Good weather to head wide
  |  First Published: June 2007

June usually brings calm weather and that means conditions conducive to allowing anglers access to all fishing grounds, especially the wider, deep reefs.

Along our coast the 70-fathom line (128m) is usually only one or two miles inside the continental shelf. Associated with this depth are numerous reefs.

The Twelve Mile reef off Bermagui is in this depth and has been noted for its captures of large delicious Tassie trumpeter. In recent times Tathra-based anglers have discovered their own grounds, east of the Kianinny Bay boat ramp, with some surprising results.

These anglers discovered the grounds by studying their sounders while marlin fishing, They went back in the cooler months and fished them with great results, achieving up to 15 trumpeter to 20kg per day. Mixed in was an array of different species, including some very nice ocean perch, morwong, big tiger flathead and the odd snapper.

Finding these reefs is a matter of working the 70-fathom line till you see a lump on the sounder, then drifting over it using relatively large baits. You may have to move around a bit until you find them, but it is worth it.

Be warned: Fishing this depth it is a lot of hard work and you need good quality gear loaded up with braided line.

If its yellowfin you want, Tathra Canyons are generally one of the best areas. Troll at first to see if you can raise the tuna on lures, then start your berley trail while fishing with cubes and live baits.

Sharks may come up these trails so it may be necessary to have a trace handy or already have a bait out under a balloon. Makos will be your most regular visitors but expect to see some blues, whalers and, this time of year, the odd thresher.

Most of the bottom fishing is also good with a variety of reef fish on the close reefs. Out from Bournda Beach in around 30m, sand flathead up to 60cm are regular catches.


It’s a great time for the family to fish the wharf for a mix of species. Silver trevally are a speciality with anglers trying to keep them away from the pylons. Slimy mackerel and yellowtail are also on the entertainment shortlist. Large sea gar are a bonus as they swipe small pieces of prawn under floats while of an evening and into the night, schools of tailor will patrol.

Around on the rocks below the pub and towards the entrance of Kianinny Bay, rock drummer are at their best. Fish of an evening when the shadows fall over the water or at first light.

A simple rig of a No 2 hook with a small ball sinker running straight to it works when baited with abalone gut and cunjevoi. Leatherjackets, bream and trevally will also respond to this method.

Schools of salmon have been frequenting the main beach towards the entrance to the Bega River The traditional paternoster rig with strips of fish or whole pilchards produces but consider trying metal lures allowed to sink slightly before a very fast retrieve. The strike may sometimes indicate you have hooked weed but when line starts peeling off the spool, you know you’re in for a good time.

In the river black bream are on the chew with lures being the way to go.

All through the system around rock walls, sunken logs and just about any form of structure is likely to hold these quality sport fish. Lures used to target these fish may vary as much as the fishos who chase them. I still like small hard minnows but there is no doubt that scented soft plastics work well so use what you’re confident with.

Expect to encounter some very nice estuary perch as they move through out the system.

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