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Fishing Reports

2009 2008

24 October 2011

Saturday last was great weather for heading out to sea and it proved highly rewarding for many local and visiting fisher's with inshore and offshore waters both producing fish, we even had the first Marlin hook up of the season. Albacore were readily landed on the weekend across the board, the better specimens touching on 12kg, a couple of small Yellowfin too were landed and some customers from Canberra hooked a marlin at the Kink. Deep dropping in 400-550m of water was successful with a number of Blue Eye Trevalla landed to 18kg, the fish were a little bigger than we'd seen in recent weeks. Inshore reefs continue to produce great numbers of Flathead both Sandy's and Tiger's, the Gummy Sharks were promising late last week (good numbers caught Thursday & Friday) but given the number of boats on these grounds over the weekend it seemed to be quieter. A handful of Kingfish were caught, mainly on the surface by those casting smaller metal lures in an attempt to match the hatch with the baitfish they are evidently chasing around at present, they are still a bit finicky but the Island produced a few fish on Monday ahead the change after failing to produce fish for more than a couple of boats over the weekend.


6 June 2011

We got a little excited mid last week when we started to weigh in a few fish including 'Full Boar's' 83kg Bluefin and 77kg Yellowfin Tuna's taken on the same day whilst cubing beyond the 1000 fathom line east of Bermagui. Whilst sea surface temperatures look to be moving in our favour these fish were well in front of the better water that is expected to be holding fish but it was enough to motivate a number of boats in to heading out wide, however, there was little follow up activity. So we simply have to wait until this weekend when the warm currents move in to within our reach, by Friday of the long weekend there will be warm water holding good numbers of Yellowfin and Bluefin. Local long liners have moved back down from Sydney after a short stint, on the back of this better water pushing down and have already caught some solid fish from Broadbill to Bluefin, mainly because they can reach them already.


We are still seeing plenty of Gummy Sharks in closer on the gravel and shallow reef areas like Wallaga Lakes mouth, Cemetery and the Step. So too down to our south off Goalen Head but out a little deeper (45-60m). They are not huge fish but a welcome surprise and great eating. Many of the flathead grounds have produced these fish from time to time. Sand Flathead are of good size still with most fish well above legal in the 40-60cm range. After the big seas we have been experiencing we will see the Snapper capitalise on this in shore where the bottom has been stirred up and it will give those wishing to pursue such fish on artificial bait a good chance to do so. As little as 10m of water is likely to produce fish even off the second point in front of the water tower, 5 inch Jerk Shads by Berkeley will be the choice of many and colours like Pink Shine, Cajun Chicken and Sweet & Sour Chicken will do the trick to name a few. Some visiting boats have had some great sessions on the snapper at Montague Island in the afternoon in and around Auginish Rocks both on bait & artificial lures. We would expect to see some Kingfish back on the bite when the warmer water gets here in coming days, in the mean time there is plenty Bonito to play with on the troll of casting metals.


We've seen the first Tassie Trumpeter's landed off the 12 Mile Reef this week which is a great sight. There were also a few bigger Morwong, a couple of Kingies and the odd larger Snapper. Whilst there is little current prevailing it's a great time to get out there and it doesn't hurt to have a live bait in the form of a Yakka or Mackerel out under a balloon.


Our local estuaries and those along most of the Sapphire Coast continue to produce most of our favourite species both on bait and/or lures. Obviously, the surface fishing has now slowed but snag fishing and deep water options can now be successfully explored. The flats in Wallaga Lake under the power lines and to the east of the bridge are still the best shallow water areas and shiny vibes are working a treat.


23 May 2011

Well thus far its a disappointing season for Yellowfin with only a few smaller specimens being taken on any given day. The odd larger model has been taken week to week but overall it's very slow. We've seen a few Albacore in recent days on the cube or whilst trolling. There is certainly no lack of Mako Sharks offshore and even a few smaller model in close. Deep dropping has been a popular alternative means of fishing offshore in recent weeks with some good catches of Blue Eye Trevalla, Gemfish, Alfonsino and Imperador being taken just over the continental shelf. Inshore activity has been productive for those fishing off Camel Rock in 27m, The Step region between 33 to 55m and inside Montague Island (in 30m) with better sized Sand Flathead in good numbers and most boats are coming in with at least one Gummy Shark of good size for the table. There has been a run of size Kingfish off Goalen Head in 60m of water. They have been landed on occasion by those drifting baits on the bottom and a couple of boats have consistently taken these fish on the jig once the school has been marked up.


Salmon and Tailor remain a staple off our local beaches. Whilst Barragoot was producing the better fish it is now being over shadowed by some better fishing off places like Long Swamp, Camel Rock and Tilba. Gummies off the beaches have been few and far between and its a little early for Mulloway. There have been a few Bronzies.


Wallaga Lake has fished exceptionally well in recent weeks and the flats fishing has been excellent with some lure casting anglers having there best sessions last week. Small metal vibes like those of Ecogear and Strike Pro's Cyber vibes being lures of choice in the metallic finishes. Bream and Flathead have been taken in good numbers and very little lift or retrieve will do the job. The Bermagui river is holding plenty of bait in particular Yellowtail and Garfish. Of an evening there is plenty of activity around the bridge area. Bream fishing along the edges on the run up tide on bait has been accounting for plenty of nice Bream. fresh striped Tuna, Mackerel and nippers all working well. Light leader and very little or no weight is best and bait drifting with the flow of the tide is extremely effective.


2 May 2011

Things can literally change overnight when it comes to offshore conditions. Only 2 weeks ago we had water of 22 degrees beyond the continental shelf, a little bit of current was present and we started to see the first few Yellowfin of the season inside  1000 fathoms. By the Anzac weekend the current was moving much quicker, water temps were over 23 degrees and a solid Blue Marlin prevailed on the Saturday and Sunday. There were at least 12 Blue Marlin captures, a few tags went in on a couple of fish over 200kg and some simply were never going to be landed for one reason or another. By Monday the water had rolled over and the cooler water eddy hanging well offshore moved in to drop temps to below 20 degrees. That certainly removes us from catching Blue Marlin, the Striped Marlin will still be here and there but such water will soon start to produce some tuna's. Commercial catches have produced some solid specimens with plenty of fish of 55kg or more on the line. Only last week a 30kg tuna ate a bait as it was being retrieved on an electric reel from the deep, not common but certainly a bonus. The Canberra Yellowfin Tournament is on mid May and will attract more then 100 boats this year. We will see visiting vessels start heading in to town in numbers a week before this event which should help us to gauge the tuna fishing and stay in touch with key areas holding fish.


Montague Island, Auginish Rocks and into the Step have produced good numbers of Kingfish and its been a pleasure for many to be able to place each fish straight into the box with no second guessing on legal size. Seals have made it hard work for many and on the days when only a few boats are out you are a key target for multiple seals invading your space. The bite has been a little more sporadic over the past fortnight, obviously if there's 'No run it's no fun' as far as the current is concerned. Some mornings its ripping south on the western side, NW and NE corners and live baiting has dominated with higher catch rates, those who prefer to jig found it a little slower last month or that marking up fish to target on the jig was more difficult. Late evening sessions for those jigging or trolling were great for some anglers and so to those bait fishing for Snapper. The Snapper fishing around the Island has been excellent in recent weeks and the fish are readily taking soft plastics at dawn and dusk. Gulp Jerk Shads in Pearl White and Pink Shine remain clear favourites in both 5 and 7 inch. Jig head weights do vary pending your depth and the current at the time. 1/2oz is usually a good starting point for the Island. Early April when the current was going uphill (South to North) the areas around Auginish Rocks produced some excellent fishing and conventional jigs and soft plastics were highly effective.


We've seen some nice Snapper closer to town in recent weeks and 35-42m in depth off the water tower has produced some quality fish. It will be a good place to start for those wanting to pursue the soft plastic option again this season. Morwong will readily eat such baits also. The Three Brothers in similar depths has also produced a mixed bag, more so in recent days. Green toads have invaded plenty of water at 'the Step' and at times made it almost unfishable as sinker losses climbed to new highs. Aside from the toads the Sand Flathead captures in that region have been great and plenty of good sized fish can be taken, A few Gummy sharks were in the mix also this week. To the south around Goalen Head and Bunga, the fishing has been slower. The quality bags of Snapper taken in March close in have not yet been repeated but as inshore waters cool we will see this turnaround for the better. Calamari fishing has been worthwhile and the Blue Pool, harbour rock walls and the second point have all produced nice specimens for the table.


Deep dropping offshore has been productive with some Blue Eye Trevalla over 20kg being landed. A few Gemfish are about and the odd Alfonsino to go with some better sized Ocean Perch. All good eating fish.


The Bermagui River and Cuttagee have produced good quality Bream. the river here has fished best with fresh baits whilst Cuttagee has been a good option for those wanting to pursue Whiting, Flathead and Bream on the surface. The river has filled with Yellowtail for up to 50m either side of the bridge and night fishing around the bridge should produce a few trophy Dusky Flathead for those wanting such a challenge. Or you can simply take advantage of catching your live bait here at anytime rather than having to be early on the water to get them in the bay. Wallaga Lake remains the place where you will consistently take fish especially quality Bream and Flathead whether live baiting around the bridge, casting plastics on the drop offs or using your surface lures on the flats...its simply a worthwhile place to fish for young and old.


The beaches have produced some good Bronzies but Gummy Shark and Mulloway have been harder to find. Salmon and Tailor to 4kg have not been uncommon in recent weeks.


17 February 2011

The marlin bite remains solid with good numbers of fish being tagged most days. Yesterday saw no more than a dozen boats offshore and most got fish. One boat landed 4 whilst the next best went 3 from 4. Staff member Michael Muscat took his mum yesterday and they landed 1 from 2. Bait levels remain very high on the 12 Mile Reef. Inside the Kink remains another key location, so too the lower end of Tuross Canyons. Most activity is in 60-100fathoms. Those venturing beyond the shelf where the current is stronger will see more Dolphin Fish and the odd weird fish for these parts including Wahoo. Kingfish are at the Island and some good Snapper. Plenty of Flathead both Sand and Tiger are being taken off Cuttagee in 35-50m of water. Surface fishing for whiting in our estuaries is a highlight.


4 February 2011

In recent weeks we have experienced a solid marlin bite and the Australia Day long weekend and days following proved fruitful for many anglers. Last weekend was no different with over 10 fish taken between 6 or 7 boats on the Sunday alone. Water temperatures remain between 21-23 degrees, the water is of good colour and holding plenty of bait most days of the week, a few of us fished the 12 Mile and Bait Hole areas yesterday to mark a couple of fish and that was that. Mr Hooker missed one early. As you all know that's marlin fishing, with bait levels where they are highest another solid bite is expected any day. The outside edge of the 12 Mile reef is thick with Cowan Young and Slimy Mackerel. Inside the Kink in 60-80 fathoms has proven highly productive as little current and good bait levels is tending to draw fish mostly Stripes with the odd Blue and Black amongst them. In close there have been a couple of free jumping Blacks and given some small Yellowfin Tuna have been taken off the point by those trolling for Bonito and Salmon a Black is going to surprise someone in the near future.


The large eddy sitting offshore seems to have parked itself in the right spot to provide good water on it's inside edge from time to time over the next 2 months if we're lucky. Wide of the100 fathom line plenty of Dolphin Fish are being taken and with floating structure from the north not too far away we will see more of these fish taken in closer. Long liners are happier well offshore chasing good sized Yellowfin averaging 50kg and plenty of Dollies. We do not expect to see them in on the shelf chasing marlin given low prices versus tuna's and too many sharks to deal with. The new 10,000t quota across Marlin, the Tuna's and Broadbill will see a reduced marlin take and push the species further toward 'by-catch' status. Should a long liner shoot in 1000 fathoms off Bermagui and get pushed in there will be some Marlin taken but when you look at how much less quota the remaining long liners have it will reflect in a lower take of this fish.


King fish at the Island remain productive, we haven't really had too many boats out there this week to gauge the bite accurately but have certainly seen some good fish taken. Those using soft baits like Gulp, Squidgies, Slugo's and Slams etc are taking some good quality Snapper for the area amongst their Kingfish and it's a lot less effort for all ages as against cranking 200-300gm jigs. A simple Paternoster rig of at least 50lb leader with one long dropper to a Black Magic KS7/0-9/0 or a Mustad Big Gin 9/0-10/0 is a good starting point for a hook. The rig allows you to pin your livie through nose on the drift, a squid strip or whole arrow squid like the US boxed product. In particular on the western side of the Island where fishing hard on the bottom with no more than a 4-8oz snapper lead can keep you in amongst the better sized fish. Gulp 7inch Jerk shad in Pearl White and Pink Shine are dynamite simply used on the same rig. A 1/4-3/4oz jig head obviously gives you more flexibility to pitch/cast the soft bait, when these are used on your paternoster rig or drop shotted it does remove you from unwanted by catch on your drift and the target species is more often the victim.


Warm water in our estuary mouths, lake and bays has provided many with the opportunity to chase garfish and the rivers lower reaches are accounting for the catch and release of some large female Dusky Flathead to 94cm with plenty of fish over 70cm. Mulloway are a more frequent capture this past fortnight and the use of live bait in the form of Yellow tail and Mullet if a winner. At least 30lb trace is the go and always let the fish take that first solid run to get the bait down. The use of a bait runner style reel is best suited here. Luderick to 1.3kg are being landed at Wallaga Lake Bridge, the rivers boat ramp and the rock wall's leading out to see on low tide. The fish are taking Nippers, cabbage and ribbon weed at present.


Surface fishing has picked up somewhat and better sized whiting are have now moved in and will be a worthy target amongst the Bream and Flathead.







10 January 2011

We're heading into prime time for marlin fishing and the new year has produced a number of fish with most vessels in recent days all getting at least one bite out of fish each fishable day. There has been a few very small fish tagged at around 30-50kg but most of the Striped marlin are 85-110kg, Blue marlin have also been taken a little wider (beyond 500 fathoms). The Stripes however appear to be inside the shelf in better numbers between 65-100 fathoms. Bait in the form of Mackerel is not consistent, some days it's deep, then only up in the afternoon or simply non existent the next. However, there is an abundance of Striped Tuna inshore and offshore whilst Albacore are common amongst the Stripies (tuna) offshore. Hot water pockets are producing the odd Dolphin Fish, the highlight being a 23kg model on 15kg landed out of the Bay last weekend.


Kingfish activity remains solid with plenty of nice fish around, you can spend plenty time landing under size fish before achieving your bag, afternoon sessions up until a couple of days ago were producing better fish where each one was a keeper if so desired. Live baits, dead baits, Gulps and lures are all producing fish in good numbers. Some big Trevally's also made an appearance on occasion. Some nice Snapper have been amongst the mix. Inside the Island and down below the Step in 30-50m of water started to produce some better Flathead again this week, they were certainly a better fish and more readily caught last weekend than the previous week.


Bream, Tailor and Salmon remain a staple from the beaches and rock ledges and few better sized Mulloway were landed over the recent dark of the moon. Bait levels in our local river and lakes remain high and Wallaga Lake provided some great lure fishing for those starting out over the Christmas break. Nothing new is required when it comes to Dusky Flathead of 30-45cm being taken, whilst Gulp's and Squidgies worked well so too did many old faithfuls from the original Mr Twisters through to the DOA prawns most of us had forgotten about. If you police your casts and work the area you believe the fish are in you'll get the bite and in many cases this month plenty of them. The lake produced some nice Bream also, most often early morning on well presented lures or fresh prawns.


10 December 2010

Little offshore activity to report despite that fact there are some Yellowfin out there. Quite simply the weather week to week has been quite extraordinary. A few Kingfish have showed themselves at the Island and despite reports of schools of these fish swimming about they have not been landed by anglers in that area for some weeks.


Prawning remains a highlight with one of the best seasons at hand for many years. LED prawn lights are proving a hit and certainly save carrying a lot of weight when comparing them to conventional prawn lights. Cuttagee's prawns are now of much better size. Given prawns grow 1-2cm each month there will be some nice ones around in January and February.


Surface fishing for Bream and Bass has picked up, warm waters on the edges of our lakes and rivers is starting to provide some great surface fishing alternatives. Whiting are on the flats but we're finding it hard to track down size fish.


Wallaga Lake continues to produce consistent captures of Flathead and Bream. In more recent weeks Garfish are on the menu also and the odd Octopus.


Inshore reef fishing has been difficult with strong currents making it hard to drift accordingly. The northern areas have produced some good Flathead and the odd Gummy Shark and to the south amongst the Morwong there have been a few Snapper on the rougher days.


3 November 2010

It's all about prawns at the moment if can weather the southerlies and rainfall. These tasty morsels are tending to stay down on the calmer night on running to the surface for a few minutes at a time. Closed lakes are hard to prawn in at present where the fresh water pushing toward the mouth from recent rainfalls is moving all species to the front making it hard to scoop prawns when your surrounded by small toadfish and a few other odds and sods. Cuttagee has prawns in good numbers but they need a month or so get up to size they are a very small prawn at present.


The weather has plagued havoc with many in recent weeks with continuing rains and wind. Offshore sea surface temperatures have increased and some great looking water has moved down the east coast and is heading our way, in fact this water is holding good numbers of Yellowfin and Albacore. We know the Albacore will be accessible and I'd say we'll see a few Yellowfin also. Kingfish remain sporadic off Cuttagee, just when you think they have left some goes downs there and lands their limit and releases more.  Some better sized Tiger Flathead have been caught in 53-60m of water east of the harbour down to the Three Brothers. In close around Goalen Head & Bunga Snapper have been in reasonable numbers but they are only pan sized. Wider reefs of the area to the south have produced large rubber lip Morwong and some better Snapper with a few solid Flathead in between.


This month is prime time for pursuing the Mulloway both on the beach but more so in our estuaries where prawns and whitebait levels are improving. Wagonga inlet and Wallaga Lake should produce a bite but keep in mind when chasing the ghost you may only get one bite for the session but the prize is worthy. Larger metal vibes like the Deka Bokun and Jackall Mask VIB60's & 70's along with old faithful 120 Squidgy Fish in Black/Gold.


A few perch have been landed in the upper reaches of local estuaries and a couple of solid bass caught in the Tuross and Bega rivers but there's plenty of other water worth investigating also.


3 September 2010

Offshore waters are still a little cool at 15 degrees whilst visiting long liners Sniper, Scorpion and the Esbeorn are taking good numbers of Broadbill and Bluefin on each trip they are fishing 120 miles offshore. So we have continued to fish the deeper reefs for some great Snapper and a few Tassie Trumpeters until the currents change. A number of other species are being encountered in this depth such as Crimson Perch and large Nannygai. On days where the tide is slack drifting along the reefs inner and outer edges may be coupled with live baits set under a balloon or at depth to take the odd Yellowfin Tuna. We have to make the most of it now because in coming weeks the waters will warm and the current will pick up to a point that holding bottom on the reefs in 60-70 fathoms will be too difficult to do. However, warmer waters and some current will allow us to focus our attention out wide to pursue the Albacore and Yellowfin Tuna that usually start to present themselves in October and November along with some better sized Mako Sharks. Plenty of Salmon are holding in side the mouth of various estuaries locally providing some great opportunities to those chasing these fish on their light Bream gear or on fly. Snag fishing for Bream has been hard work, some smaller Breams are being taken in the open but our shallow river is hard to fish given it's very clear water at present. Inside the mouth of Wallaga lake is best for bigger fish moving in together on the run up tide. One must fish very lightly and smaller Wrigglers, Gulp Shrimps and small sinking hard bodies will produce fish but Fluorocarbon straight through or at least 3m of it as leader are a must of no more than 4lb. Most beaches are holding Salmon and some better sized Tailor. As the evenings warm up the surrounding rivers will soon produce some better fishing. Those pursuing Drummer (Rock Blackfish) have done well casting unweighted Cunjovei baits into the wash and have even produced some great fish in calmer areas where little or swell prevails around the 1st and 2nd points in particular near the old steamer wharf ruins located adjacent to the local Hotel. Alternative baits like cabbage are good and remove you from small by catch species like Rock Cods and Scorpion Fish. Luderick (Blackfish) anglers have had some good days around the rivers edges, Corunna and Wallaga Lake Bridge. Diving for Crayfish has been highly productive this season along this coastline and this style of fishing is increasing in popularity month to month. Cray's will be in close for a couple of months yet. Inner reefs such as the 4 & 6 Mile are producing Morwong (both Rubber lip and Jackass) and the odd legal sized Kingfish is still emerging. Down rigging a couple of livies in 40-45m of water would certainly produce.


Bluefin fishing 23rd June 2010

On the back of schooling Blue Fin tuna now reachable to many vessels and with the help of local longliners being right amongst the fish a number of boats were able to head wide to day for the best of the Blue Fin fishing yet. Fish were in good numbers over the 150'30 line and in line with both the sea mounts. Matt Cini of Reel Time Charters landed a 90kg fin as part of a 3-way hook up, Matt Bolton was also on board to land his 70kg fish, they drop the other solid fish after 15 minutes. We managed 3 from 4 around 45kg fish whilst on board with local boat owner Dick Brown of 'Reel Weapon'. Crusty was also with us. Good to see these fish are now here in solid numbers.


Wallaga Lake 10 June 2010

Open estuary mouths where tidal flows now occur once again are producing some great opportunities for those starting out through to the more  experienced angler whether fishing by lure or with fresh baits. The likes of Corunna, Wallaga Lake, the Bega River and Cuttagee to name a few are filled with bait including prawns, garfish, whitebait and mullet and more. Wallaga Lake for example has plenty of small to medium prawns close to the lakes edges whilst many of the bays and open water are well covered by small garfish cruising the surface and large schools of mullet dwelling everywhere in between. This is providing some great opportunities for all of us to fish for a number of species. Those chasing Bream can work smaller soft baits (2 inch GULP/SLAM worms, Atomic/ Ecogear/Damiki Minnow Grubs, Squidgy Wrigglers and GULP Shrimps) of 1-3 inches in length close to the edges weighted so to allow a slow natural sink rate. Bream will eat these slowly worked soft baits or a hard bodied lure (Ie. suspending minnow) but you need to concentrate your efforts across weed beds or around structure near the edges to increase your strike rate and of course where you may see bait like prawns or shrimp being pursued or fed upon by your target species. Bream are in good numbers but of smaller size around the lakes bridge pilons. The current can be strong enough to make lures hard work but the bottom of the tide where slack water prevails is certainly worth a cast or three. Toward the lakes mouth the clear water pushes in on the incoming tide and is quite visible. Where this front moves in and meets the 'dirty' water is a great place to start in search of some large Bream that will take lures but we do prefer to up the size somewhat and 80-100mm Squidgy Wrigglers, Shrimps/Prawns or Minnow work well, even a 5inch Jerk Shad. There is some current on those flats so a jig head of 1/8oz on the hook size of choice is often required. Using this sized soft plastic will readily produce the lakes better sized flathead also and if you are off the bottom to often some solid Tailor are on offer but they will also cut through your leader line more often than not. Elsewhere in the lake Dusky Flathead are more prolific and sessions of 10 or more fish are certainly achievable by most. They are smaller in size but enough legal sized fish will be landed to take home if so desired. These fish will feed under under bait you may mark on your fish finder should you be in a boat otherwise a good spot to start includes either side of the Bridge on the run out tide, in particular the drop off on Bermagui side of the bridge on the western side. The lake will also produce Tailor for those casting poppers from it's edges or in the boat. Circling Terns and even the odd sea gull and sprays of bait fish from the surface are sure signs both Tailor and quite often Salmon are feeding. Kayaks are a good way to not only see the system but pursue it's many fish species. The use of Metal Vibes in the deeper water of 2-8m across the lake provide a very versatile alternative that worked very slowly and kept on the bottom will cover most species the lake has to offer including Flounder and pan size Snapper. Those bait fishing can use many methods whether unweighted nippers cast onto the shallows through to a whole pilchard fished beneath a float around the bridge area or the simple prawn or strip bait of mackerel or tuna using a sinker straight to the hook. Which ever you prefer the lake is certainly worth the effort now whereas previous years have been hard work. Much of the above is applicable to Corunna and our local river mouths.


Offshore 10 June 2010

Water temperatures play a key role in what species we may encounter and where the are likely to hold on any given day. This season is a late one and we've seen Yellow Fin, Dolphin Fish and Marlin all captured again last week even though water temperatures have cooled considerably to now range between 19-20.5 degrees. We also saw the first Southern Blue Fin Tuna of the season landed with visiting customers from Warrnambool in Victoria landed four of these fish of between 35-45kg. On that day they also landed Yellow Fin Tuna to 55kg. The Blue Fin were taken trolling lures whilst the Yellow Fin of that size are still being taken mainly by those cubing. Odds are now that 3 out of 5 boats cubing for 'fin' will land a Tuna or two most days but persistence is the key and a minimum 4 hour session is often required. Over the past couple of weeks the fish are becoming more apparent in closer toward the shelf and with these fishes stomach contents often Yellowtail then they are certainly beginning to feed inside the 100 fathom line. Albacore are not in any great numbers and on the next moon we will expect to see greater numbers of Southern Blue Fin Tuna.


Another Broadbill capture was made last week and it was Rob Bexterman fishing out of his own boat 'Blue Yonda' who landed the pictured 167kg fish at the end of a day's cubing for Yellow Fin Tuna. Rob had a large whole squid bait down deep and the fish took the bait some time before they realised he had. After 30 minutes fighting the fish to the boat it was another 45 minutes until the fish was brought on board. An awesome result, a dream fish for many on rod & reel and a record claim is likely.


Montague Island is still producing Kingfish and some great Snapper fishing continues on the western side and south western areas. For some the only thing stopping the Snapper captures is the hook-ups occurring on smaller Kingfish as they are that thick some days. The days following the heavy seas of late have made for some nice Snapper to be caught on the 4 & 6 Mile Reefs. Such seas have also made for a good opportunity to cast metals from the sheltered rocks ledges where mainly Salmon and Tailor are on offer but a Kingfish of good sized can be encountered. Surf fishing is good for salmon but heavy seas have made it difficult at times.


3 June 2010

Water temps are down below 20 degrees consistently now over the shelf and inside the edge it's 19.5 degrees. We landed a nice fin of 45kg yesterday and an Albacore again on the cube. Cubing seems to be the go still although a couple of customers from Melbourne from landed a couple on the troll yesterday of around 30kg whilst Bruce Farmer also landed one of tuna of 20kg. We have seen very little fish taken on the live bait. After last weeks blow we would expect to see a few tuna's in closer now on the 12 Mile and one fish we cut up was full of Yellow tail so we'll assume he's been inside the edge feeding where bait is more likely to be holding.


19 May 2010

The current has eased and water temperatures have dropped considerably over the shelf in recent days to below 21 degrees and down to 19 in some places and this has seen the tuna's move in with good numbers of fish being taken on the cube. All fish are over 45kg and only the odd rat is being taken on the troll. Next week will be prime time for tuna and the weather looks good all week. There are plenty of marlin on the edge inside 100 fathoms and those still wishing to land a beakie this season will have a good chance of doing so. Some vessels are seeing up to 15 fish on any given day but most boats here want tuna and are driving over them to get to the fin. Kingies have been great at the Island but the current has slowed down and may start running to the north a again for a few days slowing this bite down. All rivers are fishing well for Bream and Flathead and hard bodies lures on structure and metals vibes will come in to their own from now on. Salmon on the headlands and ledges are in good numbers and we've landed some nice Drummer, Tailor and Bream off the rocks also.


19 May 2010

The Yellow Fins' are absent this week but the Kingfish are on solid at the Island with plenty of fish to over 90cm taken on the jig. SST's are certainly pointing toward a good marlin bite and up to 19 fish were seen today by one boat alone. The 12 Mile reef is holding good numbers of these fish. Dolphin Fish and Spearfish are still also on the agenda. Gummy Sharks and Flathead are in good numbers of the usual northern haunts like Camel, The Step and Cemetery. Snapper are in better numbers now on the 4 and 6 Mile reefs than in close, but it's that time of year. Water temps and above 23 degrees inside the shelf and down to below 20 degrees over the 1000 fathom line.


Looks like the season is going to be very late and the thickest of the YFT bite is likely to be in June and July...then hopefully it's big Blue Fin on the Menu.


13 May 2010

A 100lb Yellow Fin Tuna is a dream fish for many that visit the region during April and May. Fish of this size have been caught regularly in the past month by those dedicated to cubing in our offshore waters. In recent years good numbers of tuna's have not presented themselves until late May and Early June however since early April this year we have seen good numbers of such fish captured largely between 600 fathoms to beyond the 1000 fathom line. Whilst the majority of tuna landed whilst towing hard bodied and skirted lures are so called 'Rats' of between 6-10kg only a handful of larger fish have been taken on the troll. The heaviest being 'Hotshots' 82kg model which is an impressive fish by any means, the fish ate a Halco Laser Pro 190DD which remains a must in your spread of lures whilst pursuing such fish. Secondly, Darren Buttigieg's 78kg fin which ate a skirted lure whilst working the southern sea mount wide of Montague Island was a great fish it was hooked up while the neighbouring boat was hooked up to a Striped Marlin. There are no rules when it comes to defining the boundaries that determine where these fish may or may not be on any given day. The warmer waters most fin captures have occurred in clearly show how different this season really is. Many of the Yellow Fin landed have come out of 22-23.5 degree water whereas we would 'normally' be pursuing these fish in water temperatures more suited to such fish like that between 18-21 degrees or  along clear temperature breaks found offshore. Despite tuna season being under way those still wanting to satisfy their hunger for a Striped Marlin will still find these fish holding inside 200 fathoms and current sea surface charts clearly highlight some areas that are likely to hold such fish where currents are slower and bait levels remain good, in particular the 12 Mile reef and the lower end of Tuross Canyons and too inside the 'Kink'.


In coming weeks the tuna's will increase in numbers and cooler water behind the warm front hugging the coast at present will produce conditions much more suited to these fish. The 25 degree water (current) that pushed in last week certainly reduced any chances of a tuna capture not that the weather allowed any vessels to hit the water for most of the week. This water actually produced a few Dolphin Fish for those cubing and little else. When this report goes to print we hope the strong SW winds have rolled the water over and slowed the current somewhat making it a little easier to go cubing as this method has produced plenty of fish of 50kg in recent weeks.


Local beaches are holding Salmon most days and those spinning metals for Tailor are getting some nice fish to 600gm. Bream off beach at the bottom of Long Swamp, Cuttagee's mouth and Wallaga Lakes opening are of good size not the usual wafer thin variety we've seen in recent years, I gather open estuaries this season with plenty of bait in the form of gars, mullet a variety of smaller bait sized fish is providing plenty of food for predators schooling at the many inlets north and south of the township. The water has remained warm enough to pull a few flathead out of on most lure types but soft plastics and metal blades will come into the own for these fish as the waters cool further. Bream numbers have picked up in the rivers and a few hour session in the river here with some burley and fresh bait on the run up tide will produce a feed of Bream for sure. As more Bream take residence on the snags up river in coming weeks small hard bodied sinking and suspending lures will be a must for those fishing structure. The bridge pilons are holding good numbers of larger Trevally and Bream and they are fished for early morning and little or no breeze is an advantage.


Drummer off the rocks in many locations are of size and after last weeks swell and seas things should be stirred up just nicely for these fish to bite and so too inshore Snapper fishing. The fishing grounds to our north in particular Camel Rock and Cemetery are producing some good Sandy Flathead in 30-40m of water. Montague Island is certainly fishing well for Morwong and Snapper and they are reasonable specimens at that. The current ran up hill for most of the month slowing the Kingfish bite although a few have been taken on the gravel at the bottom end of the Island and close to Auginish Rocks.


10 May 2010

Sunday fished better Saturday. Marlin remain just over the shelf with a couple landed by those chasing tuna's on the troll whilst only smaller Yellow Fin are being taken on lures. A view boats saw a number of free jumpers. Mr Hooker went 1 from 3 to the north. A couple of vessels deep sea fish off Bunga Canyons more than 5 marlin for the morning. Anyway tuna's are the main focus and those cubing solid again landed fish. All tuna's we weighed in on the weekend were over 40kg. No big ones over the past few days that we have seen. It is taking at least 4 hours for many to bring these fish up and short cube sessions are rarely producing fish. The charts look great and the weather looks bad at least for the next couple of days unless it copies last week and swings below Tathra allowing those here to fish.


1 May 2010

The solid marlin bite eased mid-April to make way for the tuna's that slowly made their way into fishable areas over the 1000 fathom line and then inside that line toward 1st drop off (100 fathom line) late last month. Prior to that commercial vessels were amongst these fish for a couple months well out to sea (50-100km offshore) where sizeable Yellow Fin and Big Eye tuna's were common captures. Those cubing in recent weeks have landed plenty of nice. The positives for this season include the average size of these fish as we have not seen or weighed in many fish under 45kg. The smaller fish are fewer and largely taken whilst trolling.


Last Thursday (29th April) evening's strong winds turned the water over so Friday and Saturday it was a little hard gauge which way to go with water temperatures sporadic and tuna's then up high feeding hard on sauries as seen by many boats on the water. Therefore, those cubing struggled for a couple of days whilst a few small tuna's were taken on the troll and a couple of real nice ones including Darren Buttigieg's 78kg fish were taken over the weekend. Basically, last weekend's conditions returned the marlin bite to some extent and the best tuna fishing was below Bermagui toward Tathra Canyons. Conditions have now improved and are more suited to tuna and they will return to the bite for those cubing again this week. Highlights over the weekend included Brian Schofields 50kg fin on 8kg and another of 48kg on 15kg line classes. Geoff McMahon's boat last weekend also fishing Tathra Canyons landed a marlin, a 106kg Broadbill and a 50kg Yellow Fin......an awesome trifecta.


Whilst the current remains pushing north at Montague Island some nice Kingfish have been taken below the Island in areas such as Auginish Rocks and the 'Fowl House'. The seals remain a problem and are accounting for a number of fish including plenty of good size Snapper and Morwong which have been fairly consistent at the Island this year. Those fishing deep on the continental shelf landed some good Blue Eye Trevalla over the week end including Graham Darlington catch of 5 fish between 12-16kg and 'Four Play's' 8 fish of smaller size amongst some Gemfish and the odd Ling.


NB: We have stocked up with plenty of 10kg boxes of big IQF pilchards which are now the preferred option to those cubing the area. Local boxed pilchards are also in good supply and all under $40 a box.


25 April 2010

One of the best marlin bites in years is at present with vessels reporting seeing over 40 fish in a day and plenty bait ball activity. The heat of the bite has pushed further north above Tuross Canyons but in saying that a few fish popped up out the front in the past two days also. Some nice Yellow Fin Tuna on the 1000 fathom line for those dedicated to the cube. Kings have settled but some good in close reef fishing for Snapper and Flathead with the odd sizeable Gummy are worth pursuing off the Step.


9 April 2010

The solid marlin bite continues with good numbers of fish seen and tagged in recent days. Even this morning Crusty had a double hook up whilst 'She's Left' has 1 from 2 all by 10am and they hadn't even made it to Tuross. So we will see these fish out the front now. Kingfish and good Snapper remain apparent at the Island and in close south to Goalen Head. Flathead fishing was very slow for many but they have returned to the chew off Camel, The Step and Cemetery in recent days. All estuaries are loaded with bait and good sized garfish have been readily taken by some. Salmon and Bonito remain of the headlands. The Bonito are smaller at present. Tailor and Bream remain catchable off the beaches. It moving in to tuna time and fish to 20kg have been taken on the 4 Mile Reef. We will overlap now into tuna's but are most likely to see the good marlin bite continue also.


12 March 2010

A quiet couple of weeks on the marlin front with only one or two captures each day whilst the strong currents over the shelf have produced a few Yellow Fin to 8kg it is only in the last day or so we have seen some bait starting to hold again on the 12 Mile, Bait hole and the Kink. Southern Aurora had a nice Blue of 400-450lb on last week and targeting Blue Marlin specifically is not a bad option as we have had a good run of Blue's this year with some nice specimens caught inside the shelf. Between 500-1000 fathoms is more likely to hold these fish. Yesterday saw 'Slammer' tag one fish from two bites and Sika, Shadow Dancer and a couple of other trailer boats took fish. The weather for the coming week through until Thursday night looks great and plenty of vessels will be again heading to the Island to capitalise on a good run of kingfish to 10kg of which are largely being taken on the Jig on the northern end of the Island. Drifting with fresh strip bait of local squid or slimey mackerel also works a treat. A heavy paternoster rig with a single dropper made out of at least 80lb monofilament is the go. A heavy duty 3-way swivel does assist this rig somewhat and allows you to pin a live bait on the rig also through the nose to drift with. Bait fishing is best on the western edge. Remember you can not use bait on the northern end of the Island in the habitat protection zone as it is a place where only trolling or jigging is allowed.


22 February 2010

Water temperatures have settled back down to below 23 degrees obviously much better suited to marlin fishing on the south coast. Given we have had in excess of 20 inches of rain for the month and so too various places to our north the ocean has been dirty and whilst improving it will take a few more days. In saying that the marlin seem more concerned with finding clearer water where they are holding in good numbers. There are plenty of fish off shore and north to Tuross Canyons and most hooks up have occurred in the better cooler clear water. Wobbles of 'Hotshot' took 4 from 6 Friday and 3 Saturday gone, Stu Hull on 'See Bee' got 3 yesterday also. A number of Trailer boats got fish and 'Bill Raiser' captured a 140kg Blue Marlin with one boat taking 6 fish for the Saturday.


SST's remain in our favour but the fish are basically here at present and let's hope the main bite of the season thus far continues through march. Dolphin to 10kg are not uncommon and despite the slight fall in water temps they are still on floating structure that continues to move down current along the shelf line. We had a few vessels last week catching Yellow Fin Tuna to 25kg some catching their limit on the day. There are some solid Blue Marlin in similar water and a couple have been lost again this week.


Waters in the local estuaries have cleared somewhat and the Bermagui River, Wapengo and Wallaga Lake are all producing good captures of Bream, Flathead and Whiting. Snapper and Garfish being on offer in Wallaga Lake along with some large Tailor in and out side the lake's mouth. Pilchards suspended under a float whist drifting in these water are a good sleeper rig whilst you may be using your other rods for casting lures or drifting the bottom at the same time. Those fishing lures both hard and soft are doing very well. Gulp's are a stand out in Wallaga lake, maybe this is more a function of the number of people determined to use them only given their ongoing success. large flick baits, wriggler, shads and fish styles across a number of brands work very well in particular the Squidgy Pro Lobby in the largest size.


Local Beaches are fishing the best they have in a couple of years with Wallaga Lake mouth a stand out for large Tailor, good sized Salmon and fat Bream although the second big rain downpour change the gutter structure there and it is not as good as previous week. More attention is now focused on the recent success of anglers at Cuttagee, Long Swamp and Hayward's. Mulloway to 6kg are certainly worth targeting and just as we get as excited about bait choice we see time and time again it is also very important to simply find them as these school sized fish are indeed schooling in particular on and around new and full moon phases.


4 February 2010

We've been punished by the weather this past week and no-ones really going anywhere until Saturday at the earliest. Prior to that marlin remain offshore and a few 5-10kg Yellow Fin Tuna's are amongst them. Water temps are holding between 21-24 degrees and look to do so for a while yet. SST charts remain positive with the best bites yet to come as far as marlin are concerned. Dave Cassar spent 4.5 hours on a Blue Marlin in full view of many other vessels unfortunately losing the fish as it chaffed out the 250lb leader in use for smaller marlin of the striped variety. Special mention goes to Joel Death who at 12 years of age landed a pending new Australian and NSW record for a Junior on 15kg tackle (also the all tackle Junior record) of 141.6kg. An incredible result.


Good flathead and Gummy Shark captures continue to the north off Tilba and Cemetery. Kingfish have slowed down at the Island but will return to the chew on the back of a little more current running to the south but without a little run there's no fun ('run' being current of course).


Gummy's and Bronzies off the beach are a likely capture where targeting these fish on both the northern and southern surf areas. Salmon numbers and size remain sporadic both bait and the spinning of your favourite slug will produce fish. Surface fishing the racks remains productive and those popping across the flats are picking up a few flathead and bream amongst their whiting captures. Pan size Flounder are not uncommon where using hard or soft lures across the flats or on the weed edges.


Bait fishing around the bridge remains productive so too the boat ramp where local mackerel fillets continue to produce a nice bag of bream, flathead and trevally. No rock fishing is occurring obviously with the inclement conditions but once this settles down there will be some good Drummer fishing on the agenda. Also the fresh water pushing down our river mouth will provide the right conditions for Tailor, Salmon and Mulloway off the Rock wall, marina entrance and local rock ledges.


Wallaga Lake continues to produce plenty of legal sized Snapper and good sized Tailor. A pilchard suspended under a float on a large single hook or gangs is good for tailor as with spinning metals or trolling. The Snapper will eat most larger soft lures on offer with Larger Jerk shad's being preferred in Cajun Chicken or Pink Shine etc.


15 January 2010

The push of warm water discussed last month in to our offshore reaches has proven quite productive with high levels of bait in many areas in particular between 70-110 fathoms. Water temperatures have been between 21-24 degrees and inside the 100 fathom line where less current prevails plenty of Slimy Mackerel have been holding where the continental shelf itself creates an up welling of cooler water and food stuffs creating the right environment for bait to stay within. Between Christmas and New Year a solid marlin bite occurred and on some days individual boats were able to raise multiple fish. Both lures and skip baits being highly effective, obviously the conversion rate on lures is considerably lower than skip baiting and switch baiting. Teasing a marlin and then feeding live bait back to it is highly effective as long as you have the people on board to manage the method. Key areas holding fish include the 12 Mile Reef, Bait Hole, inside Bermagui Canyons and the ‘Kink’. Should the pattern of ocean currents hold similar to what it is today we’re looking at a reasonable marlin season. Most of the fish range in size between 75-90kg at this stage with the odd to 110kg. Wide of the shelf where the current picks up some boats have stumbled across smaller Yellow Fin Tuna to 10kg and even a few 2kg models have eaten whole Slimy Mackerel rigged as skip baits. Highlights included Wobbles of Hotshot taking 5 marlin after 4pm last Thursday afternoon. Dave Cassar of Slammer got 2 from 3 the following day.


The run of Kingfish continue and have provided a mixed day offshore where some boats have headed to the Island in the morning to catch a feed of kingies and managed a marlin wide of there in the afternoon. The Tru Dee V managed do this 3 days in a row and landed 2 of the marlin switch baiting on a spin rod and reel (Saltiga 6500 and T-Curve 15-24kg Spin loaded with 60lb Super PE). The kings are fickle and the use of jigs will more often than not landed you plenty of undersize fish and the odd keeper, even jig choice can determine whether a size or under size will result. The use of soft plastics is highly effective as long as the bait is more than 4 inches in length it will generally produce fish but ensure your jig head weight is sufficient to work the bait properly in line with how much current there is on the day. Live baiting and fresh strip bait of squid or cuttlefish continue to produce fish most days. The Island has shut down a couple of times when the northerly current has eased but not for more than a day or so and many return home with a few keepers and have thrown plenty of undersize (<65cm) fish back.


The lack of rainfall in recent months has lead to local estuaries staying closed and water levels within them a falling quickly. This has resulted in better fishing in places like Wallaga Lake where legal size Snapper are being caught regularly, Tailor of good size can be taken readily on poppers and pillies or strip baits drifted beneath a float. Those trolling new and old school 1-3m diver lures around the edges are catching Flathead of good eating size between 40-45cm. Only a handful of larger models have been landed whilst whiting and bream on the flats in the lake beneath the powerlines are worth a bash with either surface lures or lightly weighted soft lures such as 2 inch Gulp shrimps and Squidgy wrigglers.


It seems that with the closure of so many local estuaries small school sized Mulloway are becoming a more common capture along numerous beaches, the majority of these fish are around 3-4kg and some beaches to the north of the township have produced fish to 10kg on occasion. We can only assume these fish want to move in through the estuary mouths this time of year but are not able to and therefore are holding on the beaches often in good sized schools. Despite not prime time for Drummer they are being taken regularly from the rocks and cabbage has worked as well as cooked prawn and Cunjevoi this month. Those spinning from the rocks have been catching Salmon of reasonable size and the odd Tailor. We have only seen a couple of smaller Kings this month amongst it. Calamaris are patchy and the larger cheaper style jigs seem to work best. Areas to try are the rock walls in the harbour, the Blue Pool, 1st and 2nd point.


The use of poppers across the flats continues to gain momentum and over the past 5 years it has produced some excellent captures from whiting to Bream to Flathead and when surface temperatures peaked during this past fortnight there was a lot of fun had by all whether using the cheaper Sure catch lures through to high end Japanese stick baits such as Fakie Dogs, Sugerpen 70’s or Gunfish 75’s etc. The river is producing better sized Duskies but remember the larger fish are a breeding female and their release is certainly preferred.


12 December 2009

The focus of many local and visiting anglers has been centred on the solid run of Kingfish at Montague Island in recent weeks. Whilst often a fickle species on any given day captures have remained consistent and patches of fish to 8kg are on offer around the ‘Fowl House’, Anguish Rocks and the northern end of the Island. Fish to 15kg have been reported and those slow trolling or drifting with larger live baits (Slimy Mackerel) weighted and unweighted have had good success and often producing better fish and the other benefit of the slow troll is the area of water covered in the process. This technique is however, not an option on the north end of the Island where you may only troll artificial lures or jig. There are many fish undersize (less than 65cm) but legal size fish are often amongst them or holding nearby. Even a change of jig on the day can result in larger fish being pulled from amongst the smaller fish. Moving around and closely watching your sounder to mark further fish to drop a jig onto will soon help in finding where Kingies of a better size are holding. A Stronger current will require larger jigs to 300gm but 250gm is often enough and if the current has eased then 90-150gm jigs will work as required. There’s a plethora of jigs on the market across all prices points but consistent producers of fish include Sydney Slammers (250gm) which will work even when paints off them and River2Sea Spike jigs in all three colors in the 120, 150 & 230gm colors, Sea Rocks are also handy to have in the 90gm. There are some cheaper jigs out there so simply give them a bend to see how tough they will be as some will bend easily and also drop their paint immediately whilst others will handle plenty of fish. Assist hooks from 4/0 to 8/0 are fine just make sure they are keeping their point and swing freely sitting in line with the jig. It is preferred by some if the assist hook is attached to the same solid ring as the main line so you remain in direct contact with the fish eliminate the jig from freely jerking on a hooked fishes mouth. Your split ring is therefore attached to the top of the jig. Surecatch have a well priced product of two welded rings joined with a split ring attached which is very user friendly to those getting started and the more experienced of jiggers. Kingfish have been in the bay and a few have been landed of the rocks and from boats in recent weeks, there are some good fish amongst but we only seen one of legal size. Plenty of nice Calamari holding in and outside the harbour and in the bay has been helpful in keeping these fish close by.


Wallaga Lake has fished poorly in recent years relative to times past and the fact this system is closed to ocean has not helped but in recent weeks Snapper of legal size are quite common and Flathead too have been caught on bait and lure regularly. A few Tailor are available and last week we weighed in a 5.4kg specimen caught by Tony Kelly whilst trolling. Surface fishing for both whiting on the flats and Bream on structure has picked up considerably. Preferred lures across the flats remain the Sugar pen 70, the ‘new’ Zappa 55 and Lucky craft’s Gunfish 75. There’s plenty of options on the market from leading lure manufacturers but when long casts and an easy to walk or pop action is required these are hard to beat. Fishing structure with sinking or suspending minnows or stick baits is covered off with endless styles and types and most anglers will have a different favorite to the next. Ecogear’s SX range is right up there and a good place to start for those seeking a lure with a proven track record from then on it’s how big is your budget and feeding the habit.


It seems the spring run of yellow Fin this year was almost a non-event for many, we have weighed a few in to 35kg but the bite was very sporadic. Fresh current of 21 degrees in temperature out wide of good blue colour will have tuna’s in it. Perhaps more likely to be smaller yellow Fin but somewhere over the edge the first marlin of the season will be hooked shortly with a few captures off Batemans Bay reported in the past week. Reef fishing remains productive with good sized Sand and Tiger Flathead to the north and south of the township, depth of which fish are holding varies and good captures have occurred in water from 30-90m in depth. The Flathead are patchy so make good use of your GPS to hold over fish with repeated drifts where the bites are best. We’ve seen plenty more good sized Rubber lip and Jackass Morwong the Snapper but below Bunga there have been some nice Snapper and also at Montague Island’s south western corner on occasion. The Brogo Bass Bash was held on the weekend of the 5th & 6th of December in a dam at 20% of it’s capacity and plenty of smaller fish were landed. The total number of fish caught was 1005 by 80 competitors in fairly weedy water. The event finally experienced fine weather for the first time in recent years. Staff member James, Andy Caves and Chris Burns won the champion team category with 191 bass whilst Andy Caves was individual Champion with 88 fish. Bermagui Bait & Tackle proudly sponsored the event and looks forward to being a part of the event in 2010.