Everyone around Bermagui looks forward to the start of summer. It signals the chance of catching whatever species you desire, from game fish off the continental shelf to bream in the estuaries or bass and trout in the hills.
Usually the warmer water begins offshore this month, bringing with it game species like yellowfin tuna, albacore and striped tuna plus the occasional early marlin. Schools of slimy mackerel and yellowtail start on the Twelve Mile Reef, providing food for the game species. Trolling is the preferred method at this time with an assortment of small skirted and diving lures most successful.
Reef fishing is always good in December with big tiger flathead dominating catches. Early starts are essential, before the northeasterly winds kick in mid-morning. Morwong, snapper plus other assorted reef fish are usually consistent on the inshore reefs off Bermagui to south of Goalen Head.
Estuary fishing at this time of the year is fantastic with most of the tidal estuaries producing better than the lakes. The Bermagui River is holding good stocks of bream, blackfish, flathead, trevally and many other species. Bait fishing using nippers over the flats at high tide or along the weed beds and rock bars on the last of the falling tide is bound to produce some interesting mixed bags. Lure fishing on the change of the tide will produce good flathead in the channels.
Anglers using bait and lures under the lights of the Bermagui bridge at night can find themselves pleasantly surprised with the number of fish available there.
Beach fishing is extremely good with schools of salmon frequenting the well-formed gutters along the coast, with tailor and bream also getting into the act. Preferred methods at this time of year are to cast lures to the deep gutters and retrieve them fast or fish with strips of striped tuna or pilchards and berley to enhance your chances.
Anglers are finding good numbers of drummer along the rock platforms, especially around the Blue Pool and Michael Learner Lookout. Best times are just on daybreak or late in the afternoon when the shadows of the cliffs start to creep over the ocean. Common baits are ab gut, cunjevoi and red crabs, fished simply by running a small pea sinker straight to a no. 1 hook.
This is one of the best times of year you can be on Brogo Dam. Evening hatches of insects are common, leading to good surface flyfishing and action on poppers. Mornings will produce good fish around the weed beds on diving lures with trolling the preferred method as the day warms up. Fish to 50cm are now being encountered regularly on Brogo and fish around 30cm to 35cm are the norm.
Finally, this is the time to start prawning. However, due to natural circumstances, a lot of the lakes and estuaries may not prawn as well this season as they have in the past. Prawners may need to seek local advice or be prepared to look over many lakes to find where the prawns are.Reads: 620