Follow those prawns
  |  First Published: November 2011

You don’t have to be a genius to figure that where there is a food source there is a predator awaiting its opportunity.

In the South Coast estuaries the food source is prawns and where there are prawns, predatory fish are not far behind.

With so many of the estuaries in the Tathra area holding good stocks of prawns, the next few months are fishing heaven.

An early start will often reap the rewards of finding the fish active in the pre-dawn light as they gulp down the prawns before they disappear back into the sand.

Anglers prepared to rise a couple of hours earlier to gather prawns for live bait can look forward to some exciting dawn fishing.

Bream, flathead, mulloway, estuary perch and whiting will definitely be on the shortlist in systems like the Bega River at Tathra, Wallagoot Lake south of Tathra or Nelsons Lagoon and Wapengo Lake to the north.

In calm conditions anglers can commonly observe surface activity, such as a stricken prawn jumping for its life before disappearing in a devastating swirl.

Fishos who can react quickly by casting those fresh prawns cast nearby can almost always expect an instant strike.

Don’t just stick to prawns: other bait like nippers, worms and live mullet will often be as effective because the fish are in a feeding mood.

This is good news for the lure enthusiasts, who find it a great time to target fish with hardbodies and soft plastics.

This is also an extremely productive time in the upper reaches of the Bega River as the warming water brings the bass to life.

There are many deep, timber-lined holes in the upper sections to hold these fish and increasing insect activity ensures actively feeding fish.


The coastal and offshore fishing is also improving and the beaches are starting to come alive with yellowfin bream, whiting, mullet and those ever present salmon.

Promising areas include the north end of Tathra Beach, Gillards Beach to the north or Bournda Beach, just south of Wallagoot Lake.

Out on the famous Tathra Wharf, six-spine leatherjackets are a welcome tasty bonus in bags featuring silver trevally, bream and the odd blue groper.

At sea tiger flathead are in good numbers from 40m depths and beyond and there are plenty of sand flathead and the occasional gummy shark.

On the reefs there is the occasional snapper although morwong are the dominant catch, with a few ocean perch, jackets and pigfish.

Kingfish seem to be increasing in numbers and can be located with trolled lures and then presented with jigs.


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