Bottom fishos reef the rewards
  |  First Published: July 2012

Winter in Bermagui can be spectacular, with calm, sunny days and flat seas allowing access to the ocean where bottom species are abundant and anglers are reefing the rewards.

We are blessed with many reefs in this part of the world and have many close to port. We have many fish species occupying them and this can leads to some interesting fishing and some seafood feasts.

For those with small craft, the inshore reefs providing morwong, wrasse, jackets, snapper and the occasional salmon, kingfish or bonito, all of which are very tasty providing they are kept in an ice slurry.

There also are lots of calamari on these inshore reefs, where a prawn style jig is all that is required.

Sand flathead remain prolific on the nearby flathead grounds and there is always a surprise gummy shark on the cards.

The wider reefs like the Six Mile and Twelve Mile, or those out from Goalen Head, have plentiful snapper, nannygai, pigfish, ocean perch, morwong and kingfish. I think they are plentiful due to the restrictions on the trawl industry, which are good news for recreational anglers.

Calm weather and flat seas allow a chance to venture out to the deep canyons for hapuku, blue-eye trevalla, ling and gemfish, while a burley trail can attract mako sharks, southern bluefin or yellowfin tuna or albacore.

Calm conditions are perfect to chase big Winter kings around Montague Island, where they can often be sighted busting up on schools of sauries.

Surface popping is an exciting way to target them, as is trolling a deep minnow lure. For the past two winters there have been plenty caught just off Bermagui, too, so keep an eye out.

Around the rocks and beaches salmon are plentiful and eagerly take lures, as will tailor, bonito and the occasional kingfish.

Bream, trevally and mullet can be taken from the beaches and rocks while black drummer, luderick and groper haunt the rock washes.


The estuaries are now fairly quiet with the best options being towards the entrances of those that are open to the ocean.

Wallaga Lake is producing a reasonable number of fish over the flats below the bridge on an incoming tide. Use fresh nippers or worms for bream, trevally or luderick.

In the early stages of the rising tide berley with tuna to entice these species along with the occasional salmon, tailor, flathead and garfish.

These methods are also working well in the Bermagui River for pretty much the same species.

Luderick are about in good numbers and providing quality angling off the rocks on cabbage weed or on green weed in the Bermagui River around the rock walls, bridge pylons and the reef adjacent to the river ramp.

They’re also out at Wallaga Lake around the bridge.


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