings are common, so get along the coastline for a chance to glimpse these magnificent creatures.

October is really the beginning of the ocean flathead season and out from Kianniny is the place to be drifting with a paternoster rig. Good baits are pilchards and Australian salmon strips. Good size flathead, some gummy shark are also on the chew off Gillard's Beach inshore of the pinnacle reef area. To the south out of Merimbula there are good morwong and snapper at Long Point and especially at the northern side of Hunter Rock near Haycock point. Micro jigs well and also pilchard baits on a paternoster rig. Gummy shark are also on the chew at Horseshoe Reef off Haycock Beach.

Researchers have confirmed man-made reefs attract more baitfish than natural reefs and draw in predators like kingfish, Australian salmon, flathead and snapper ideal for recreational anglers. NSW has artificial reefs at Sydney, Shoalhaven, Port Macquarie, Newcastle, Wollongong, Tweed Heads and Merimbula, and a ninth is set to be established at Batemans Bay.

In the Pambula River dusky flathead, bream, tailor, trevally and Australian salmon are available. Dusky flathead, bream and trevally are all ready to jump onto cast soft plastics in the shallows and beside structures. Salmon are also about off our beaches, best near the top of the run-in tide early morning and evening.

At Merimbula the Top Lake and channel hold lots of Australian salmon. There are also trevally, tailor and dusky flathead in the Top Lake. In the Bega River some lovely catch and release dusky flathead have been taken on soft plastics from Mogareeka.

The Fishing Clubhouse will be open on Friday evening 15 October from 6.30pm.

Darragh Reynolds is your scheduled host. Bookings will be required. Masks are mandatory except when drinking and dining. All enquires and bookings through Peter Haar 0417 021 066. MBGLAC Memberships, renewals and more at www.mbglac.com.au.