It’s a fabulous time to fish the Tathra area with the calm weather of Autumn creating great fishing conditions for the boaties and shore-based anglers, who can choose where and how they want to fish and, more importantly, what for.
Rock fishing is excellent, as is the offshore scene, and now the Bega River is open to the ocean, replenished fish stocks have the river fired up.
The main headland down behind the pub and around Kianinny Bay are the prime spots for chasing drummer, groper, bream and trevally. Abalone gut, cunjevoi and cabbage weed are the preferred baits with a small ball sinker run straight down to the hook the best rig.
Predators also visit and it’s quite possible to catch a variety of species. Kingfish patrol along the shore feeding on a variety of baitfish and can be joined by longtail, yellowfin and striped tuna, sharks, tailor and salmon.
Drifting out livebaits under balloons or bobby corks is most popular although high-speed lure casting can also produce results. Livies work well from the rocks and the nearby wharf and bait can be obtained by berleying the same areas. Keep an eye out for garfish, which provide entertainment and a good feed as well as excellent livebait.
The wharf has been fishing very well for a variety of species. Yellowtail and trevally are popular captures with the visitors and, along with slimy mackerel, make up the bulk of the captures.
The offshore fishing has also fired up with game fish and bottom-dwellers on the chew.
Marlin are still around with all three species now in the area. If it’s a big blue marlin you’re looking for, now is the time. Tathra Canyons have seen many an epic battle with these great fish and probably the best way to encounter one is with a spread of large skirted lures; you can cover more water to find where the fish are. Once you have raised a fish or two in an area you can revert to live slimy mackerel or small striped tuna.
Other species encountered while chasing billfish include mahi mahi and spearfish through to a variety of tunas including albacore and a mixture of sharks.
Calm conditions allow bottom and reef fishos plenty of scope to work a range of depths. The wider reefs out in 70 fathoms are producing very nice snapper, mowies, tiger flathead and big Tassie trumpeter. Berleying in this deeper water and setting baits for sharks, tuna or marlin may be worthwhile.
Most of the flathead grounds south of Bournda or north to Wapengo have good schools of sand and tiger flatties with the odd red gurnard or gummy shark. The inshore reefs are also hosting a variety of species with the most popular being snapper. Bait is still the most reliable way to catch them as long as you can get your soft plastic to the bottom you’re in with a good show.
The Bega River opened back in February and fresh stocks of fish entered the system. Bream, blackfish, trevally and, I suspect, some jewfish have moved into the river.
Up around Blackfellas Lake and the rock walls in the Thompson area is proving very productive for bream and estuary perch on lures. The drop-offs and main channel down towards the entrance have produced a lot of flathead and tailor on lures and livebait with the odd jewfish as well.
Down around the flats, anglers using nippers and fresh prawns have had some exciting fishing, especially around the weed beds, for very nice whiting, blackfish and bream. Sadly, most of the prawns in the system disappeared when the river opened to the ocean.Reads: 1977