With so much to see and do, Tathra is a wonderful place to spend the summer holidays, but fish are on the top of the list.
For people visiting the area, boats are not a must, although they can be useful for gaining access offshore and further afield in the Bega River. Boaties heading to sea will soon learn just how good the offshore reef and bottom fishing is in this area, and it is famous for its flathead grounds. None are fishing better than the Bournda area for large tigers at present. In and around 50-70m of water is the optimum depth, with some nice gummy sharks taken there as well. Northwards out from Nelsons and Wapengo, sand flathead and gurnard are about in good numbers, with anglers bagging out regularly. Snapper and morwong are getting caught on the reefs out from White Rock and further south, with the grounds to the north also firing. Depths will vary, but use a sounder to find small rises or pinnacles along the reefs.
Out to sea, game fish are making an appearance following schools of slimy mackerel and other baitfish. Marlin are showing, and along with them are tuna. Tuna species that are being taken range from the smaller stripies through to albacore and yellowfin, with trolling proving the best for the pelagics at present.
The estuary fishing is excellent, with a wide variety of species on the chew. Bream are providing plenty of action throughout the Bega River, with fish caught on both lures and baits. Look for gravelly areas around weed beds in the shallows.
It is proving to be a very good season for chasing dusky flathead in both the lakes and river. Wading the shallows is particularly interesting, providing very good visual action around weed beds and dropoffs, which are the better areas. Don’t just use lures, as baits such as nippers, worms and fresh prawns will also work very well, not only for the flatties but a host of other species. Speaking of prawns, while you are in the area, definitely have a look around the entrance of the Bega River of a night on the dark of the moon for a kilo or two of these tasty morsels.
Back to the fishing, luderick are being taken along the rock walls near the bridge, as well as around the pylons. Tailor are patrolling these areas too, and can be taken trolling or casting small metal lures from the shore.
Mulloway are definitely worth a look on warm summer’s nights around the deeper areas near the bridge. Use fresh tailor strips, live mullet or squid, and they sometimes turn up as a welcome bonus while casting soft plastics.
Fishing the beach adjacent to the mouth of the Bega River is seeing some good whiting action, with fish being caught on beach worms. Mixed in are a lot of bream and large sand mullet, which are always welcome bycatch. Salmon and tailor will be taken in the deeper gutters towards the evening and early mornings.
What holiday in the Tathra region would be complete without a visit to the wharf out from the main point? Kids and adults alike are having a carnival here at present, with a wide variety of species visiting this imposing structure. Large schools of slimy mackerel are making up the bulk of the catches. They come through in waves at times, and it is nothing to see almost everyone on the wharf hooked up at once. Other species encountered regularly are small yellowtail, trevally, salmon, tailor of a night, flathead off the bottom, luderick and drummer nearer the rocks, with schools of garfish up on the surface. Be prepared as larger predators will buzz this area looking for an easy meal of careless mackerel or yellowtail, so maybe some heavier tackle should be on standby.
Drifting the river flicking lures about for any number of species is a great way of spending a summer’s day.
Prettily marked gurnard are figuring in the catches of offshore drifters at present.
You don’t have to work too hard to put together a feed of dusky flathead during summer.Reads: 981