Whether it be bass in Brogo Dam, bream in the Bermagui River or tuna over the continental shelf, it’s all happening and we all get to choose how and where we wish to fish.
With lovely warm weather, school holidays and plenty of fish, you don’t really need a boat, especially in the estuaries, because good areas are very accessible from the shore. One of my favourites is just to wade throwing lures or bait around in the shallows.
Bermi River and surrounding lakes are full of fish and however you wish to target them you should be rewarded. The flats at high tide are producing some lovely bream and whiting with the odd good flathead. Baiting with nippers or worms is a sure way of filling a bag and some very nice fish will be taken this way.
If you get out early before the wind gets up, polaroiding the flats can be spectacular. Sight your quarry and cast ahead of it and a little further than its line, allowing for the refraction angle. As the fish comes within range of your bait or lure, twitch it and then allow it to sit to attract the fish. Remember, not every fish will respond and in fact you will probably spook most fish but it’s the ones you don’t spook that provide the fun.
Good tailor are in Wallaga Lake chasing mullet in the shallows towards the entrance and following are some nice flathead. There are plenty more in the lake around the edges of the weed beds.
Luderick are in good numbers and are responding well to weed baits around the rock walls, bridge and harbour. The bonus, especially for parents, the kids are having a ball in the harbour with trevally, yellowtail and small tailor. It’s a great area for them to learn.
Offshore reef fishing is very good with most species available. Great catches of flathead are common with anglers bagging out regularly. Tiger flathead are being caught in the deeper water out from the Four, Six and Twelve Mile Reefs. Sand flathead are common from The Step, up off Tilba, with Cuttagee and Murrrah areas also producing.
Goalen Head is holding good numbers of morwong and other reef dwellers along with the odd kingfish.
There are good numbers of kingies around Montague Island although they vary in size. They are being taken by jigging, livebaiting, trolling and downrigging. Don’t expect to catch them every day but when they’re on, it’s very exciting.
The game fishing scene is heating up as well and it’s looking like a very good marlin season. Already some nice fish have been encountered and history shows many a big blue marlin has been caught in January. Lure trolling is probably at its best and will allow you to cover more water and find where the fish are.
If you find concentrations of marlin, that is the time to start livebaiting or switch-baiting to maximise your chances.
The beauty of running lures at this time of year is the variety of species that eat them. Various tuna species will definitely be around along with mahi mahi, kingies and don’t be surprised to see a mako shark eat a lure. Those who wish to run berley trails will certainly attract sharks and some tuna.
Salmon are abundant on most beaches and you really don’t have to try hard to have a lot of fun. There are some very good tailor, bream, mullet, whiting and, with the warm weather, get out at night and try for a gummy shark or a jewfish.
I have been passionate for many years about keeping Brogo Dam stocked with Australian bass. October’s release of 30,000 fry should see the efforts of the Far South Coast Bass Stocking Association continue to supply a fishery for all to enjoy and if you want to enjoy it, now is the best time.
Fish Brogo early and late for best results and if you are into flyfishing you will have some great evening surface action. If the drought continues, water levels could be down so look for fish pushing the native small fish up against the weed beds.
Kids, fish and holidays all go together. Bream and mullet are just a small selection of what’s on offer in the estuaries.
Anglers wading the shallow flats should do well for flathead with lures or baits and can often cast to cruising fish spotted through polarised sunglasses.
One of Wallaga Lake’s many tailor is released.Reads: 870