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Top Fishing Charters in Bermagui

Fishing in Bermagui

Home to a famous winery, Australia’s only seaside goldfield, and all the country’s 3 species of Marlin, Bermagui is one of those place that you’d almost be crazy not to visit. “Bermi” attracts visitors from far and wide for all this and more, but it’s the quality of the Bermagui fishing charters that really does it for us. For unrivalled big game potential away from Cairns-like crowds, look no further. 
Bermagui is the northernmost town of New South Wales’ Sapphire Coast. Situated around a picturesque harbour, the town is known for its creativity, with arts and crafts shops dotting the streets of the town centre. What makes local anglers most proud, though, is the fact that at 20 km (just over 12 miles) out, the edge of the continental shelf comes closer to the mainland here than anywhere else in Australia. This means big game fish, right on the doorstep. 

Known for

Author and fishing fanatic Zane Grey was the first to put Bermagui on the international sportfishing map in the 1930s. He helped establish the local Marlin fishery as one of the best in the world, was instrumental in making the town famous as the Tuna capital of Australia, and became patron of the Bermagui Sport Fishing Association. Fish these waters today, and it’s easy to imagine him battling a monster over the deep blue waters that you can see from land. 
With the continental shelf and the East Australian Current (EAC) coming so close to shore, it’s no surprise that Bermagui fishing is all about big game, at least for most travelling anglers. But that’s not to say that there isn’t world class reef fishing action in these parts, as well. In fact, the two types of fishing often take place in the very same spots. 
One such place is the famous 12 mile reef, which runs along the edge of the upwelling caused by the drop in the seafloor. This creates a bustling environment both for the reef’s permanent residents (such as Wrasses, Snappers, Leatherjackets, and Blue Eye Cod), and its seasonal visitors (the Marlins, Tunas, and Swordfish). On top of that, the 4 mile reef, 6 mile reef, and Brothers reef are all a short trip from Bermi, allowing for spectacular reef fishing all year round over various different depths of water. 
But that’s not all. 13 miles to the north, the picturesque Montague Island offers some of the best Yellowtail Kingfish fishing in the area over its productive reef system. This popular spot for tourists and fishermen alike is also a fantastic place to fish for Snapper and Flathead. And if you can’t make up your mind whether to fish the reef or deep sea, the eastern side of Montague Island is right next to “the kink,” one of the best Marlin and Tuna spots in the area. This allows for Kingfish and Marlin fishing in the same day. 
The action doesn’t stop inshore. Bermi is located right on the estuary of its namesake river, and Bermagui River fishing gives anglers enough to keep them busy all year round. This shallow waterway holds good numbers of Dusky Flathead, Bream, Tailor, and Trevally. 10 km (6 miles) to the north, Wallaga Lake is an enormous expanse of saltwater shadowed by forested mountains. This is a popular Dusky Flathead destination in the winter, while summertime fishing is all about Snapper, Bream, and Tailor.

Need to know


Bermagui fishing charters cost around $1500-$2000+ AUD for a full day of game fishing, with higher prices being paid for faster boats that will give you more time fishing a variety of different areas. Half days come in around $1200-$1500—these will usually focus on reef or Kingfish fishing given the shorter amount of time available. Some charters offer shared trips, which cost around $200 per person for a half day and $350-$400 for a full day. 

Rules and regulations

You need a license to fish in New South Wales, but if you are fishing on a licensed charter boat then this will be covered for you. Licenses may be purchased online or at local vendors. Closed seasons and bag limits apply to several species, and most Marlin is caught and released, depending on the discretion of the charter operator. It is not allowed to fillet fish while on the water. 

Get there

Bermagui is about an hour’s drive from Merimbula, which has an airport with regular connections to and from Sydney and Brisbane. By car, it’s about 5 hours’ drive from Sydney, 3 ½ hours from Canberra, and 8 hours from Melbourne. We’re ready to bet that once you get there, you won’t want to leave!
Based on 9459 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Bermagui Fishing Seasons

The year kicks off with the peak of big game season. Everyone in town is talking about the Bermagui Bluewater Classic, which awards prizes for the largest Marlin. What a way to start the year!

Late summer means water temperatures of up to 25°C (77°F)—perfect for all three species of Marlin, as well as Mahi Mahi, Swordfish, Wahoo, and more. Deep sea fishing doesn’t get much better than this. 

As autumn sets in, the game fish start to travel north. But many say this is one of the best times for sportfishing, as usually those fish that stay around are huge! Bermagui’s largest Blue Marlin in history was caught in March. 

The game fish mix starts to see more Yellowfin and Albacore Tuna and fewer Marlin. Kingfish, Snapper, and Mako Sharks are making their way onto boats. On land, the Bermagui Seaside Fair is keeping everyone entertained.

With water temperatures sticking around 20°C (68°F), exotic pelagics have well and truly moved on for the most part. But Yellowfin Tuna of up to a massive 60 kg (130 lbs) are keeping anglers’ hands full. 

If you hear conspiratorial whispers on the docks in June, they’re probably talking about one thing: the arrival of the Southern Bluefin Tuna. Sportfishing boats are poised and ready to be the first of the year to bring one in. 

It’s Southern Bluefin season, all right. Now they’re reliably here, and charter boats are heading to the seamounts to fish for their prize. This is also a particularly good time to fish for Blue Eye Cod, although it may be windy.

While sportfishing boats are focusing on Tuna, local anglers and Bermagui reef fishing charters report successful catches of Snapper, Grouper, and Black Drummer. Bass, Bream, and Perch are being caught in the estuary. 

Spring’s approaching, and this sees the end of the Bluefin Tuna season. Other game fish haven’t quite woken up yet, but local anglers are enjoying a break in the winds to fish for Snapper over the reefs. 

As the waters warm up, the fish start to get more lively. This makes for fun fishing for Yellowtail Kingfish with stick baits and spinning rods. Yellowtail and Albacore Tuna, and even the first Marlin, may start to show up.

Things are starting to get really fun. Yellowtail and Albacore are reliable catches over the continental shelf, while Swordfish, Wahoo, Marlin, Mahi Mahi, Cobia, and Sharks are all beginning to make an appearance.

Summer sportfishing is beginning to settle into its rhythm by December. Big game fishing is getting better by the day, while Kingfish is chasing bait all over the reefs and Dusky Flathead are filling Eskys inshore. 

Bermagui Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Bermagui

"Full day with captain Nathan"

Ivan P. fished with Head Hunter Charters on April 14, 2017

This is my second outing from Bermagui on two different charters, the first time we got three marlin on the first trip and this time we got four. It doesn't get any better than that!!

"full day game fishing"

Dean R. fished with Hot Fishing Charters -Tru-Dee-V on April 1, 2017

Talk to the captain about what you are interested in and have a good time, Hope you catch heaps

Top Targeted Species in Bermagui

Yellowtail Amberjack

Marlin (Blue)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Marlin (Black)

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