Estuaries open for business
  |  First Published: September 2013

After Winter rains, a lot of the estuaries that have been closed to the ocean have reopened, especially the Bega River.

This is great news for anglers as it allows fresh stocks of fish to move into the systems.

The further you go up the estuary, the warmer the water gets and that is what fish like.

One prime spot is the entrance to Blackfellows Lake, 4km-5km up the Bega River on the southern side.

Early mornings here can be very good as the warm waters from the shallow lake provide a perfect nursery for prawns to grow. As the tide recedes, fish wait in ambush at the entrance to the lake.

Anglers can expect bream, flathead, trevally, luderick, whiting and even estuary perch to congregate within the area.

Lures are effective here and will become more so as we move into Spring, but nippers, worms or preferably fresh or live prawns gathered the night or early morning can be devastating.

There are other areas throughout this river similar to this lake that would also be well worth a look.

Further up the river, into the sweetwater, with a few warm days and some insect life we just may see the bass getting active.


Things are a little quieter along the coast as cold waters still prevail.

On the beaches you can expect mostly salmon and a few tailor.

By using berley you might attract other species like bream, mullet or trevally, but don’t expect great beach fishing until the water warms up.

One fish that does like cooler water is silver trevally, which are a popular target from the Tathra Wharf. Sometimes they can be quite thick and of good size, resulting in many a crossed line testing anglers’ patience.

There are usually plenty of yellowtail and slimy mackerel for bait or fun and also may be some juicy garfish.

The nearby rocks and those down behind the pub are still producing reasonable drummer and luderick on cabbage weed or cunjevoi, while a red crab may just prove the undoing of a blue groper.


Offshore, it is time to start looking for tiger flathead, which move into the area in the Spring to provide many a tasty meal. Water depth is the main key to finding these fish with around 50m-60m optimum for the better size fish.

One of the prime areas is down south out from Bournda, where these fish seem to concentrate in good numbers. Often anglers don’t need long to acquire their bags (20 in total) so on the way back to Kianinny Bay boat ramp, try some of the reefs out from White Rock.

You may need to move around trying various depths to find a few snapper however blue and jackass morwong are usually in good numbers at this time of year.

Don’t expect too much out over the continental shelf because the cold water has scattered the game fish.

You may happen on a stray bluefin or some striped tuna but the best chance of something big is a mako shark. Berley hard and while you’re waiting, drop baits down in the canyons for some of those delicious deep-water fish.

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