Chasing billfish
  |  First Published: December 2016

Bermagui is legendary for its billfish. All three species visit our waters within easy reach of trailer boat fishos. The last few seasons have seen some very good billfish action in January and with favourable water temperatures, this season is shaping up well.

Striped marlin are the most prolific billfish to be found in our waters. The likely areas to find them are out around the Twelve Mile, north at the Kink or maybe further north to the Tuross Canyons. Trolling lures is a good method for these fish. Switch baiting with teasers to attract them then pitching a live slimy mackerel to the fish following the teasers is a whole lot of fun.

If there are a lot of fish in the area, try slow trolling livies again with teasers. You may find this will also attract the blacks or blues. If you’re targeting blues, you may need to travel further afield out over the Continental Shelf where depths will exceed 1000 fathoms. These are the areas where these monsters like to hunt larger prey like striped tuna or the smaller yellowfin tuna or albacore.

There are other gamefish out there in the form of those tuna, occasional shortbill spearfish or mahimahi and of course there are always sharks – makos, whalers or hammerheads. Around Montague Island, kingfish and bonito are in reasonable numbers responding to jigs, livies or strips of squid.

If you want a bag of tasty reef fish, there are plenty to be found – blue and jackass morwong, snapper, pigfish, nannygai and ocean perch are around. Flathead and gummy sharks are on offer over the sandy muddy areas out from Tilba, Wallaga Lake or south east of Barragoot or Cuttaggee. Most beaches in the area are showing signs of good fishing. Salmon are the most prolific, while bream, whiting and mullet are all on offer. If you wish to fish through the night, mulloway, sharks and tailor will also feature.

Some of the best fishing you can experience in our area will be in the estuaries and lakes. Wallaga is one place to target, as the warm water of the lake produces some reasonable flathead in the back reaches. Down towards the entrance over the flats on the high tides, bream, luderick, whiting, trevally and mullet are all on offer for well positioned baits or lures.

Bermagui River is another system close by that fishes well with many channels, weed banks and shallow flats attracting fish. One other little lake often over looked is Cuttaggee – this system is accessible by wading or with canoes, kayaks or a small boat and is capable of producing some very good captures.

Far south coast bass stocking associaion

I would like to introduce to you the Far South Coast Bass Stocking Association, which was established in 1994 for the sole purpose of stocking Brogo Dam with Australian Bass for recreational angling. Due to the efforts of a hard working committee, many of which are still active since the founding of the association, there have more than 500,000 Bass liberated into Brogo Dam creating one fantastic public fishery.

Since introducing the bass into Brogo Dam, the association conducted its annual Brogo Bass Bash fishing catch and release tournament, which was in its eighteenth year, hosted on the weekend of 2-4 December last year.

The event sees anglers from as far afield as Melbourne, Sydney, Hillston and Griffith catch and release bass, providing valuable data for both NSW DPI Fisheries and the association. This event is now our only format for fundraising, providing the necessary capital to purchase bass fry in conjunction with NSW DPI Fisheries Dollar For Dollar program, which sees 20,000+ fish released annually.

The FSCBSA needs sponsorship for the events, as they don’t give prizes for category winners, but only award small trophies. They need lots of small prize donations, which may help with raffles. Raffles are responsible for the major fundraising for the purchase of the bass fry.

Any ongoing support would be greatly appreciated and FSCBSA shows support in return by recognising contributions on their website, Facebook, and throughout the weekend of the event. Any and all donations are relished and valued by many anglers.

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