Time to go looking
  |  First Published: June 2014

Tathra at this time of year is… well, it is simply beautiful! Although the fishing isn’t mind-blowing, there is plenty to be found if you go looking for it.

A good place to start is one of the many rocky headlands, where you’ll find a variety of species on offer. Black drummer are one fish that attracts anglers to this area, with these hard pulling fish only too willing to take a piece of cunjevoi or floated cabbage weed. Also taking a liking to these baits are luderick, zebra fish or trevally and bream (more on the cunjevoi).

Or for those interested in some faster action, surface fish like salmon, kingfish, bonito or tailor like to patrol the shore in search of the many baitfish like pilchards or yellowtail that pass here. Anglers can float baits out or use some of the latest spin gear to drum up some action.

If you are not that able to clamber around on the stones, try going to the local wharf where most of the fish already mentioned are available plus more. Garfish is one of them and is a winter special. All you need is a little berley, preferably laced with tuna oil, and a little bit of prawn bait floated out.

The beaches are producing plenty of salmon, with Tathra Main Beach and Bournda Beach south being the best. These can be targeted with either lure or bait and you don’t have to fish early or late at this time because with the cool weather these fish are happy feeding in the middle of the day.

Turning your thoughts inshore, the Bega River is one estuary along the coast that seemingly fishes well in the cooler months. Estuary perch are one species pursued at the moment, with anglers using the aid of a depth sounder in the deeper sections locating schools of EPs holding deep then annoying the hell out of them with a variety of lures until a response is achieved. Often once you hook one fish others will soon follow.

Black bream are another species to focus on, however a different approach is needed. Think structure whether it is obvious timber, rocky shoreline or gravel located in the shallows, often midstream. Both soft plastics and hardbodied lures work well, while if you are sighting fish and not gaining a response you may have to try baits such as nippers, squirt worms or prawns.

Another estuary worth a look is land locked Wallagoot Lake south. This lake opened in recent floods a few years ago, allowing fresh fish stocks to enter. Small snapper are often among the visitors, and once they become trapped they grow to a reasonable size, providing interesting angling. Tailor also get trapped and often reach double figures.

Offshore is another good place to be, with excellent weather conditions allowing boaties access to the many grounds. If it is flatties you are after there are plenty of sandies on offer up and down the coast in around 30m of water. Those wishing to fish the reefs are enjoying plenty of snapper action, with the reefs to the north being most productive.

Those with larger vessels who can reach the outer waters out over the Continental Shelf have been using electric reels to reap the rewards of those delicious deepwater delicacies like ling, hapuka, trevalla, cod or perch. And by the way, while you are out there you’ll find tuna of various species on offer.

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