It’s that time of year when land temps start to cool but water offshore stays relatively warm and the fish are still abundant.
Out from Tathra schools of yellowfin, albacore and striped tuna are starting to congregate out towards and over the continental shelf through to the Tathra Canyons. These fish can be targeted in a few different styles with the best being trolling lures and cubing in berley trails.
The continental shelf is quite a long run out from shore so trolling lures is a good option for targeting the tuna. This allows anglers to cover ground but still find out where the fish may be congregating. With the trolling can come the bonus of encountering a late season marlin, spearfish or mahi mahi.
Once some tuna have been located, stop and berley, which should bring the fish up to the boat and make them easier to catch. Sharks will also respond to the berley so have a rig handy or set out under a balloon.
It’s also a good policy to have a live slimy mackerel out under a balloon rigged on heavier trace for tuna and for marlin which may be attracted by the activity.
Closer to shore, small species such as bonito, kingfish, salmon and the occasional striped and yellowfin tuna are patrolling the rocky headlands surrounding Tathra. Feeding on small slimy mackerel, yellow tail and pilchards, these fish can be taken simply by running a variety of bibless and deep-diving lures close to shore.
If you encounter good schools have some spin sticks handy to cast to the feeding fish and if they’re up on the surface, try casting poppers for some spectacular action. This style of fishing works particularly well on the large salmon schools.
Leaving from Kianinny Bay boat ramp allows fishos access to some of the finest reef and bottom fishing grounds along the coast and they now are at their best. Large tiger flathead are a regular catch out wide of Bournda, while good sand flathead are being taken in close to the beaches. These areas may range from Wapengo in the north to Wallagoot in the south.
Berleying can work on the snapper as well as the tuna and the White Rock area south of Kianinny is a prime spot for this. Anchor up in various depths until you see which depth is producing better, fish as light as possible and vary how deep you fish your baits.
Fresh slimy mackerel, pilchards and striped tuna are the preferred baits but don’t be scared to throw some soft plastics around. Many other species will also visit your berley trail with some real surprise packages.
Right in Tathra the rock platforms are fishing well with plenty of action for those casting lures to salmon, bonito, tailor and kingfish, while those who wish to chase drummer are having some of the best fishing in quite a while.
On the wharf everyone is having fun. Large schools of slimies, trevally and garfish have been the main attractions. Blackfish and drummer are being caught closer to the rocks with some nice tailor at night.
Frigate mackerel, bonito, salmon and kingfish all take their turns harassing the resident baitfish, along with the odd shark and yellowfin tuna venturing in to check the scene out.
The beaches have produced nice salmon, tailor, bream and gummy sharks at night. The best areas are Main Beach next to Mogareeka Inlet, Bournda Beach to the south and Gillards Beach in the north. Try walking these beaches with a handful of metal lures that you can make long casts and fast retrieves with for tailor and salmon.
Water in the estuaries is starting to chill but there is still plenty of activity to keep people enthused. In the Bega River bream are around in good numbers and anglers are doing well on lures and bait.
Estuary perch are now moving down the systems towards the entrance to breed. They have been taken along the rock wall adjacent to the boat ramp and around the bridge pylons.
Flathead are in the lower part of the system in anticipation of migrating to sea with the onset of the cooler months and are feeding regularly. Tailor are hanging around the bridge area and are a good option on lures.
Over the flats, blackfish and whiting are regular catches for fishos using nippers and worms.Reads: 1992