Making the most of it
  |  First Published: July 2014

One of the advantages of living in Bermagui is the warmth of our winter days. Mornings will dawn clear, crisp and fresh and burn off to a warm 20ºC day, allowing anglers to enjoy the best of Bermagui’s winter fishing.

Offshore reef fishing is very good with most species being encountered. Dictated by weather patterns anglers can fish as close to shore as they choose or travel to wider reefs looking for that exceptional catch. On these wide reefs, such as the Twelve Mile, Tassie trumpeter is a much sort-after species due to its excellent taste, along with those large blue morwong, tiger flathead and of course snapper will all be encountered.

Further out on the Canyons, anglers using 80lb braid line and large metal lures are learning the art of deep water jigging. This method is producing surprising results such as, hapuku, blue-eye trevalla, and gemfish as well as yellowfin and albacore tuna.

Back closer to shore tried and tested rigs are still producing constant captures. Good bags of snapper are a regular catch, especially around the full moon, using simple paternoster rigs drifted over and around the reefs. However, anchoring and berleying will allow anglers to fish much lighter producing some very nice fish and heaps of fun.

On the lighter side of things, flicking soft plastics around the very close-in reefs is a very exciting way of entertaining yourself.

Rock fishing is at its best for species like the hard pulling black and silver drummer, as well as those magnificent looking blue groper. These fish can be encountered all day through the winter months on baits like crab, cunjevoi, prawns and cabbage weed. Keep rigs simple with either small sinkers running straight to the hook or suspend baits with a float.

If targeting black drummer try gearing down to say 4kg gear on a lighter rod. Let the fish have its head once hooked, you will be surprised at the results.

Lure fishing from both the rocks and beach will produce some surprisingly good salmon and tailor with the possible late kingfish as well. Small lures on light gear provides heaps of fun and will allow anglers a chance to catch some of the silver trevally that hang around the rocks. Those wishing to brave the cold at night around the full moon should encounter some nice gummy sharks. Tilba, Wallaga, Barragoot and Murrah beaches have been the better beaches.

Estuary fishing is extremely quiet, with most fish migrating out of the systems open to the ocean or going dormant in the lakes that are closed to the sea. Wallaga has got some big tailor and if you get a nice warm day these fish may be encountered on lures as they chase mullet schools around in the shallows.

Blackfish are another fish regularly caught in the cooler months. Around the bridge at Wallaga Lake on green or cabbage weed, is a prime area. Some of the best areas in the Bermagui River for blackfish are the Northern Rock Wall upstream from the bridge, in front of the bridge boat ramp, the bridge pylons, the rock walls around the harbour and the rock platform adjacent to the entrance.

The last of the run-out and the first of the run-in tide being the prime time for anglers who like to toss lures.

Some very good trevally schools have moved into the lower reaches of the tidal estuaries, providing some pleasant fishing. Small hard and soft lures will account for most of the trevally and don’t be surprised to hit the odd good bream and flathead.

Winter is another good time for catching squid around Bermagui. Most of the rocky headlands and inshore reefs will have their share around them with the harbour producing of an evening and into the night. Most of the common prawn style jigs will work as will the old favourite of a fish on the skewer style jig.

Out at sea over the continental shelf bluefin tuna are lurking and it is prime time to target them. Trolling is the best way to locate them and once located berley can be employed to bring them to the boat. However, expect at times you may have to travel well out to sea to find them.

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