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Time to enjoy it all
  |  First Published: February 2013



Whatever type of angling you’re into, now is the time to enjoy it because all the warm waters is producing some hot fishing.

Estuary fishing around Tathra is exceptional now. The main food source at present is the abundant prawns – good news for anglers and everything that feeds on these lovely crustaceans, including humans.

If you’re into prawning, you should look to acquire a succulent seafood meal at somewhere like Wallagoot Lake south of Tathra. Last year it was open to the ocean for the first time in some 20 years, allowing fresh stocks of prawn spawn to enter the system.

These prawns have now grown substantially and are providing good harvesting around the ‘dark’ of the moon.

Other good prawning areas well be worth a look include the Bega River at Mogareeka Inlet and definitely Middle Lake, north of Tathra.

These areas are also worth a look for anglers because the resident fish are also eating up big on prawns.

Those wishing to toss a lure should find flathead, bream, estuary perch and the occasional jewfish to take a soft plastic or a hard-bodied lure resembling a prawn.

Bait fishers should use some of the smaller prawns they’ve acquired on an evening’s prawning.

Better still, get up in the pre-dawn and acquire a couple of dozen live prawns and fish them as the sun rises. The results here can often be frantic, spectacular and resulting in some exceptional captures.

If you’re not into early starts, don’t despair because the lures will work through the day, as will other bait. Nippers and squirt worms will appeal to many species such as whiting, luderick, trevally, garfish or mullet, all of which are available in local estuaries.

RIVER BASS

In the Bega River, especially up in towards the brackish water, early mornings and late afternoons can produce some interesting bass fishing.

Anywhere you find deeper water adjacent to snags, especially with some overhanging she-oaks, is likely to have bass holding there, awaiting one of the abundant cicadas to fall to the water.

Surface lures or flies will often be all that is required to enjoy some spectacular visual action.

Back on the beaches, there are plenty of salmon. A pilchard or a strip bait will do the job or you could try walking the beach with some light spin gear and a handful of hard metal lures.

Other beach targets include bream, whiting and mullet, all of which are particularly partial to a fresh beach worm. At night larger strip baits or fresh mullet may produce some gummy sharks or jewfish.

Now the holiday season has ended, the crowds are gone from the local wharf and it is a good time to fish there.

The resident include silver trevally, slimy mackerel, luderick (closer to the rocks) and garfish, all of which can be caught using relatively light gear for a heap of fun.

Pelagics visit with the warmer water and those wishing to drift out a live bait under a float or cast larger lures may hook heavy speedsters like kingfish, bonito, whaler or hammerhead sharks and, if the water is really warm, longtail tuna.

These fish can also be pursued around the nearby rock platforms and live-baiters shouldn’t be surprised to encounter small black marlin.

Offshore anglers chasing bottom fish are having a ball. Those in smaller boat are heading out from Kianinny Bay into 30m-40m for sand and tiger flathead and it’s relatively easy to acquire a good bag of them, along with red gurnard and the occasional gummy or small whaler shark.

All these fish are up and down the coast so and around Goalen Head you’re also likely to tangle reef species like kingfish, snapper, morwong, perch or even the succulent pigfish.

Gamefishers should be out around the continental shelf or beyond, where striped, black and blue marlin are feeding on the baitfish attracted by the upwellings.

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