Everything is on the bite
  |  First Published: February 2013

At this time of year it can be difficult deciding where to fish, how and what to fish for; there are so many options.

Do you go offshore game or reef fishing, cast from the beaches or rocks or fish the estuary? Do you fish the salt, the sweetwater or an impoundment? All these waters are at their optimum and the fish are on the chew hard.

Marlin are around in numbers, even reasonably close to shore. Schools of baitfish are gathering in areas like the Four Mile and Six Mile reefs and attracting small black marlin.

They might take a trolled lure but for best success, match the hatch and use the live bait they are feeding on.

Out on the Twelve Mile Reef and to the continental shelf and beyond are striped and blue marlin.

Stripes are best targeted with lures or teasers to attract them within range for switch-baiting. For the blues, a spread of lures towed out over the 1000-fathom line may result in a fish that will take hours to subdue.

Now is also the time for kingfish at Montague Island, which are reacting well to live bait and jigs, while on occasion fresh squid strips may outfish the others.

Bonito are in with the kingies, as are striped tuna and frigate mackerel.

The bottom fishing couldn’t be better. Most anywhere off Bermagui in 30m-40m it is easy to acquire a good feed of succulent tiger or sand flathead, the occasional gummy shark and red gurnard.

Move to the reefs for snapper, pigfish, morwong, perch and leatherjackets for a seafood platter fit for a king.

You can expect pelagic action from the rocks all along the coast. Salmon, tailor, kingfish and bonito are in range of shore anglers, especially early mornings.

The beaches offer a lot at all hours. Through the day whiting, bream and mullet will be willing to take a beach worm while salmon may take fresh fish bait or lures.

At night, larger fish like jewfish, tailor or whaler or gummy sharks become active.


Some of the best fishing you can have at this time of year is in one of the many estuaries around Bermagui.

The waters are warm and fish can be found all through them. You can expect good captures with lures or bait.

Bream, whiting, luderick, mullet or garfish are certainties over the flats, where they are willing to take nippers, prawns and worms. You can often see the fish, adding further excitement.

Flathead, flounder, tailor and others are all feasting on the rich food sources available and it is happy angling for everyone.

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