High hopes for yellowfin
  |  First Published: May 2012

Following another Autumn of heavy rain, the waters out from Bermagui are primed for a great tuna season with yellowfin the target for most anglers.

There are a variety of ways to target them although the best is to berley and cube.

It’s not bad practice to troll at first, hopefully catching a fish that indicates tuna in the area. Then start your berley trail and work the area for a reasonable time.

There is usually a lot of boat activity so it pays to listen to the radio how other boats are going, which will show where the fish are congregating.

Bait to be used while berleying can range from cut slimy mackerel to yellowtail, striped tuna chunks to whole or cut pilchards.

You also can hang a shark bait out or a livie on heavier mono for tuna and marlin. Water temp can have a strong bearing on what game fish may still be around.

It is still likely there will be mahi mahi, albacore and mako, blue, whaler and tiger sharks.

Marlin will still be present and if you trolling live baits or lures, will be encountered in good numbers. Yellowfin can also be found in this manner and there is still the possibility of a spearfish.

Montague Island is fishing well for kingfish and bonito with yellowfin possibly appearing up off the northern end.

Kingfish will respond to jigs, slow-trolled or deep-fished live baits and squid, while bonito prefer livies.

Kingies and bonnies also have been taken out from the Bommie at the Blue Pool, around the Three Brothers Rocks and down at Goalen Head.

Deep-diving and bibless lures seem to be doing most of the damage with some fish also taking small skirted lures.

There are plenty of salmon getting into the act, which will keep anglers entertained while waiting for a better prize.


Reef and bottom fishing is particularly good and should remain so for months. Even though water is starting to cool, it is a great time to target snapper.

The warm current backs off enough to allow anglers to fish the reefs a variety of ways. Deeper reefs like the Twelve Mile are easier to fish for a mixture of species with Tassie trumpeter much sought-after.

Closer to shore, a drift using fresh bait will almost certainly result in a mixed bag, while soft plastics on light gear will usually secure a good feed.

Start close to shore and work your way out as the day progresses, cast your lures in the direction you are drifting and work them back to the boat.

Dropping the pick at this time of year is also very successful, allowing anglers to berley the fish to the surface. Snapper respond well to this method and some large fish are currently being taken.

A host of other species will come into the trail, including trevally, kingfish, mowies down deeper and the occasional shark.

Fish as light as possible for the best results, setting baits at varying depths, or throw some of those soft plastics around for fun.


There are plenty of fish around the beaches and rocks with salmon dominating catches. Most beaches are also fishing well for bream with tailor and trevally.

Anglers fishing into the night on the full moon have caught quite a few gummy sharks.

Drummer are dominating the rock catches with some very big fish being taken first thing of a morning and late afternoon.

Bream are moving from the beaches into any estuary open to the ocean.

For best results use striped tuna and berley the rising tide, in the channels at first and moving onto the flats as the tide rises. There you can use tuna and nippers for bait or toss lures.


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