There’s something old and something new
  |  First Published: June 2017

Fishing for luderick in the traditional way with floats and weed is something old. For something new, there are a lot of anglers out there who have never tried it, so look to an older form of angling to try something new – it’s a lot of fun.

These are a popular species in the winter months targeted with long rods, floats and weed (either green or cabbage). The best areas in the Bermagui River are the reef adjacent to the boat ramp next to the bridge, the bridge itself or any of the many rock walls.

If you don’t have the gear to target them with weed, try some nippers or worms – they work just fine.

Trevally are another popular winter fish that you will find in most estuaries. Berleying will bring them to you.

Cut baits of tuna will result in many hook-ups. This is best done on the incoming tide when the warm water from the ocean starts to stir the fish. Mixed in with these trevally are some nice bream, the odd flathead, garfish and recently some excellent highflying salmon.

Around near the blue pool off the rocks, these salmon will pass by allowing anglers a chance to lure fish for them. Mixed in are lovely bonito, tailor and kingfish.

In the suds, particularly on early morning or just on dark, you can expect some very nice drummer and groper. These hard-pulling fish provide plenty of entertainment as well as a tasty meal.

On the beaches, try casting lures for salmon in one of the many gutters that have formed. If one of these isn’t harbouring fish move on to the next and try again. If nothing else, it’s good exercise.

These gutters may also be hosting nice bream, whiting, mullet, trevally or the occasional flathead migrating along the coast. Try berleying with oily fish like tuna, mackerel or pilchards to enhance your catch rate.

Out at sea there are many options and one is light tackle sportfishing. This can be done with either lures or bait, by trolling, casting, drifting or anchoring.

Trolling to rocky headlands is producing a variety of pelagic species like bonito, salmon, frigates, tailor, kingfish and striped tuna. Once a reasonable school of fish is encountered, you can then start casting for more action. Going south will give you plenty of areas to try from the main point off Bermagui to the Brothers down to Bunga Point.

On the reefs there are plenty of snapper to be found. These fish are being taken in many ways. Try drifting, fishing the bottom, anchoring and berleying, bringing some large fish up the trail, or even lure fishing with plastics. There are many other species you may encounter while fishing the reef, like the ever-popular morwong or tiger flathead.

Out on the wider reefs just inside the Continental Shelf are many of the same species along with some large Tassie trumpeter. Out over the shelf, with the new reels now available to anglers, deep water species like hapuka, blue-eye trevalla and cod are now more accessible and becoming more popular.

The gamefish aren’t done for this season, as there are plenty of tuna to be found. Large yellowfin are in good numbers and are being taken on the troll or in berley trails. Cubing is popular at this time of year and is quite peaceful in the calm conditions that occur regularly in June.

Attracted to these trails are many albacore, which also respond well to lures that are trolled, cast or jigged, which is becoming popular in berley trails. Bigeye tuna seem to have made more of an appearance in the past few years making a welcome by-catch. Where there is a berley trail, there is often a mako lurking, so have a shark rig ready or in the water just in case.

Always expect the unexpected. While the water is good there are still marlin around and plenty are still being encountered.

On a sad note, we recently lost Don Redman at the age of 93, a seasoned angler and dad well into his nineties who loved the outdoors and seafood. He was very much respected by other anglers, the Far South Coast Bass Stocking Association and the Bermagui Field and Game Gun Club.

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