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The Bega River at its best
  |  First Published: March 2015



Warm water and warm weather with plenty of fish, have the estuaries surrounding Tathra all fired up and ripe for the picking.

It has been a great season for estuary fishing, with one of the best ever for both flathead and whiting. There has been some exceptional duskies in the Bega River system, and for anglers looking for a trophy fish, they’ve been a standout. There are some very nice sandflats just upstream from the boat ramp, and the one on the southern side always seems to hold large duskies. These areas are best fished early morning before too much boat activity occurs, and when there are still some prawns in the system kicking around, you can target these fish with lures or bait. Just keep in mind that if the prawns are about, using them fresh or as live bait will produce exciting results.

This is all a result of the river being open to the ocean for many months now. Fresh fish stocks move in and out of the system on a regular basis, replenishing the waters, which creates good fishing — especially over the flats on a rising tide.

Not only has the whiting fishing been good in the estuaries, it has been one of the very best on the beaches. The north end of Tathra Beach has been a prime area. Beach worms are definitely the prime bait here, although for those who find it hard to acquire them, a bucketful of nippers is not a bad substitute. Other species like bream and mullet are also quite partial to these crustaceans, and you only need light outfits to have some fun.

There are also plenty of salmon and tailor to be found on the beaches along this part of the coast at present, and for those willing to put the hours in of a night, they may be pleasantly surprised with the odd mulloway or gummy shark.

Around on the wharf there is action aplenty, with large schools of slimy mackerel keeping not only the kids entertained, but also the adults. There are always plenty of silver trevally present to wrap anglers’ lines around the pylons, as well as the ever-present schools of yellowtail. The pelagic action isn’t bad either, with salmon passing by, the odd bonito or kingfish, and there is always a chance of snaring a marlin from this bay.

Offshore there is plenty of activity to offer anglers in the form of bottom fish or pelagics. Firstly, on the reef scene, flathead are prolific — both sandies and tigers. The deeper you fish, the more tigers you will catch and the larger they are likely to be. Closer to shore, the sandies will definitely fill the bag. The best areas are north east of Wapengo, or south out from Bournda.

Moreso on the reefs, snapper have showed up early to provide many a tasty meal, with the best areas being north around Bunga Point, Nelsons Headland or south out from White Rock. Accompanying the snapper are plenty of morwong and ocean perch, but unfortunately the leatherjackets are still causing problems.

Even though Tathra is not noted for its game fish, there are still enough marlin out from here to keep anglers interested. The best way to find them is to troll lures, and those who spend a few days here will find where the fish are concentrated. Also be aware that there are some big blues around at present, and it wouldn’t be the first time a fish like that has come into Tathra.

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Some solid bream are lurking in Tathra waters at the moment.

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This just goes to show what variety is on offer in our south coast estuaries in March.

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The flatties have been great all season.

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