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Mission, tuna!
  |  First Published: June 2015



The looming Queens Birthday holiday in June is noted around the country as an excuse to go fishing. Whether it is just recreational or competing in 1 of the many fishing comps held on this weekend, Bermagui is no exception as many an angler descends on the town with a mission to catch the powerful yellowfin tuna.

It may be coming close to the end of the yellowfin season, but remember, just around the corner in the months of July and August, southern bluefin tuna are likely to show. For now though, let’s target what is on hand.

Areas that have been producing yellowfin are out on the Continental Shelf, with Bunga Canyons, the Kink, or up at the Tuross Canyons. Trolling may be best to locate fish and once done, berley trails with live baits, cubes or strip baits drifted out in them account for a few fish. You may find the fish encountered on the troll are likely to be albacore or striped tuna, but be assured the yellowfin won’t be far away. When trolling, a good mix of skirted, bibbed or bibless lures will generally work well, plus add a large skirted lure out the back as there has been many a marlin taken in June before and it’s likely many will be in the future.

Another species to consider is sharks, makos especially. If you don’t put a shark bait out in a berley trail, at least have 1 at hand because these fish love tuna or tuna scent and are 1 of the best sportfish in the ocean.

For those who are not into the big stuff, there is plenty of other fishing to be found in the form of reef dwellers like snapper, morwong, nannygai, kingfish, wrasse, pigfish, or the tasty but dreaded leatherjacket. Areas to consider are north around Montague Island. If quiet, you can always venture back towards Bermagui out off Tilba around The Step to bag some tasty flathead, gurnard or gummy sharks. Heading south will put you on many a reef like the Four or Six Mile, while further south out from Goalen Head offers some of the best reef fishing to be had. If you like to double dip, try the deep water off the Twelve Mile Reef, where you can fish for the tuna while bottom fishing for species like large Tassie trumpeter.

On shore, even though it is a little cool, beaches within the area are offering plenty of Australian salmon, some tailor, or for the brave wishing to fish into the night, a mulloway or gummy sharks are likely. Use berley through the daylight hours and you’ll definitely attract bream, mullet and trevally for some light tackle action.

Drummer and luderick are the go off the rocks. When the shadows of the cliffs start to creep across the water late afternoon, try drifting cunjevoi, cabbage weed or even a peeled prawn out into the wash and hang on, as there are some pretty hefty drummer around. Best areas are below the Blue Pool, the main headland, or the rocks adjacent to the Bermagui Harbour entrance.

If it’s estuary fish you desire, Wallaga Lake has some lovely black bream kicking around. Target them with lures around the western shoreline, and you can often sight fish for them here. Narira Creek up the back is another hot spot, as is around the island.

Below the bridge on an incoming tide when the warmer water from the ocean pushes in, fish the flats with nippers or squirtworms. Not only will you find bream, but mixing with them will be luderick, trevally, the odd flattie, mullet or whiting.

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