Bermagui is small fishing port but a world-famous gamefishing destination. It owes its fame to an American western writer, Zane Grey, who went there in 1936. Little has changed since then. ‘Bermi’, as most people call it, still oozes character and people come here to catch marlin, tuna and sharks.
The offshore action is concentrated from the 12-mile reef (GPS: S36.30.000, E150.15.000) out to the first and second drop along the Continental Shelf. The influx of game fish is caused by the East Australian Current, a system of warm, nutrient-rich water that starts in the Coral Sea and flows along the east coast from Cape York to Tasmania. It’s full of microscopic marine life such as plankton, which attracts small fish, which in turn attract larger fish and so the cycle goes, right up to big yellowfin tuna and marlin.
When the gamefishing slows, the rocky headlands and surf beaches provide plenty of sport for Australian salmon, with fish commonly caught up to 3 kg. There is also plenty of estuary action provided by bream, dusky flathead and trevally.