As we enter the last month of Winter, cold water and weather make the fishing pretty slow but keen anglers will always find a fish or two.
It would probably be best to sit at home, clean those rods and reels, prepare all the tackle needed for the upcoming season or do all those odd jobs to ensure that when the fishing improves you will have the time to enjoy it.
Or, if your anything like me, you would probably say ‘Stuff it, there’s gotta be something to catch somewhere’ and just go fishing. After all, your casting arm can get rusty if you don’t practise.
For those who are land based now is the time to start looking in the Bermagui River. With this system never closing to the ocean, fresh fish stocks enter regularly at this time of year.
Blackfish often lead the way, concentrating around the bridge and adjacent rock walls at low tide before heading upstream with the tide to feed over the flats and the seagrass beds.
Through polarised sunglasses, these fish can be spied in their hundreds from the bridge as they await the tide. All that is required to gain their attention is a 1kg to 2kg outfit, a No 2 bug sinker, a No 4 bait holder hook and a bucketful of nippers.
The window in which you have to catch these blackfish, or the bream, whiting and trevally, may be only short so be there right on the turn of the tide. The bite may last for only half an hour but can be frantic – and then they disappear with the tide, making it look like they never existed at all.
Offshore game anglers are awaiting Spring and the hope of an early run of tuna. At present a few mako and blue sharks will turn up in a berley trail but things are pretty quiet.
Reef fishing can be reasonable with good catches of snapper and morwong from the reefs, while around the fringes are tiger flathead in increasing numbers. Most of the reefs south of Bermagui are holding most of the stocks with Goalen Head, ten miles to the south, providing the best action.
Anglers can choose from a variety of methods, ranging from shallow or deep drifting with bait, anchoring and berleying using floating baits and soft plastics, or just drifting over the pinnacles working the plastics.
Out around the Twelve Mile Reef, the deep water is producing most common reef species with some very tidy Tassie trumpeter mixed in.
Out over the canyons, anglers using electric reels to fish the deeps are coming home with large blue eye trevalla, hapuka, ghost cod and gemfish with lots of other oddballs mixed in.
Drummer are still the main attraction for the rock fishos with plenty of good ones taken at dusk and dawn around the main headland.
Cunjevoi is the top bait while cabbage weed and red crabs also produce, with the crabs accounting for some nice groper.
The beaches are quiet with no sign of any bream or whiting. Salmon seem about the only fish consistently on the chew, while tailor are being taken at night.
Bermagui has never been noted for jewfish from the beaches but over the past few months more school jewfish are taking a liking to a beach worm as anglers within the area learn more about their habits.Reads: 1034