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Staple Salmon
  |  First Published: November 2010



There are so many salmon along the coast at present if other species are not on the chew, the salmon are always there to fall back on and provide some fun fishing.

Australian salmon are one of the most exciting fish an angler can ever expect on a line. The areas they inhabit are diverse as are the angling methods used to catch them.

You can fish for salmon from a boat, pier, the rocks, the beach or in the estuaries and bait, lures or flies will all work.

Best of all this part of the coast around Tathra is loaded with salmon at present for all to enjoy, however or wherever you wish to pursue them.

Thankfully there are plenty of other species on the go as well so we don’t have to rely totally on the salmon.

Around the rocks, beaches or wharf there are some good tailor mixing in with the salmon, along with the occasional jewfish or gummy shark around the beaches.

There will also be bream, whiting and mullet on the beaches, all of which will respond to a well presented beach worm.

Around at the wharf the pelagic action is increasing too.

Last season saw plenty of the small tuna like bonito or frigate mackerel being captured from the pier. This is only just starting to happen and we should see more in the future along with some of those great kingfish harassing the pilchard schools.

There are also slimy mackerel, yellowtail or silver trevally around to keep the kids entertained while some good luderick are being taken close to the stones.

A lot of these species are also being encountered off the rocks with the added bonus of some big drummer or blue groper tossed in.

Offshore

For those who like to grace the table with tasty fish fillets, it’s tiger flathead time.

November is probably the best month of the year to target tigers and they are usually in pretty good numbers, however early starts are in order to beat the spring winds.

Whether you fish north or south off Tathra it’s all about depth and structure. Tigers will hang near reef so to get the best out of a session and maximise constant action start up on the reef targeting morwong, snapper or other reef fish, then drift onto the gravelly sand that the tigers prefer.

Depth is also important when targeting these fish, as there seems to be a pecking order. In and around the 30-40m mark you are likely to encounter smaller fish, while in the wider depths of around 100-140m they are much larger.

Even though it is hard work in the deep there is the added bonus of other reef fish like those big tasty Tassie trumpeters.

Out on the deep blue tuna are starting to show in good numbers, with strippies being the most prolific. There are albacore and a few yellowfin around too, most of which are found out over the Continental Shelf.

Trolling is the preferred method with a mix of skirted or swimming lures working best. With the water warming it won’t be long before we see marlin starting to show as well.

Remember where there are tuna there are also sharks, especially makos, so a well laid berley trail consisting of tuna should see one of these lovely gamefish attached to a line.

Estuaries

Back on shore the estuaries are the highlight with the Bega River in full swing from top to bottom. This is largely due to the amount of food in the system and those that surround Tathra.

As a result of last season’s massive rains prawn stocks have come in from the ocean and are now providing not only good prawning, but good fishing too.

In the upper reaches where the fresh meets the salt bass are fired up and with all the new good holes that have been created from the rains there are plenty of options for anglers.

There will also be some great black bream mixed in, which are a perfect target for those wishing to sight cast to their pray.

Big bully mullet exist here too but prove elusive for those who pursue them. However a small wriggling plastic may just be the answer to obtaining a strike.

Down throughout the rest of the river all species are in full swing providing plenty of action so if it is a lure, bait or fly you like to fish there is something happening for all.

But if you want some serious fishing, get up early, catch some live prawns, fish them on daylight and enjoy the experience.

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