Time for a big blue
  |  First Published: December 2010

January is famous for its big blue marlin and this season there is plenty of bait attracting these larger fish so we can expect some great fishing in coming months.

These large marlin, as well as the smaller striped and blacks, can be found in their usual haunts like the Twelve Mile Reef through to the continental shelf and beyond to the deeper canyons.

If the bait concentrates, the Twelve Mile is a likely place to target with bait or lures. If the bait is spread out, lures will be the way to go to cover the water to find where the fish may be holding.

For a big blue, think big with your lures because the more commotion you make out the back of the boat, the better the chance of raising one. And the other marlin species will also take a big lure, too.

Just remember that blues are big and so your tackle should also be big and strong.

You are also likely to encounter some respectable yellowfin tuna or maybe even a big-eye tuna.

There are always plenty of striped tuna to keep the light-tackle enthusiasts entertained and where there are stripies there is likely to be a hammerhead or a mako shark.

A live bridled stripie is often irresistible for a passing shark and anglers who have caught hammers in the past know they are great fighting fish.

Anglers who rise early to head to Montague Island or work the deeper headlands are being rewarded with some very nice kingfish. The usual methods are working like jigs, live baits or strips of squid.

The occasional king has also surprised anglers fishing the bottom for reef fish. Blue and jackass morwong are in good numbers, especially over the southern reefs out from Barragoot or off Goalen Head, where snapper are also in the mix.

Tiger flathead are in the deeper water while out from the beaches in around 30m are sand flatties.


It has been one of the best seasons for many years for gummy sharks from offshore and those fishing the beaches.

From the beaches whiting, bream, tailor, salmon and mullet are available and at night on a full moon, gummy sharks can be caught. You can also expect the occasional jewfish and whaler shark on your gummy bait.

There is some pelagic action off the rocks with kings often passing in range of lure casters. Salmon, bonito, tailor and frigate mackerel are also on the shortlist for those who watch the sun rise over the ocean as they cast away.

The estuary systems are alive. Prawns are growing quickly in the warm water and most lakes around Bermagui have the best prawning for years.

This means there is plenty of food for fish such as flathead, bream, trevally and tailor.

Wallaga Lake is fishing extremely well because it is still open to the ocean following the Winter floods, as is smaller Cuttagee Lake to the south.


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