Canberra Yellowfin Tuna Tournament coming up at Bermagui

Anglers can expect some big catches in the annual Canberra Yellowfin Tuna Tournament being held at Bermagui on May 14-16.

Pro boats report that big numbers of yellowfin, together with a few bigeye tuna have been gathering wide of Bermagui and they have taken up to five tonnes in a shot with their longlines, with fish in the 40 to 50kg range. 

Some of the best fish have been taken just over The Shelf, within easy reach of recreational boats. Even better, they have been hungry, taking yellowtail, slimey mackerel and frigate mackerel baits with gusto. 

Some of the fish have been huge, with dorsal and anal fins extending beyond the tail, which is a rough guide to size used by pros and recreational anglers. The longer the fins, the heavier the fish. 

The competition has a prize pool of more than $400,000 and a $5000 angler lucky draw, organised by the hosts, the Canberra Game Fishing Club and is their premier event of the year. A large number of local and interstate anglers are expected to participate. 

Josh Mccue from Bermagui Bait and Tackle said the tournament was a big boost for the town’s economy with trailer boats coming from Melbourne and Sydney, and the anglers spending at motels, restaurants and the pub and club.

How many boats fished each year was weather dependent with trailer boat skippers making the call before embarking on the long journey up or down the highway, he said. As many as 80 per cent of the bigger, moored game boats typically fished the tournament. 

An added drawcard this year is the chance of encountering a greatly sought after bluefin tuna. Some early specimens in the current annual migration north from Victorian waters have been seen on the Far South Coast and fish to 80 kilograms have been taken near Marlo, just a few days swimming from Bermagui. Bluefin are highly prized as sport and table fish and as sashimi are considered the best tasting in the world.

Further details of the competition can be obtained from Greg Campbell on 0417 209 612 or Marco Imbriano on 0421 049 191