Change is coming
  |  First Published: April 2013

Mid-Autumn can be a great time to fish. Many estuary species gather near the entrances, ready to migrate to sea; there are changes on the game scene as the water cools and the beaches and rocks are showing signs of the season to come.

Due to recent rain and the time of year, fish stocks are more concentrated in the lower parts of the Bega River, meaning easier fishing.

Lure anglers are enjoying some excellent flathead towards the entrance in shallow and deeper water. There is the odd mulloway there as well, while further up the system bream and estuary perch are in good numbers.

If bait fishing is your style, it cannot be better than now. All the above species love prawns, nippers, worms, live mullet and striped tuna.

Whiting, mullet and trevally are over the flats towards the mouth while blackfish are being taken on weed around the bridge and the rocks adjacent to the boat ramp.

Things have changed on Tathra Wharf, too.

Often underrated, but delicious, sea garfish have moved in, providing great fun and a good feed. Under the gar milling on the surface are silver trevally only too willing to wrap a line around the nearest pylon.

Salmon, bonito, frigate mackerel and kingfish pass out the front of the wharf and hit minnow lures and metal slugs, while live slimy mackerel or yellow tail account for the larger kingfish.

These species can also be found on the rocks adjacent to the wharf and right around to the Kianinny Bay boat ramp.

In sheltered Kianinny Bay garfish schools gather, providing easy angling.

Around dusk and dawn on the rocks below the pub, drummer can be caught on cabbage weed and cunjevoi. Floats or simple running sinker rigs work well on them.

The beaches are holding good numbers of salmon taking bait and lures. Whiting, bream and mullet are taken on beach worms in the shallower gutters near the estuary mouths.


Offshore anglers are having a fine time with sand flathead out from most beaches while tiger flathead are out deeper.

Snapper are moving in over the reefs north and south. In shallow water use lures and bait and just the bait out wider.

Goalen Head and out from Nelsons are the better reefs for a good mix of snapper, morwong, wrasse, leatherjackets and perch. There have been quite a few kings there, too.

Trolling small minnows and skirted lures close to shore will pick up smaller pelagics; have a spin stick ready to cast lures to fish following those already hooked.

Game fish action out wide is solid with marlin still hanging around and tuna starting to arrive.

Trolling lures will attract most action out around the continental shelf and the Tathra Canyons.

Large blue marlin are often encountered at this time of year as they follow schools of small striped tuna, medium albacore and the larger yellowfin.

These tuna will also be taken on the lures but if they start to concentrate, try berleying.

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