No use pretending
  |  First Published: August 2001

There is no point in pretending that the fishing is good around Tathra in August – it isn’t, usually.

All the rain in the past 12months is now resulting in possibly the coldest Winter on record for many years, producing some of the toughest Winter fishing for some time.

But don’t despair, there are some beautiful sunny days when a keen angler will find a fish.

A good starting point is the old steamer wharf perched out on the main headland. Even though the water is cool it can often be very conducive to southern calamari or arrow squid.

This time of year jigs work well off the wharf if the squid are concentrated, otherwise an old-fashioned steel jig inserted into a yellowtail drifted out with the offshore winds under a float generally attracts the attention of one of these tasty delicacies.

Also around the wharf are cold-water species like silver trevally, yellowtail and, if you add berley with tuna oil, beautiful garfish hanging closer to the rocks. A small float, a size 8 or 10 hook and a little bit of peeled prawn is all that is required to obtain a feed of tasty gar.

Luderick hang close to the rocks and are partial to cabbage weed.

A long cast with a reasonable sinker and a nice fresh strip of fish bait will often result in sand flathead.

Passing salmon are often interested in live bait fished under floats. With the aid of polarised sunglasses, anglers can sight schools and cast lures to them.

Off the rocks there are plenty of black drummer, which don’t seem to be as affected by the cooler weather. They are caught regularly on cunjevoi and cabbage weed.

In Kianinny Bay when sea conditions are a bit choppy, the garfish and squid often move into the bay, posing another option for anglers.


Anglers venturing offshore from the Kianinny Bay boat ramp are having mixed results on reef and bottom fish.

The best option at present is probably the sand flathead out from most beaches in around 30m. A good gummy shark might become a pleasant by-catch; although not plentiful they are usually of a decent size.

The other two major species being caught off shore are snapper and morwong, although they are not plentiful. Anglers prepared to put in the hard yards will often triumph with a reasonable bag with a by-catch of ocean perch, pigfish and the ever-present leatherjackets.

Fishing the beaches is at best tough; you really have to work to find good fish with salmon the main quarry. The wind quite often blows offshore, resulting in very little wave force and allowing anglers to polaroid the ocean to spot the salmon.

The estuaries are also very cold and quiet. The Bega River offers the best chance, especially for bream on bait like nippers or worms. The fish are more likely to be in shallow water fossicking for food and soaking up the rays of the sun.

But for those who want to put a tasty feed on the table, try berleying up garfish around the weed beds in the Bega River.

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