Secret treasures
  |  First Published: March 2011

What a beautiful time of year to be here: Great weather, warm water and not a lot of people to crowd you out, giving a chance to explore the region’s wonders.

Just to the north of Tathra is Mimosa Rocks National Park, with some good camping spots close to some pristine little lakes and estuaries.

One such area is Picnic Point camping ground, on a hidden beach close to Wapengo Lake. Follow the Wapengo Lake Road.

Wapengo has been fishing well this season with plenty of flatties in the main lake and channels while over the flats and around the weed you will find bream, luderick, whiting, mullet and more. Over the sea grass beds, you can berley up plenty of garfish.

Down at the entrance off the rocks, passing schools of salmon add some spectacular light tackle action on lures or bait.

Just north of Tathra is Gillards Beach, which also has a very nice camping area adjacent to the beach. This is the middle section of three beaches along this part of the coast where species like salmon, bream, tailor and whiting are all common. At night jewfish and gummy sharks become an option.


A road off to the right as you approach the camping grounds will bring you out to the entrance of Nelsons Lake, Cowdroys Beach and the adjacent headland.

The southern end of this beach around the rocks offers some excellent bream, mullet and salmon.

The main rock platforms adjacent to the beach offer drummer, groper and luderick while the deep water in front will give you a chance at passing pelagics like kingfish, bonito, tuna, salmon or maybe a small black marlin. It is very deep water here and over the years I have seen all of these fish there.

You can also gain access to Nelsons Lagoon via this track, then a couple of access roads where a 4WD is a bonus.

Small boats or kayaks are a good option, though wading this system can be a lot of fun. It is very shallow yet holds most estuary species and you can get lost in the labyrinth of channels weaving through the mangroves.

There is plenty to explore around Tathra itself, with the Bega River fishing well throughout its length. There have been some very good jewfish towards the entrance, while up in the brackish water bass and estuary perch are active.

Tathra Beach has produced some excellent whiting on beach worms.

On the wharf there is action aplenty with slimy mackerel and yellowtail to keep you entertained while garfish, silver trevally and luderick will give you something for the table.

A live mackerel or yellowtail may see you connected to one of those pelagics.


The bottom fishing has been excellent with sand flathead close in off most beaches while wider in deeper water are those lovely big tiger flathead. Some gummy sharks are available closer to shore.

Most of the reefs have morwong, snapper, perch and the occasional tasty pigfish.

On the way to any of these grounds, you should troll a few lures because the kingfish action close to shore has been good. Throw in a few bonito, striped tuna or frigates for a bit of fun.

For those wishing to chase a marlin, there is no time better than now. Stripes, blacks and blues are all out towards the Continental Shelf, where a good spread of lures is the way to find them. Closer to shore there is a good chance of a small black.



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