Vessels fall to the lure of Bermagui bluefin

TWO more local fishing boats required tow-ins into Bermagui from the continental shelf today as the bluefin tuna bonanza heats up.

The lure of big surface-feeding bluefin tuna saw more than 100 trailer boats depart Bermagui harbour today, Saturday, alone for the current hotspot about 40 to 50km offshore.

A local flybridge cruiser required towing by Marine Rescue Bermagui on Thursday, and volunteers were again called to rescue a local trailer fishing boat stranded offshore.

A third boat was being towed in on Saturday evening reportedly by fellow fishing boat after it too experienced engine problems.

The two vessels on Saturday experienced engine problems and did not run out fuel.

Bermagui Bait & Tackle Scott Bradley said with that many boats out it was expected that there would be the occasional break down.

Using sea surface charts, he had been directing boats onto the broken temperature lines where tuna up to 90kg had been feeding on the surface, with cubing being one of the main techniques.

The surface action was attracting boats from far and wide, including angler from Portland, Victoria, which also experienced and continues to experience a great bluefin run.

Bradley said the surface action was great and the fish were coming right up to boats, leading anglers to try different methods from jigging to fly fishing.

Skipper Benny Boulton reports he had an awesome on Thursday for private client Eddie from Canberra, aboard his Charter Fish Narooma boat Nitro.

There was a five way hook up on lures. Bluefin from 60 to 90kg. "Not bad for an hour or so trolling!"

Marine Rescue operation

NSW Police Force Marine Area Command at Eden tasked the Marine Rescue crew at 10.30am to rescue the 8.3m boat adrift 24 nautical miles (24km) out to sea with four people on board.

Rescue vessel Bermagui 30 with crew members Steven Angelo, Ray McLeod and Mark Donnelly aboard brought the vessel back by mid afternoon.

On Thursday, this same rescue crew undertook a marathon 10-hour operation when a 10m flybridge cruiser with six people on board ran out of fuel 35 nautical miles (65km) out, on the edge of the Continental Shelf.

Acting Monaro Regional Controller Glenn Sullivan said Saturday’s operation took place in less favourable conditions than on Thursday, with a Strong Wind Warning current for Eden and Batemans waters.

“There is a run of tuna on out wide at present and this seems to be attracting these vessels. I strongly urge anyone else planning to go offshore fishing to ensure that they carry sufficient fuel for the journey,” Mr Sullivan said.

“A good rule of thumb is to give yourself a third of the tank to get where you’re going, a third to get back and a third in reserve for the unexpected.  

“Once again, these boaters are fortunate that Marine Rescue NSW has the skilled and experienced volunteers and the modern and reliable vessels and technology vital to undertake rescue operations on this scale.”