Bega perch thrive
  |  First Published: April 2011

It has been a while now since the commercial nets were banned in the Bega River and nearby Nelsons Lagoon and anglers are reaping the rewards.

Both these systems were heavily targeted by commercial fishers for many years and it was always going to be interesting to see if and when they could recover and whether the fishing would improve for recreational anglers. Well, it has.

One species to benefit, especially in the Bega River is the estuary perch.

EPs were always an unsaleable by-catch for commercial fishers yet their numbers in the Bega system dwindled to near extinction.

Now perch feature as a daily catch for anglers targeting them throughout the system, although the rocky shores are the prime areas to target.

Just about every other species has also improved in numbers through the river and the lagoon.

Anglers are catching a host of different species and looks like doing so right into Winter.

Flathead, bream, luderick and whiting are all on the shortlist while other species like mullet and garfish can provide hours of entertainment.

There has also been an influx of jewfish since the Bega opened to the ocean over a year ago.


The beaches around Tathra have been excellent. Anglers can expect plenty of salmon along with tailor and the odd jewfish and gummy shark. There are also plenty of tasty whiting, bream and mullet.

At holiday time the place to be is the historic wharf, which attracts a wide variety of fish and anglers. Presently schools of big slimy mackerel are providing most of the entertainment while yellowtail and silver trevally are welcome additions.

Send out a slimy or yakka under a float for passing predators like kingfish, bonito, tuna or a shark.

Frigate mackerel and salmon are providing plenty of action for those who cast lures. Closer to the rocks there are garfish, luderick and drummer willing to take a bait.

Off the rocks themselves you can catch the same species on similar baits and lures.

As things start to cool drummer are there for the taking, especially when the shadows of the cliffs creep over the ocean.

Groper are also on the increase off the stones while bream, trevally and leatherjackets make up the by-catch.

Out at sea those pelagic species become an option for those hugging the coast trolling or casting lures.


The cooling weather is improving the bottom fish action.

Snapper numbers are increasing and most reefs are holding quality fish, the better reds attracted to berley from boats at anchor.

Most other common reef fish like morwong, nannygai, perch and pigfish are there and it is not hard to gather a tasty meal. The sand and mud are holding, gummy sharks and red gurnard to add variety.

Out wide towards the continental shelf anglers are encountering striped marlin with the odd black and blue, mahi mahi, plenty of striped tuna and the odd yellowfin and albacore.

Those who wish to berley are likely to encounter whaler, blue, mako and occasionally large tiger sharks.



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