Find a warmer spot
  |  First Published: August 2009

With Spring now upon us, fishing should start to improve and although things are still slow, there are options.

The upper reaches of estuaries open to the ocean are definitely worth a look, and even some of those that are closed to the sea.

The landmass is slowly warming and so too is the water around it. Fish find these locations, where they can be more active feeding on the available food sources created by the warmer conditions.

Baitfish, prawns and terrestrial life are the main foods available, so when this occurs it is great news for anglers.

Whether you use a lure, fly or bait, these areas have lots to offer. Small soft plastics will take bream, flathead, estuary perch and some big bully mullet.

Most of the time the mullet will shy away from lures but a few anglers have stumbled onto a method of ripping a small, wriggling soft plastic and the mullet respond and then hang on for an explosive battle.

Tidal systems with plenty of flats are prime areas to target. Flats exposed to the sun at low tide attract fish on a rising tide.

When enough water covers these flats to allow anglers and fish to move, simply pick a place and scatter baits such as nippers or worms randomly over the area, sit back and wait for the action.


Offshore reef fishing is improving with the flathead now showing in good numbers. North from Tilba, around The Step, is producing good sand flathead along with red gurnard and the odd large gummy shark.

Other successful areas are the edge of the Four and Six Mile reefs or if you’re up to the deeper water of the Twelve mile Reef, there monster tiger flathead out there.

Snapper and morwong are also plentiful on most of the reefs. Start on the reefs for these fish and as you drift off them, the tigers will start to appear.

For those who chase game fish, things are pretty slow. There are a few striped tuna, an odd albacore, and a stray kingfish at Montague Island. Those who lay out a decent berley trail may attract a mako or blue shark, especially out over the continental shelf.


The beach fishing is probably one of the best options, with large, ever-present salmon schools passing regularly. These fish can be targeted with the usual bait methods or by tossing a lure.

Lure fishing is simple: All you need is a light spin rod, a handful of metal slugs, a little fitness and then start walking and casting into the gutters along the beach.

Gummy sharks have been regular beach captures, mainly on the full moon. By-catch is ever-increasing numbers of jewfish. The beaches around Bermagui are not noted for these fish but recently more are showing in anglers’ bags.

Spring means bass in the fresh to brackish river systems and in Brogo Dam.

The rivers are probably the best option with the Brogo River below the dam wall a prime area. Fish will be moving back up the river after spawning and most holes will hold their share of fish.

In the dam itself, the water is still pretty cool but if you find a balmy evening with hopefully an ant hatch, you may well be pleasantly surprised.

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