Spoiling for a big blue
  |  First Published: April 2009

April has always been notorious for big blue marlin here to feed on the schools of tuna that are starting to move in local waters and this heralds the last chance of the season to capture a big billfish.

Earlier this season big blues have been encountered with the best to date a massive 353kg. This fish was taken on a trolled lure, as are many, and the bigger the lure the better the chance of a large fish.

Most of the big blues have been out over the Canyons but when baitfish congregate in certain areas like the Twelve Mile Reef, the predators will converge for an easy feed.

Anglers can spend many hours before encountering a big blue, or may never, but many striped marlin and larger tuna can keep them occupied.

It is also time for tuna to arrive and the action is increasing well. Striped tuna and albacore are in good numbers over the shelf with the occasional large yellowfin.

Most fish are being taken on the troll with a and some may be enticed with berley, which will also attract sharks.

Seasoned Bermagui regulars know that when tuna are around, makos are not far behind. This tuna season is already shaping up well.

There are plenty of sport fish on the inshore grounds.

Kingfish have been consistent around Montague Island this season and probably the best for years along the coast and inshore reefs, although many have been smallish.

Smaller tuna like stripes, bonito and frigate mackerel are terrific fun on light spin gear.

Generally when one form of fishing is good, so is another and this is the case with offshore bottom fishing.

Flathead have never been in better numbers with both tiger and sandies plentiful. Closer to shore will mostly be sandies while further out will be good for large tigers.

Around the Twelve Mile Reef some of the tigers produced have been over 80 cm, and there is always the bonus of Tassie trumpeter, large nannygai, ocean perch, morwong and even a game fish or two.

On the inshore reefs, snapper are increasing in numbers with best areas south out from Bunga or closer to home, east of the Brothers.


Estuary fish are getting toey with the onset of cooler months and are feeding frantically to add condition for the leaner times ahead.

In the lower reaches where the oceanic water is warm, yellowfin bream are plentiful and can be polaroided in the channels or over the sand flats as the tide rises.

When you encounter these conditions, berleying with tuna may often result in cricket-score catches with lures or nippers.

Flathead will also move to these lower reaches and are best targeted on the lower, slow tides with lures or bait.

April is virtually the last chance to fish Brogo before the cooler water takes over and shuts down the fish. This is black cricket time and the remaining balmy evenings which get those crickets hopping will stir the bass – not good news for Dave the Cricket!

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