Sport

Anglers risk their lives in pursuit of bluefin tuna

The massive bluefin tuna migrating up the NSW south coast are a great attraction for game fishers, but there's concern about the risks some anglers are taking in their pursuit.

Most of the schools are a long way offshore, well beyond the capacity of all but the largest and better-equipped game boats.

Even some of the professional long-liners are wary of how far offshore they will fish, because it's a long way home if anything goes wrong with the boat or the weather. 

Recently, a boat at Bermagui, a 42-foot game cruiser fitted with GPS, satellite phones, long-range fuel tanks and other safety gear, travelled overnight to where a patch of fish had been reported, 63 kilometres offshore.

They arrived before dawn and were stunned to find the area lit up like a Christmas tree, with boats of all sizes seeking the prized fish.

Among the pro boats were recreational boats equipped with all the proper safety and survival gear, but mixed in with others too small and ill-equipped to be that far out. At least one-third of the boats were deemed unsuitable for the area.

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Luckily, the weather remained satisfactory and there were no incidents. But it doesn't take much for that to change.

Bermagui Marine Rescue recently had to tow home a boat that blew a fuel pump 60 kilometres offshore and another boat that ran out of fuel 24 kilometres out.

No fish, no matter how large and how tasty, is worth a life. Have a good think before you venture out.

There are plenty of other fish on offer closer to home. Alan Perry from Bawley Point reported some good snapper on the inshore reefs and others up to 7 kilograms from the rocks. Good catches of luderick also were made in Durras, Tabourie and Burrill, on green weed.

Last chance to find cod 

Matt Barton normally fishes for golden perch at a special location at Lake Tuggeranong this time of year.

This year he failed to get a perch, instead landing two Murray cod of 89 centimetres and 115 centimetres in length. 

Both took a bibless minnow, about 10 minutes apart. One of the fish had a distinct scar on its face, and it will be interesting to see how much it has grown if and when it is recaptured.

Another two small cod were caught on surface lures, fished just after dark, in Yerrabi Lake.

All the cod reported were returned to the water in good condition.

The season for Murray cod closes in both the ACT and NSW on September 1 and won't reopen until December 1. The closure is to enable the fish to breed.

Wyangala tournament

A big crowd is expected at Wyangala reservoir this weekend to fish the 14th Annual Grabine Classic.

There will be more than $20,000 in prizes, with the top prize a $13,500 Brooker boat, motor and trailer package.

For the first time, the tournament will be catch and release only, so competitors will need to bring a camera, approved brag mat and identifying tag. Entry is $20.

Learn to fly

The Canberra Anglers Association is running free fly casting classes before the trout season reopens.

The classes will be held on September 7, 14 and 21, on the lawns in front of Old Parliament House. All tackle is provided but feel free to bring your own. Visit canberra-anglers.asn.au for more details.