Choose your options
  |  First Published: May 2009

Bermagui is famous for its game fishing and there have been plenty of tuna around to keep anglers happy.

However, some of the other fishing opportunities, like the estuaries, are deteriorating with the onset of cooler weather so anglers now have to choose their options carefully.

One species worth pursuing is luderick or blackfish. These are a popular species in the Winter months and are targeted with long rods, floats and weed, either filamentous green algae or flat-leafed sea cabbage.

Among of the best areas in the Bermagui River are the reef adjacent to the boat ramp next to the bridge, the bridge itself and any of the many rock walls.

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

Trevally are popular Winter fish that you will find in most estuaries. Berleying will bring them to you and cut tuna baits will result in many a hook-up.

Trevally action is best on a rising tide when the warm water from the ocean starts to stir the fish. Mixed with these trevally are some nice bream, the odd flathead, garfish and, in more recent times, some excellent high-flying salmon.

These salmon will pass along the rocks near the Blue Pool, allowing anglers a chance to cast lures. Mixed in are some lovely bonito, tailor and the odd kingfish.

In the suds, particularly 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 gutter has no fish, move on to the next – if nothing else, it is good exercise.

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

Out at sea there are many options, including light-tackle sport fishing with lures or bait, trolling, casting, drifting or anchoring.

Trolling around rocky headlands is producing a variety of pelagics including 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 and down to Bunga Point.

On the reefs, plenty of snapper are being taken by drifting, anchoring and berleying or by fishing with soft plastics.

There are many other species possible, like morwong and sand or tiger flathead, while on the wider reefs there are Tassie trumpeter and out over the continental shelf, deep species like hapuka, blue eye trevalla and cod, thanks to the increasingly popular electric reels.


Good numbers of large yellowfin tuna are being taken on the troll and in berley trails.

Cubing is popular at this time of year and is quite peaceful in the calm conditions that occur regularly in June.

Also attracted to these trails are albacore, which also respond well to lures trolled, cast or jigged. Big-eye tuna seem to have become more frequent in the past few years and are welcome by-catch.

Where there is a berley trail, there is often a mako shark lurking so have a rig ready just in case.

And always expect the unexpected: While the water remains good marlin should still be encountered.

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