Golden fins bringing anglers in
  |  First Published: May 2017

Pilgrimages have been a part of human life around the world for ages and for decades now, an annual journey has been made to Bermagui. Anglers from all around the country and overseas come to our shores in pursuit of the golden fins of the mighty yellowfin tuna and what else may be on offer.

This season has shaped up to be one of the best in years with even the smaller tunas being around in good numbers through the warmer months. The smaller striped tuna have been the mainstay through these warmer months and when this occurs the larger tuna will follow.

Already plenty of mid-range albacore are starting to show along with the mighty yellowfin. Recently, most fish are being taken on the troll with a variety of lures working. This method allows anglers to target a variety of species including any late season marlin that are still around.

It shouldn’t be long before these fish start responding to berley trails. Cubing is a popular form of targeting tuna. With motors turned off on a calm sea, this is the best way to experience the true beauty of the ocean, until the scream of a reel rocks you back into reality and exactly what you’re out there for.

Once hooked up, be prepared. This is where you prove yourself. Over the years I have seen many a grown man brought to their knees with these great fish, mainly due to the lack of technique. Most anglers believe strength is the way to beat a giant tuna, whereas short powerful strokes leading the fish will beat a tuna quicker.

Along with the yellowfin, expect others like albacore big-eye tuna. You can be sure wherever there is tuna, a mako shark will be nearby. Berley heavy with tuna frames if you want a shark, as makos will respond to this along with tigers, blues or whaler sharks.

Staying out at sea, the table fishing is excellent. Snapper are increasing in numbers by the day. Most of the reefs now have these fish around them providing good angling. The pick of them have been to the south of Goalen Head. There are plenty of morwong to be had as well as a mixture of other species. Outwide around the 12-Mile you can expect a few of those Tassie trumpeters from these deeper reefs.

Don’t forget about Montague Island, as there is plenty of action there. Kingies have been in good numbers most of the season, although at times some weeding is necessary to find the larger fish. Bonito are also there to be found and can easily be taken on the troll.

Out from nearly all the beaches you find plenty of sand flathead lurking around to fill anglers’ bags. Mixed in have been some lovely gummy sharks, mainly around the moon, but expect they may turn up at any stage. Red gurnard will also feature in the catch and make excellent table fare.

On the beaches, there is fun to be had with plenty of salmon around to keep you occupied. They will take lures or bait. Lures will give you the freedom to explore more. This has been one of the best seasons for whiting whether on the beach or in the estuary. Most of the beaches have good numbers, as do the rivers and lakes.

Up in the estuary systems things are starting to cool down and fish are migrating out to sea. There are good schools of bream in most estuaries towards the entrances that will respond well to berley on the incoming tides. Trevally are mixing in with the bream, as are some large mullet, a few duskies and the odd large salmon to keep you on your toes.

Also, this season has been one of the best for garfish with Wallaga Lake full of them. They are of a very large size and extremely tasty on the dinner plate.

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