Solitude is still possible
  |  First Published: December 2011

Wherever you go there are always obvious areas that contain fish, but with holiday season approaching these areas may become overworked by anglers.

Although they might continue to produce some fish, those anglers who like solitude may need to explore farther afield. Fortunately there are still areas around Tathra that will can you the serenity as well as some hot fishing.

One such place is Wallagoot Lake, south of Tathra. It has been landlocked for several seasons now yet hosts good populations of snapper that have grown from juveniles to thumpers of more than 3kg.

Those wishing to work soft plastics while drifting the lake can encounter some nice fish, and bait anglers will also have some success.

You will encounter other species like bream, flathead and garfish and there are also some mega tailor in there.

North of Tathra you have the hidden secrets of Middle Lake and Nelsons Lagoon.

Middle Lake, after briefly opening during the Winter flooding, contains some very nice flathead which seem to congregate towards the now-closed entrance. They feed early morning and late afternoon on prawns.

There is also plenty of black and yellowfin bream and luderick which are partial to a worm or a nipper.

For the kayak enthusiasts there is plenty of structure to explore.

Nelsons Lagoon, although small, is a very popular family swimming area that never closes to the ocean. It also has some of the best oysters on the South Coast and for the angler is a prime area for wading the shallows early morning or late afternoon, when the crowds thin out.

Excellent beaches to the north are accessible by the Gillards Beach Road.

At Cowdroys Beach, south of Gillards, is a headland at the entrance to Nelsons Lagoon which can provide some excellent rock fishing.

Off the beaches expect to encounter the usual bream, whiting, mullet, salmon and tailor while off the rocks you can also encounter drummer, groper, kingfish or even tuna.


The Bega River has many nooks and crannies with many anglers pushing up to where the salt meets the fresh, or exploring the shallow backwaters and inlets.

Black bream will be the main targets around gravel beds, rocky outcrops or sunken logs. A hard-bodied suspending lure will often produce a bream or a bass.

For the solitude, an early start may be essential to cash in on the fish that have been feeding on the prawns that run on the darker nights. Estuary perch, bream, flathead, whiting and luderick hunt down the prawns, as do many humans at night with lights and nets.

The other obvious area always worth a look is the ever-popular Tathra Wharf, which has its usual trevally, slimy mackerel, yellowtail, garfish, salmon, kingfish and even bonito.

Tiger flathead are the main bottom species at sea and the deeper you go, the larger they get. There will be some sand flathead in closer, in around 28m off most beaches.

Head north for the reef fish before the north-east winds blow up mid-morning and carry you home. Reefs up off Arragunnui are producing reasonable numbers of snapper and plenty of jackass and blue morwong, along with the odd kingfish.

There are plenty of striped tuna to keep the reels ticking over while waiting for the yellowfin and albacore. The marlin have not shown in numbers yet.

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