A great place for families
  |  First Published: December 2016

There’s a lot on offer for families who visit the Bermagui area, especially water sports like swimming, surfing, kayaking and especially fishing! Some of these young anglers have the opportunity to go to sea for either game or reef fishing. For most, their options are shore-based but plentiful.

Estuary fishing is now at its best and with plenty of them surrounding Bermagui, the only problem anglers have is making the choice. For the kids left to their own devices, Bermagui River has its options. The harbour, whether off the jetties or in front of the cleaning tables at the boat ramp, is producing very nice trevally, bream, luderick and flathead through the day. At night around the lights of the harbour, schools of tailor are patrolling.

Most of those species and others are throughout just about all the estuaries and can be taken with well presented baits or lures. Most of these fish are feeding on the abundant prawn stocks through the systems, so when you’ve had enough of catching the predators, go prawning of a night so you too can enjoy those tasty morsels.

The rocks adjacent to the entrance of the harbour and main headland around to the Blue Pools are also seeing action with passing schools of pelagics willing to chase a lure or bait. These schools are consisting mainly of salmon, with the odd kingfish or tailor travelling with them. They’re following the schools of slimy mackerel and yellowtail, which in turn, with some berley added to the suds of the wash surrounding the stones, will provide plenty of action on light tackle, or bait for future outings.

Baitfish have the offshore fishing fired up, both in close and further afield. When these yakkas or slimies go deep, bottom dwelling predators like tiger flathead are in their element. Those who’ve caught tigers will know too well from cleaning them just how furious an appetite they have. These fish are capable of swallowing something half their size, so if you find bait schools in around 30m+, the tigers and other predators won’t be far away.

There are still other good reef fish around in the form of snapper and morwong. Kingies are increasing in numbers around Montague Island. If weather conditions are good, try some deep water reefs like the Twelve Mile where you can drift a live bait out for some bigger predators like marlin or tuna.

Speaking of which, the lead up to December has seen plenty of action with the tuna – mostly yellowfin, albacore and those tiny striped tuna speedsters. These tuna have mostly been taken on the troll with a wide variety of skirted and swimming lures. Most of the fish have been out wide from the Twelve Mile through to and beyond the 1000 Fathom drop off.

Unsurprisingly, these tuna schools are followed by large predators in the form of sharks or marlin, who like to prey on these tuna or the baitfish they eat. Sharks are best targeted with a berley trail. At present you may see whalers, hammerheads or makos attracted by the scent. Makos will often take lures used for tuna or marlin, so don’t be surprised when this occurs. For those who pursue marlin, some have already been taken and they increase in numbers daily.

Brogo Dam is primed at present and provides plenty of action around the weed beds, as the bass patrol for any food source on offer. Flyfishing of an evening is good with surface flies, while lures will work at most times, although the middle of the day is pretty hot and unproductive.

To everyone who follows my columns, I’d like to wish you a very happy and safe holidays, where all your fishing wishes come true.


There are more things than just fishing.


Wallaga is producing some thumper bream.


There’s a lot on offer for families around Bermagui.

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