It’s an interesting thought that winter brings cold weather, water, winds and fish that love these conditions. These fish are in the form of southern bluefin tuna who love these conditions - even if we don’t - so when there is a break in the weather look beyond the continental shelf and start thinking big bluefin tuna.
Bluefin can be targeted in many ways, although trolling is probably the simplest and most successful. This allows you to travel more water where hopefully you may find were the fish are concentrated. Lures will vary from skirts to deep divers, bibles minnows or some times jigging. Once a school is located expect multiple hook ups, where the size of the fish may vary.
To keep the school around have some pilchards handy to toss over, keeping the fish feeding. Also try and keep a fish hooked up, which will have the school stay in the area. Don’t expect action every time you go out, but when you find it, it will more than make up for the days without.
Mako sharks are in this deep water, following the tuna, so if things are not happening with the bluefin try a berley trail to attract one of the best sport fish in the ocean.
Reef fishing is excellent, with snapper dominating catches. Most areas are holding fish with the southern reefs out from the Three Brothers, Murrah and Bunga Head being most productive. These fish are being taken in many ways from anchoring to berley, jigging with plastics to the more traditional ways of drift fishing.
Perch, morwong, jackets will all feature in bags, while out wider towards the Shelf, Tassie trumpeter, large nannygai and the occasional hapuka come up from the deep water. Here, too, large tiger flathead lurk, which are a welcome catch. These fish are also in the shallower water - maybe in greater numbers although not as large.
Shore based, there are plenty of salmon both around the beaches and rocky headlands. They are responding well to lures. Walking the beaches is most productive, while waiting for passing schools from the stones will also gain results.
Bream are still in good numbers on the beaches where a well presented cube of striped tuna will often gain the intended result and mullet or the occasional jewfish can provide a welcome by catch.
This is an excellent time to fish for drummer from the rocks, they are in good numbers responding well to cunjevoi, cabbage weed or the old favourite, a prawn. The best areas are around the Blue Pool, Michael Lerner Lookout and the south end of Cuttaggee.
In Bermagui Harbour trevally are the flavour of the month, as they patrol the jetties, boat ramps and rock walls. Most baits will work well on them as will some small hard and soft bodied lures. Bream are another common catch here and are often in good numbers straight in front of the main cleaning table.
Further up the river systems things are pretty quiet. Most of the flathead have migrated out of the estuaries making them hard to find, those that remain are likely to be towards the entrances. Blackfish are now the mainstay in the estuaries and are responding well to green weed.
In the Bermagui River the rock walls are producing well, as are the bridge pylons, the rocks adjacent to the bridge boat ramp and the rocky outcrops further up the river. If you wish to venture further afield try Wapengo Lake south of Bermagui, the many weed beds towards the entrance are holding plenty of those lovely fish and they taste just great.Reads: 1208