The summer school holidays are a great time for families in the Tathra area. There are theme parks close by, some of the best beaches along the coast surrounded by national parks, and all the watersports you could imagine – with the best of them being fishing, of course.
Tapping into the area you have options aplenty, whether you are fortunate enough to have a boat capable of venturing offshore for game, reef or light tackle fishing, or a smaller one to handle the delights of our many estuaries and lakes.
There is also excellent shore-based angling, with top locations like the old steamer wharf to satisfy your needs. An assortment of fish species congregate around this wharf, offering a variety of choices for anglers. The slimy mackerel are very popular, especially with the kids. These fish usually hit in large schools, creating mayhem for anglers while the feeding lasts.
Sometimes gamefish follow these schools, so anglers with a well set up outfit may just cash in on a passing predator in the form of a kingfish or tuna.
All in all, there is plenty of action to be had from daylight to dusk and beyond here.
Passing schools of salmon will provide plenty of entertainment from the stones adjacent to the Wharf, right around to Kianinny Bay. Lures are probably the most fun to use when targeting salmon, and some of the other larger predators like tuna, kingfish or bonito also have a liking for lures.
If it’s the bigger fish you are targeting, try using live baits fished under a balloon. While you wait, throw some berley in the suds where bream or trevally will keep you amused.
Kianinny also allows anglers access to the offshore fishery, with a well-constructed boat ramp and safe access to the ocean. Out from here, gamefish in the form of marlin, tuna and sharks are currently harassing bait schools, giving anglers an opportunity to pursue them. Trolling lures accounts for most hook-ups, and allows you to travel more to find where the fish are concentrated. Once you have found the fish, work the area over thoroughly until the fish go off the chew, then motor over to other grounds or try live baiting. Live mackerel are best, however a striped tuna is likely to encounter a good marlin or hammerhead shark.
Bottom fishing is excellent, with flathead leading the way. In close, out from most beaches, sandies are in mixed sizes but in good numbers. Out in the deeper water tigers are prolific in and around the 50m mark, where the odd gummy shark is also being taken.
Over the reefs, both north and south are producing plenty of action on the snapper front. They’re not overly large but numbers are making up for this. Try soft plastics on the inshore reefs, especially after heavy seas. This often accounts for large snapper or quite a few of those heavier pelagics patrolling the coast.
As a result of a good prawn season (which will provide good prawning in the last two weeks of January) the estuaries are in terrific form. This season has seen many large flathead come out of the Bega River on both bait and lures.
Not to be outdone, most other species have also been on the chew. Some lovely bream and estuary perch have been taken on lures, while baits are producing just about everything in all the estuaries surrounding Tathra, including some exceptional whiting.
Venture a little way inland and you’ll arrive at Brogo Dam, where the bass are fired up in an aggressive feeding mood. Evenings and well into dark has produced some excellent surface fishing, and when the fish are in this frame of mind you can expect them to hit bloody hard.Reads: 731