Bottom fish bonanza
  |  First Published: May 2012

Reef anglers are laying out the welcome mat for the lovely snapper that are moving to the close reefs and there will be more of these to come over the cooler months.

Most reef species, like morwong, nannygai, ocean perch and pigfish will be readily available this month.

On the sand, flathead are still abundant with tigers and sandies on the chew and don’t be surprised to encounter some above-average gummy sharks.

Land temps are cooling but the water offshore stays relatively warm and schools of yellowfin, albacore and striped tuna are starting to congregate around the continental shelf and to the Tathra Canyons.

Water well offshore remains relatively warm and schools of yellowfin, albacore and striped tuna are starting to congregate around the continental shelf and the Tathra Canyons.

The shelf is quite a long run from Tathra so trolling lures is a good option for targeting the tuna, allowing anglers to cover ground and find the fish.

There also is the bonus of encountering a late season marlin, spearfish or mahi mahi.

Once tuna have been located, stop and berley the fish to the boat.

Sharks also respond to the berley so have a wire rig handy or out under a balloon. Closer to shore, bonito, kingfish, salmon and the occasional striped and yellowfin tuna are patrolling the headlands feeding on small slimy mackerel, yellowtail and pilchards.

These fish can be taken by trolling a variety of bibless and deep-diving lures close to shore.

If you encounter good schools have some spin sticks handy to cast lures to the feeding fish. If they’re up on the surface try casting poppers for spectacular action.

This style of fishing works particularly well on some of the large salmon schools.


Right in the heart of Tathra the rock platforms are fishing well with plenty of action for those casting lures to salmon, bonito, tailor and kingfish.

Those chasing drummer are having some of the best action in quite a while.

On the historic wharf everyone is having fun with slimy mackerel, trevally and garfish.

Blackfish and drummer are being caught closer to the rocks along with some nice tailor at night. Frigate mackerel, bonito, salmon and kingfish all take their turns harassing the baitfish, along with the odd shark and tuna.

The beaches are producing salmon, tailor, bream and at night, gummy sharks. Try Main Beach next to Mogareeka Inlet, Bournda Beach to south and Gillards Beach to the north.

Walk these beaches with a handful of metal lures and make long casts and fast retrieves to bag tailor and salmon.

Water in the estuaries is starting to chill but there is still plenty of fish activity.

Bream are in good numbers in the Bega River and anglers are doing well on lures and bait.

Estuary perch are now moving down the system towards the entrance to breed. They have been taken along the rock wall adjacent to the boat ramp and around the bridge pylons.

Flathead are in the lower river in anticipation of migrating to sea and are feeding regularly.

Tailor are hanging around the bridge and are taking lures, while over the flats blackfish and whiting are regular catches for fishos using nippers and worms.

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