We are fortunate in this part of the world to have such diverse angling so close at hand, with only a relatively short distance from the sweetwater of Brogo Dam to the continental shelf, and a host of wonderful fisheries in between.
Brogo Dam is fishing extremely well with its bass all fired up and well and truly on the chew. Early morning and at evening surface lures become a spectacular way of catching these fish, while trolling and bait fishing through the day are also producing quite well.
Of an evening these fish also are responding to a well-placed fly.
Below the dam wall in the Brogo River bass, some quite large, are returning after spawning downstream. If there’s enough water you can do a very productive kayak jaunt from the dam down to the highway bridge at Brogo Pass.
On the river between Bega and Tathra, especially just prior to the salt, there is some great big-bass water but be prepared for early starts or to fish well into the night. Most lure patterns work here and if the cicadas have started a lure or fly imitation will get hammered.
Estuary perch are also likely, and bream like to feed on the cicadas, too. You can sometimes see just their lips sucking them beneath the surface.
It is important if you are fly-fishing for the bream to resist striking too early because you may just be pulling the fly away from their lips. I can assure you won’t have the same dramas with the perch or bass, whose table manners are nowhere near as refined.
In the salt section of the Bega River things have really fired up as the food sources multiply. Prawns, nippers and worms can be found throughout the system, especially in the shallows, while small baitfish and shrimp tend to congregate around the rocky shores, weed beds and the many snags.
Using these critters as bait, or lures that emulate them, anglers can expect to tangle with some excellent black and silver bream, large flathead, whiting, luderick, mulloway, perch, trevally, tailor and garfish.
Neighbouring estuaries like Nelsons Lagoon and Wapengo Lake to the north also host plenty of early season fish.
These waterways offer good wading over the flats. Prawns are abundant so early morning is a prime time to target fish lying in wait for a prawn that is too late burrowing back into the sand.
With so many prawns getting up towards prime eating size, humans also feast on them. Prime prawning spots this season are Wallagoot Lake south of Tathra and the Bega River at Tathra.
The ocean water is heating up now. On the beaches there are plenty of whiting, bream and mullet taking worms, nippers and pipis, while larger cut baits, pilchards or lures are producing tailor, salmon, the occasional jewfish and sharks at night.
Tathra Wharf gives anglers the opportunity to observe these species passing and also attracts trevally, slimy mackerel, yellowtail and garfish.
With a long cast sand flathead also become an option here.
At sea, those sand flathead are abundant off most beaches in depths around 25m-40m with red gurnard and the occasional gummy shark. The larger gummies are coming from 40m-plus where some exceptional tiger flathead are also available.
The reef fishing is also good with areas like Arragunnui and Goalen Head to the north or the White Rock area south providing snapper, perch, nannygai, morwong, jackets and the occasional pigfish.
Marauding packs of kingfish seem to be moving up and down the coast and are also likely.Reads: 958