OFFSHORE fishing out of Narooma has seen both extremes this week, with fish on one day - off the next.
This pattern has proven to be most annoying to those fishing the “off” days, but very rewarding for those at the right spot on the right day.
The best bluefin fishing for a couple of years was on Saturday, with almost all boats fishing due east of Bermagui catching bluefin in the 50 - 80kg range and the occasional monster over 100kg
Fishers caught bluefin trolling, cubing, jigging, using poppers, and with live baits. It was one of those magic days when everything seemed to work.
Some visiting and local spearfishermen nailed nice bluefin amongst the fleet of boats on Saturday.
Luckily they exited the water shortly before a massive mako shark made an appearance, and took a very large bluefin off a Victorian angler's line.
Sunday was a totally different story, with “The Sheriff” landing a 70kg yellowfin and two boats landing reasonable bluefin.
That was three fish from approximately 50 boats. Definitely not a good day for fishing…
When cooking tuna steaks, remember to ensure that you do not overcook the tuna. Chefs insist that tuna should be served medium-rare.
For those fishers not wanting to go too far from home, good catches of plate sized snapper have been taken around Montague Island.
Flathead have been patchy over the last week, but fishers who have been moving around to their favourite spots have been getting the results.
There have been massive schools of slimy mackerel just offshore, at the moment salmon and tailor are filling up on these, but don't be surprised if the tuna come inshore for a quick feed.
With the water temperature still around 16c inshore and over 18c over the Shelf, anything could happen, so be prepared.
Tip of the week: If you want to freeze tuna fillets, first bleed the fish on capture, fillet and then freeze.
Never rinse in fresh water, and don't expose the fillets to ice made with fresh water. Any exposure to fresh water will turn the fillet brown when it's defrosted.
Fishing Joke of the week: - Judge: Defendant, you are charged with fishing without a permit and catching 18 snapper. How do you plead?
- Defendant: I confess. But I have a request.
- Defendant: Can I get a few copies of the summons, so I could prove it to my friends?
Plenty tales of big bluefin tuna
THERE are plenty of fishing tales going around at the moment about the big bluefin tuna that did or didn’t get away.
The front page picture of the little kids and the tuna is probably worth explaining.
Dad Brett McDonald while fishing on the shelf out of Bermagui on Saturday put his six-year-old son Hunter onto a fish that happily came up and took a bait at the back of the boat.
Using 15kg line the young lad, who himself weighs 25kg, managed to bring in the 41kg fish after a 10 or 15 minute battle.
Bluefin are known for their big initial run, but after holding on for that run, Hunter was able to bring the tuna to the surface himself.
Dad did have to help out when the fish swam under the boat.
Also on board was Hunter’s brother Tommy, aged 5, who also had a bluefin on with only 8kg line.
Dad says this fish took a huge smoking run totally spooling the reel of around 450m of 8kg line.
There was also tale of loss on board Wazza Stubbs’ Lighthouse Charters boat on Monday when client Brett Zimmer from Canberra hooked a monster bluefin at 3.30pm.
After a 3.5-hour fight this fish was far from done and was popped off in the darkness to fight another day!
“Was an amazing effort,” Wazza said.
Getting in early on the action was Benny Boulton from Charter Fish Narooma who on Thursday with the help of deckie Ian ‘Hoots’ Cowie put his client Eddie from Canberra onto the fish.
At one point they had a five way hook up and lots of work for the deckie.
There were also some good times on board the charter boat Sheriff now operated by skipper Jason Bunney with deckie Matt Betts.
Regular customer Ash from Melbourne on Sunday hooked up to a 62kg yellowfin tuna that took a deep diver trolled in the prop wash 10 meters behind the boat.
The fish was Ash's PB yellowfin tuna and he was also fortunate to be on board the Sherriff for Saturday’s bluefin action as well.
“One very happy punter with plenty of stories to tell his fisho mates once he returns home,” Jason said.
One of the earliest catches was made by Peter Davies of Narooma with crew Benn Boulton from Charter Fish Narooma and mates Darren Clarke and Tony Lawson got a nice bluefin caught a couple of mile south of the southern sea mountain off Narooma on board his boat All Torque on Tuesday.
David and crew from Melbourne
If you were trying to get a seat at the Bermagui bowling club for dinner Sunday night, you could have been mistaken that it was Christmas holiday time; there was not a seat left in the Bistro.
That’s just what happens when the Southern Bluefin tuna are on the bite.
The run of tuna offshore has lured many anglers from Victoria to Bermagui in search of a different class of fish to that experienced in Victorian waters. Portland in Victoria’s far west has just experienced one of the best tuna seasons on record, however the fishing is different.
The Victorian catch is dominated by 15 – 25 kilo fish and then there is the barrels, the fish over 100 kilograms, but nothing in between.
Offshore from Bermagui, the current run of tuna is dominated by 60 kilo fish, and it’s the lure of this class of fish that has Victorians wearing a path along highway No.1 to Bermagui.
Regular visitor to Narooma, David Kramer has just made a dashing visit, bringing some of his Tackle World staff so that they too can experience this class of tuna fishing.
In 40 hours, David and his team travelled 1400kms by road, 150kms by sea and went home very wary but happy anglers having had a great day fishing for tuna.
David said “The fish were well south on Monday, and once the school was located and the radio call went out, more than 50 boats congregated on the area and at one stage every single boat was hooked up to a tuna.”
David went on to say: “The run of southern bluefin tuna off the South Coast of NSW is fast becoming a ‘must do’ for Victorian anglers and the local area can only expect this run of tuna to attract more and more visiting Victorian anglers each year as the words spreads.”