It’s fun fishing
  |  First Published: March 2007

The Tathra area in early Autumn is one of the finest angling locations along the South Coast.

There are some great estuaries surrounding Tathra and now is the time to get stuck into the fishing. The Bega River has had an excellent run of prawns this season and it’s now spilling over into the fishing. Anglers using soft plastic prawn imitations have had lots of success on large flathead and the occasional jewfish.

Other lures, both hard and soft, are also working well in the lower part of the river, especially early in the morning. If you’re really keen, get up before daylight and catch some fresh prawns to use as live bait. They can produce spectacular results when used over weed beds, along the drop-offs and rock bars.

Further up the system, bream and estuary perch are a regular catch on lures, with the best areas being around Thompsons Wall and the entrance to Black Fellas Lake. Wapengo, north of Tathra, is producing very mixed bags when bait fishing. Drifting the lake with live mullet is a good way to drum up a few flathead, and using fresh nippers and worms over the flats at high tide will produce a variety of species.

Although not noted for its gamefishing, Tathra has the capability of producing some very nice fish in March. Small black marlin often frequent the coastline and are in range of the smaller boats. They tend to shadow the mackerel schools so they’re easy to target with live bait.

Further out you can find all species of billfish that visit our area, and the best way to encounter them is with a spread of lures. This will give you the chance of a tuna as well.

Large hammerhead sharks are visitors in these waters and the best way to target them is by trolling live stripey tuna. Rig these baits on heavy mono or wire and simply work the areas where the stripies are, as the predators shouldn’t be too far away. There’s also the chance you’ll hook a marlin this way.

Close to shore around the rocky headlands, light tackle anglers are enjoying some good action on bonito, kingies, salmon and frigate mackerel. Jigging soft plastics in the deeper water is accounting for some nice snapper. Reef and bottom fishing is very good in general with some excellent bags of tiger flathead coming from down south off Bournda. Just north of Tathra, out from White Rock, good sized mowies are a regular catch with an odd good snapper as well. To the north on the bottom, nice bags of sand flathead have been taken out from Wapengo with some lovely gummy sharks thrown in for good measure.

The beaches are producing too, with good numbers of whiting, bream and salmon. Worms are preferred for both bream and the whiting, while pillies, fish strips and lures are used on tailor and salmon. Most beaches in the area are fishing well so just find a good gutter and have a go.

Groper and drummer are favoured by many rock fishos, and down behind the pub and around Kianinny Bay areas there are signs there are good numbers around. Using fresh crabs, cunjevoi and ab gut will surely see you with a good bag. It’s also good for live baiting from the stones with those warm currents coming right into the coastline.

Northern bluefin tuna may visit at this time of year, and can be targeted in this way. Fish to 20kg may be encountered along with a host of other species, including those small black marlin. These fish species may also visit the waters surrounding Tathra Wharf, allowing the not-so-nimble anglers a chance to try their luck from a shore base. This area has mackerel schools around it, and when the mackerel invade it’s on for young and old. Whether you catch them for bait or just for the hell of it, you can be sure it’s a heap of fun!

Trevally will be caught along with yellowtail, while long raking casts with baits fished on the bottom will account for some nice sand flathead. Keep an eye out for those succulent garfish as well, as they will hold closer to shore.



Marlin frequently visit the Tathra area in March.


A nice 85cm Tathra dusky taken on a Wave Worm Shrimp with a Nuckle Ball Jighead.


A lovely Bega River bream taken by a visitor from Guernsey.

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