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High times offshore.
  |  First Published: November 2013



This is possibly the best time of year to fish offshore. Although the weather can blow up early with the north-east winds, a bag of succulent table fish may be acquired before this happens.

Heading the shortlist are tiger flathead. We are right at the height of the season, and anglers venturing from the Kianinny Bay boat ramp out into 50m-60m depths up or down the coast are likely to catch their bag of flatties (20 in total, minimum size 33cm) without much trouble.

If you want to go deeper, the size of the fish is likely to increase and there could be some surprises like gummy sharks or large sand flathead.

If you drift over some gravel there may be snapper or even early-season kingfish.

Out wide, game fish are making an early appearance with good schools of tuna – yellowfin, stripies and albacore.

There has been the odd marlin and if you berley you are sure to find a shark, probably a mako. Use plenty of tuna, the fresher the better.

RIVER

Rain has filtered into the Bega River, bringing much-needed nutrients and some very hungry fish.

Earlier than normal warm weather has raised water temps, allowing fish earlier feeding opportunities throughout the system.

In the upper reaches the bass fishing has been exceptional. Any relatively deep hole or structure is holding fish.

For a very entertaining way to catch bass in this area, try fly-fishing late afternoon and early morning with cicada imitations cast beneath the oaks and willows. You will also be surprised how many bream are in there.

Into the brackish to salt, estuary perch are making a strong comeback in this system since the nets have gone.

These fish will be encountered in a lot of different habitat, from deep holes to shallow weed beds and snags or sunken timber. You can pull several fish from one area before they wise up.

Throughout the estuary most other species are also active.

Bream are being taken around the Thompson Rock walls, weed beds and Blackfellows Lake areas on lures and bait.

Flathead are also plentiful over the shallows towards the mouth and generally throughout the system. Blackfish are in good numbers around the weedy areas and also the bridge pylons.

Tailor can be trolled up around the rock walls, where leatherjackets are taken on bait.

BEACH

Tathra Beach, adjacent to the mouth of the Bega River, has been producing some very nice whiting on worms and nippers.

Bream and mullet are regular catches with some nice tailor at night. Salmon are prolific on Bournda Beach, to the south, which also has gummy sharks and the odd small bronze whaler.

Plenty of silver trevally are being taken on Tathra Wharf with yellowtail and slimy mackerel. Salmon schools pass regularly and tailor show after dark.

A long cast from the north-east corner will reach sand flathead while closer to the rocks, anglers using weed catch blackfish and the odd drummer.

From the ocean rocks, prawns or cut fish bait have produced many silver trevally with leatherjackets, bream and assorted reef species.

Cabbage weed and cunjevoi account for black and silver drummer.

Lures cast from the point adjacent to the wharf and around towards the pub will produce salmon around sun-up.

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