Thursday, February 29, 2024

Boom or bust – Fishing World’s tuna expedition

AS you read this, I’ll hopefully be floating around about 25 nautical miles north-east of Bermagui on the NSW South Coast with southern bluefin tuna the size of beer kegs busting up behind my boat.

“Bermi” has been going off in the past few days with big numbers of solid SBTs biting since the weekend. Last night I spoke with Fisho columnist Dean Butler, who’s fishing out of this iconic gamefishing township with a crew aboard Blue Dog chasing broadbill swordfish. Butler told me the SBTs were thick.
“We could have caught them all day,” he said.
“They were schooled up behind the boat and we just fed them pillies.” The biggest tuna the boys on Blue Dog caught weighed in at 73 kilos.
And then Chris Beldon from Rapala texted me to let me know that some of his mates fishing down Bermi way had had a blinder day, catching the hell out of fish in the 30-50 kilo range.

I cancelled everything and immediately made plans to head down to Bermagui. All going well, we left my place near Jervis Bay at about 8pm last night with the Fisho Bar Crusher in tow. We planned to sleep at the boat ramp at Bermi and hit the water at dawn. Butler and his crew were staying out all night chasing broadies and I’ll contact them on the radio as we are heading out to see where the tuna are. Hopefully the damn things will stay around so we can get amongst them.

The crew was originally my mate Wes Murphy, Fisho’s associate publisher Chris Yu and me, but early yesterday Wesbo had to pull the pin due to work commitments. He wasn’t happy about it but what can you do? If we kill the pig today (Thursday) Wes will be crying tears of blood and cursing his employer (his brother, Craig)! Time will tell …

The replacement for Wes is well-known South Coast angler Guy Jamison, who I just happened to bump into at my local tackle shop McCullum’s Tackle World in Nowra when buying a shedload of pillies for the jaunt today.

So that’s the plan. Hopefully we’ll find the fish and I’ll be able to text a few photos through on my iPhone this morning so Fisho’s online editor, Mick Fletoridis, will be able to upload them to run with this piece. If there are no images from me, then we’ve either bummed out or I’ve got no reception.

I’ll provide a full report of our success – or otherwise – on the Fisho site next week.

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