Ready for the tuna run
  |  First Published: June 2012

Most forms of fishing deteriorate over Winter but yellowfin and bluefin tuna can be found out wide.

Yellowfin are most sought-after and out over the continental shelf is the most favoured area, even out to 1000 fathoms. Trolling, cubing and live bait are the most effective methods.

Mixed with the yellowfin are albacore and striped tuna while sharks like makos, blues and whalers are likely to turn up in berley trails. If water temps stay up there is even a possibility of a late-season striped marlin.

Bluefin tuna seem to be increasing in numbers every season but just when they are going to turn up remains to be seen. Last season it was late July and early August whereas in 2010 it was June-July.

You need to keep your ear to the ground to find if there is any sign of them. When they do turn up there is usually a window of maybe a month to chase them.

Kingfish are still present with some big fish hanging around Montague Island and some of the reefs out from Bermagui. Quite a few bonito are also around.

Reef fishing is very good at this time of year with plenty of calm days. Snapper can be found from the inshore reefs to out wide on the Twelve Mile Reef.

The usual species like blue or jackass morwong, ocean perch, nannygai and pigfish are also present, as well as those lovely Tassie trumpeter that visit the deeper reefs.

There are still flathead lingering, mostly sandies, in around 30m along with some reasonable gummy sharks.

If you have the gear, go wide to fish the canyons for gemfish, hapuku, blue-eye trevalla and other deep species.

On the beaches salmon are most common and can often be targeted through the day, look into the waves through polarised sunglasses for passing schools, then cast a lure. Bream, mullet and a few whiting are still around and early and late in the day expect tailor, small sharks and the odd jewfish.

Along the rocks salmon and tailor are a good option for those wishing to toss a lure and offshore winds should make for calm water and easy access to the stones.

Don’t be surprised to find kingfish as well, and they should respond to live bait.

Winter is drummer time and the rocky shore around Bermagui has plenty of them. Target them late in the afternoon when the shadows from the cliffs creep over the ocean.

There are luderick also with a few bream, leatherjackets and some lovely silver trevally.


The estuaries are not firing at their best but there is enough activity to keep anglers entertained.

Yellowfin bream are the most likely catch towards the entrances when the warmer water pushes in from the ocean with the rising tide.

Berley with tuna or pilchards in the channels as the tide rises to produce these fish along with other species like tailor, trevally, flathead and salmon in the larger systems.

When the tide starts covering the flats and the fish move in to browse, cast nippers, worms or prawns.

Blackfish, whiting and mullet also feed on the same grounds and accept the same offerings.

In the Bermagui River and Wallaga Lake structure like bridges, rock bars and jetties are prime places to target luderick on weed and there have been some exceptional fish captured lately.

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