The pick of the year
  |  First Published: February 2010

This is undoubtedly best month to fish the Far South Coast.

Warm offshore waters have filtered down, bringing a host of offshore fishes and a variety of species for our estuaries, rocks and beaches.

Marlin are the talk of the town with conditions perfect for them. Water temps are right and so is the Autumn weather.

With schools of baitfish attracting the larger predators, the Twelve Mile Reef is the place to go.

Striped, black and blue marlin are in the area and once the bait comes to the surface, things can get quite frantic. Pods of stripes harass the nervous bait with the blacks and blues shadowing a little deeper, waiting for their opportunity

Other species like tuna, mahi mahi and sharks will be close so don’t be surprised one of them takes a lure or bait intended for a stick-face.

If it is a big blue you are looking for, try running a good spread of lures and head wide to the canyons.

Montague Island has provided kingies all season. Most have been taken jigs while a few better fish have eaten live baits.

Lately the fish seem bigger and have been joined by bonito and frigate mackerel. The frigates make good bait off the northern end of the island – not all the marlin are on the Twelve Mile.


There’s also a lot of fun close to shore. From the stones it is possible to find a few pelagics on the move.

Kingies patrol along the rocks along with bonito, tailor, frigate mackerel and, of course, salmon. All are eager to chew on lures, especially at sunrise before the wind gets up.

Add a little berley and you may find plenty of bream, trevally or drummer to keep you entertained while waiting for those passing pelagic schools.

The adjacent beaches are also producing whiting, bream, mullet, tailor, jewfish, sharks and salmon.

Berleying during the day, preferably with striped tuna or slimy mackerel, will attract most species, while late evening and well into the night some larger species might be lurking.

Jewfish or gummy sharks are the preferred targets at night, especially in the lead-up to or just off the full moon.

Usually when one form of fishing is good, so are others.

The reef and bottom fishing is also very good. Close to shore, flathead have been in good numbers all season with nice sandies in close and the larger tigers appearing the further seawards you head.

Most reefs host to an assortment of species with snapper and morwong most common. Long finned sea perch, nannygai and Tassie trumpeter are targets on the Twelve Mile while out over the shelf, blue-eye trevalla, hapuku, gemfish and ling put excellent table fish in the box.

The estuaries are easy places to spend a day, with beautiful scenery rivalling the excellent fishing.

The lakes that remain closed to the ocean are a bit sad at present, while those that are open have some brilliant fishing.

Bream have entered the open systems and are attacking baits such as tuna, nippers or worms. Live prawns, if you can acquire them, are also excellent and will attract other species.

Blackfish are on the chew in the Bermagui River, taking a liking to cabbage weed.

For those who wish to toss a lure or three, there have been plenty of dusky flathead only too willing to participate.

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