High hopes for yellowfin
  |  First Published: April 2010

Generally after heavy rain along the South Coast, the following yellowfin tuna season is good, so all looks great for the season ahead.

It’s that time of year when anglers converge on Bermagui in pursuit of the mighty yellowfin.

These fish have been gradually starting to show and by the end of May should be in large numbers.

Out along the continental shelf and beyond is where we encounter this species. Trolling or fishing down a berley trail are the most efficient ways to locate fish.

Various lures work, with some of most favoured being hard lures with built-in action, whether bibbed or bibless.

When berleying, cut baits of slimy mackerel, striped tuna or pilchards drifted in the trail will produce. A live bait may attract a shy fish.

While berleying, you can expect other species to be encountered, such as late-season marlin to albacore and mahi mahi.

Always have some wire handy for one of the many makos that turn up at this time of year.

Up at ‘the rock’, Montague Island, things have been hot on the kingfish scene all season and they should remain so.

These fish have been responding to most methods with live baits producing the larger fish.

Mixed in are some very large bonito and it has been one of the best runs of these striped speedsters in years.


All the way from close to shore to beyond the continental shelf, reef and bottom fishing is on the improve.

The introduction of electric reels has developed a trend to fish the deep out wide, producing a mix of different species including hapuka, blue-eye cod, ghost cod, gemfish and many oddball species.

You are likely to see more of this style of fishing as it grows in popularity – unless the Advisory Council on Recreational Fishing carries out its threat to ban these reels.

Around the reefs, snapper are showing in reasonable numbers and are becoming more common captures.

It is a good time to anchor and berley for reds and other species will also be encountered, including ocean perch, morwong and sand and tiger flathead.

Gummy sharks are being taken regularly out from most beaches in shallower depths.

There is plenty of action from the beaches as well.

Salmon are the mainstay with nearly all beaches holding reasonable stocks. There are also plenty of tailor, bream, whiting and mullet

Berley will enhance your chances of reasonable bags.

Night fishing the beaches can be interesting and rewarding with sharks high on the list. Gummies and whalers will be the most common captures and strips of salmon will usually do the job. You may find some jewfish also taking a liking to these baits.

If you like catching drummer from the rocks then you could not get better than now.

There are some very large fish around which are responding to cabbage weed or cunjevoi and some exceptional luderick are also available in the same locations.


In the estuaries it is definitely the month of the bream.

Following the big rains, many of the estuaries have been scoured out by the rushing water, creating the gravel bottom which bream just love.

In the clear water you can use polarised sunnies and sight-fish bream in spectacular fishing. They may take lures but for best success, use strips of tuna in conjunction with burley.

Nippers or worms will produce in shallower water and most other species will also fall to these methods.

With a host of estuaries now open to the ocean, the biggest problem an angler has is which one to fish.


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