For fishing, Bermagui has always been my ideal location. I grew up with my father bringing me there to fish, and now I go when I can. It’s one of the places where the continental shelf is close to the shore, so it doesn’t take long to get into very deep water. It is also renown for the migration of Marlin and tuna (Yellowfin, Bluefin and Albacore).
Bermagui is a town on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia in the Bega Valley Shire.
Game Fishing in Bermagui
Game Fishing is dependent upon warm currents flowing southward over the continental shelf. This warm water carries a great quantity of Pilchards, Mackerel and other small surface fish known as bait fish. These bait fish attract larger predatory fish such as tuna, sharks and marlin. Bermagui is only 11 nautical miles from the shelf presenting easy access for game fishermen.
The first of the game fish to appear are usually tuna. Yellowfin, Bluefin and Albacore appear over the shelf around mid November closely followed by Marlin. During the peak period, January – May, water temperature rises to as high as 25 degrees Celsius and usually captured during the period 95% of those Marlin are tagged and released.
Other exotic fish also appear during this period. They include Broadbill, Wahoo, Cobia, Dolphinfish, Short Billed SwordFish and sometimes Sailfish. Sharks also move in and come in various species, Hammerhead, Tiger, Thresher, Bronze Whaler are all common but Mako and Blues are usually the most prolific. This activity lasts through Summer and Autumn until water temperature drops back to 20 degrees Celsius when Marlin and the other exotics move on but Yellowfin and Albacore return. These Tuna usually remain through May, June and July but have been known to stay longer. The largest Marlin captured at Bermagui was a Blue Marlin weighing 421kg captured in March 2000.
Deep Sea Fishing in Bermagui
This category covers fishing the floor of the ocean on sand flats. Flathead is the most common species caught usually by drifting over the sandy bottom using a line with two or three baits attached. Flathead can be found at any depth from 10 – 120 metres. The most prolific area of Bermagui for large Flathead is north of the port directly east of Mount Dromadery, an area known as the step off Tilba. The depth of water fished there is between 28 – 40 metres and Flathead are there all year but does slow down in winter.
Other popular areas are Camel Rock in 30 – 40 metres, inside the 4-mile reef at 50 – 60 metres, Beares Beach in 15 – 20 metres and off Cuttagee Beach in 20 – 30 metres. Other species often caught in these Flathead areas are Gummy Sharks, Gurnard and seasonal travellers such as Mackerel and Barracouta.
Reef Fishing in Bermagui
Bermagui is blessed with many productive reefs at various depths. The most renown being the four mile reef which is due east in 60 metres, the six mile reef in 65 – 70 metres south east of the port, the twelve mile reef also south east but further out in 120 metres, the Brothers reef due south in 50 metres and further south there area number of shallow reefs off the Golan Head peninsular.
Species common on all these reefs are Snapper, Rubber lipped Morwong, Jackass Morwong, LeatherJackets, various rock cod and Wrasse and during summer and autumn Kingfish. The twelve mile reef also offers Tasmanian Trumpeter through the summer months.
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