Time to battle yellowfin
  |  First Published: May 2007

If you’ve ever wanted to catch a hard-fighting yellowfin tuna, come to Bermagui in May.

There are a variety of ways to target them and the best is to berley and cube. It’s not a bad practice to troll at first, hopefully catching a fish which should indicate more tuna in the area.

Once the fish are located, start your berley trail and work the area for a reasonable time. There has been a lot of boat activity lately so it pays to listen on the radio to how other boats are going, which might indicate where the fish are congregating.

Baits to use while berleying range from cut slimy mackerel, yellowtail and striped tuna to whole or cut pilchards. You can also hang a shark bait out or a live bait on heavier mono for tuna and marlin.

Water temperature can have a bearing on what game fish may still be around. It is likely there will be mahi mahi, albacore, and mako, blue, whaler and tiger sharks.

Marlin will still be present and if you target them by either trolling live baits or lures you should encounter them in good numbers.

Yellowfin can also be found in this manner and there is a possibility a spearfish may come along.


Montague Island is fishing well for kingfish and bonito with yellowfin appearing off the northern end of the island. Kingfish will respond to various methods including jigging, drifting squid and slow-trolling or deep-fishing live baits. Bonito seem to prefer the livies.

Kingies and bonnies are being taken out from the bommie at the Blue Pool, around the Three Brothers Rocks and down at Goalen Head. Deep-diving and bibless lures seem to be doing most of the damage with some fish also being taken on small skirted lures.

There are plenty of salmon getting in on the act while targeting other species, keeping anglers entertained while waiting for a better prize.

Reef and bottom fishing is particularly good and should remain so for some months. Even though waters are starting to cool, this form of fishing is at its best and it is a great time to target snapper.

As the strong summer currents back off, anglers have more ways to fish the reefs. Deeper reefs like the Twelve Mile are easier to fish for a mixture of species with trumpeters much sought after.

Closer to shore, a variety of techniques can be used for bottom dwellers. Drifting over these areas using fresh bait will almost certainly result in a mixed bag of table fish.

Casting soft plastics on light gear is fun and will usually secure a good feed. Start in close to shore, working your way out as the day progresses. Cast in the same direction as you are drifting and work the lures back to the boat.

Dropping the pick at this time of year is also very successful, allowing anglers to berley the fish to the surface. Snapper respond well to this method and some large fish have been taken lately.

A host of other species can come into the trail, including trevally, kingfish, morwong down deeper and the occasional shark. Fish as light as possible and set baits at varying depths or throw some of those soft plastics around for fun.


There are plenty of fish around on the beaches and rocks with salmon dominating the catches. Most of the beaches are fishing well with some nice schools of bream about along with tailor, trevally and, at night on the moon, quite a few gummy sharks.

Drummer are dominating the rock catches with some very big fish being taken in the early morning and late afternoon on abalone gut especially.

Those bream on the beaches are moving into all estuaries open to the ocean and are providing plenty of entertainment for estuary fishos. For best results use striped tuna and berley the rising tide, in the channels at first and then moving onto the flats as the tide rises. Use tuna and nippers for bait or toss lures.

Brogo Dam is cooling and it is probably the last chance for some reasonable fishing before winter. Trolling deep-diving lures is working best with some bibless lures also producing. For best results maybe the time-honoured tradition of just soaking a worm will work as well as anything.

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