Focussing ahead after big floods
  |  First Published: August 2016

It has happen again, one of those big winter lows has thrashed the coast and dumped mega proportions of rain on the area, so what will be the outcome?

I will be focusing ahead to the forthcoming season. All the destruction it did recently will only benefit anglers in the future. This is especially the case for our estuaries like Wallaga Lake, which often closes to the ocean, and should remain open for some time to come as a result of massive seas and rains that have widened the entrance and deepened the channel. This is already producing good estuary fishing towards the ocean.

For those who are land-based, now is the time to start looking in the Bermagui River. With this system never closing to the ocean, fresh fish stock enter on a regular basis at this time of year. Blackfish often lead the way, concentrating around the bridge and adjacent rock walls at low tide before heading up stream with the rising tide to feed over the flats where the seagrass beds occur. Polaroiding from the bridge, these fish can be spied in their hundreds as they await the tide.

At this stage, all that is required to gain their attention is a light 1-2kg outfit, a no. 2 bug sinker, a no. 4 bait holder hook and a bucket full of nippers. The window you have to catch these blackfish, or the bream, whiting and trevally, may only be short, so be there right on the turn of the tide. The bite may only last for half an hour, but in this time the action can be frantic and then it will be like they never existed at all, disappearing with the tide.

Offshore game anglers are awaiting spring and the hope of an early run of tuna. At present, a few mako and blue sharks will turn up in a well-presented berley trail, however things are pretty quiet.

Reef fishing can be best described as reasonable with good catches of snapper and morwong from the reefs, while around the fringes, tiger flathead are increasing in numbers. Most of the reefs south of Bermagui are holding most of the stocks, with Goalen Head and Six Mile South, providing the best action.

Anglers can choose from a variety of ways to pursue fish, ranging from both shallow or deep water drifting with bait, anchoring to berley bringing the fish in range of floating baits and soft plastics, or just drifting over the pinnacles working the plastics in the direction you are going.

Further afield out around the Twelve Mile Reef, this deep water is producing most of the common reef species with some very tidy Tassie trumpeter mixed in. While if you go further out over the Canyons, anglers who are now taking advantage of modern technology and are using electric reels to fish the deep water are coming up trumps on large blue-eye trevalla, hapuka, ghost cod and gemfish on a regular basis with lots of other oddballs mixed in.

Drummer are still the main attraction for the rock anglers, with plenty of good fish being taken at dusk and dawn around the main rock headland. Cunjevoi is the number one bait for these fish, while cabbage weed and red crabs are also producing, with the crab accounting for some nice groper.

The beaches are quiet, with no sign of any bream or whiting, and salmon seem to be about the only fish consistently on the chew, while tailor are being accounted for at night.

Bermagui has never been noted for mulloway coming from the beaches, however over the past few months, more and more school mulloway are taking a liking to a well-presented beach worm as anglers in the area learn more about their habits.

So don’t despair there are still plenty of options for winter!

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