Most anglers who visit Tathra know how famous the flathead fishing is offshore and in the estuaries, and now with Spring upon us it is all about to start.
There’s safe ocean access from Kianinny Bay boat ramp to flathead grounds down south off Bournda in around 20m-30m where you can expect to catch reasonable numbers of sand flathead, along with gummy sharks and red gurnard.
Most productive grounds north of Tathra in similar depths are areas like the main bay at Tathra, out from Nelsons Lagoon and Wapengo.
Out deeper tiger flathead are starting to arrive in larger numbers, try 40m-70m for the better quality fish, usually adjacent to reefs. The best area is probably out from Bournda.
I expect the flatties to be slow in early spring but as the weather warms, so will the fishing.
If the flathead are slow, try the reefs out from White Rock south of Tathra or up north out from Arragunnui or Goalen Head, where late season snapper may still be mixing with the regular jackass and blue morwong, ocean perch, nannygai, leatherjackets, pigfish and wrasse.
Farther afield on the reefs on the edge of the continental shelf most of these species will also be available with some big and tasty Tassie trumpeter.
Sand flathead can often be captured from the Tathra Wharf, try long casts with a heavy sinker and a strip bait. Yellowtail, slimy mackerel and trevally can be caught there for bait while salmon, garfish and luderick pass close to the rocks.
On the rocks drummer, groper, blackfish and bream are plentiful among the suds.
With the warming days the estuary is dramatically improving and flathead can be found in the Bega River in the shallows up around Blackfellas Lake and Thompsons.
These fish are likely to be around the weed beds in muddy areas where the warm water is starting to trigger prawn activity.
The prawns may be only small at the moment but by October they will be big enough to get the fish even more active.
Lures and bait are working well on flatties and see other species like estuary perch, bream, jewfish and whiting.
Further up the Bega River you’ll find early season bass hanging around the many snaggy structures created by the floods.
Wapengo Lake to the north is also well worth a look for flathead and other species. The many shallow flats and oyster beds provide plenty of structure and food. Be sure to have a look down around the entrance on high tide where salmon may move in for some excellent sight angling.