If you’re a hunter, Winter is the time to venture into the scrub and chase wild pigs. For the angler it’s also the time to hit the rocks and to chase pigs.
Drummer, better known as pigs to the hardened rock fisho, are in their prime in the Winter and Tathra has some of the best fishing for them along the South Coast. There are plenty of areas to attack these fish, ranging from the Tathra Wharf at the main point and right through to Kianinny Bay. Conveniently, the best area is just below the pub.
Through the cooler months these tough fish maybe encountered all through the day with the prime times early morning and later in the day when the shadows of the cliff faces advance over the ocean.
Unfortunately for those who like lure fishing, drummer are pretty much for the bait angler only, with a variety of different baits working for them. Some of the best fun you can have is in the bait gathering, scrambling around on the rocks looking for red crabs or pulling cunjevoi off the ledges.
Other baits that will work are the common prawn, cabbage weed and especially my favourite, abalone gut. The easiest rig is to thread the line through a small ball sinker run straight to a No 1 extra-strong hook.
Small bobby floats can be used to suspend the bait, which works well with cabbage weed. Don’t forget to berley with bread soaked in the juice of the ab gut, which will bring the fish closer to the surface.
The offshore reefs are fishing well with some very nice snapper showing up north near Aragunnu, out from Nelsons Lagoon, and down around White Rock. Drift or anchor using bait in varying depths with the addition of berley if you’re anchored.
Soft plastics are very popular these days for chasing snapper off shore and there are lots of shallow reefs to try. Cast the lure in the direction your drifting and work it back to the boat or anchor and work over the area thoroughly.
Sand flathead are plentiful in around 30m and although they aren’t large there are plenty of them and they are great table fare.
Beach fishing is good if you like chasing salmon. Most of the beaches with good gutters carry their share of fish and all that is needed are some pilchards, ganged hooks or a handful of lures.
The wharf has plenty of trevally hanging around to keep the kids occupied and there are some very nice sea garfish there. At night some very nice tailor are being caught. Have a squid jig handy because there are some hanging around.
Cold water in the estuaries has put fish off the chew and the Bega River is tough. In the upper reaches bass are moving through in anticipation of spawning. With a lot of hard work some fish may be taken but it will be tough going.
Estuary perch are also on the move and may be encountered as far down as the bridge. Work the pylons over then move to the adjacent rock wall and work upstream. A variety of different lures will work and those that can hold in the strike zone the longest will produce more strikes.
The rock walls and bridge are holding their share of luderick which are biting on green weed and cabbage. Also check out the rocks at the entrance of the river for blackfish.
There are some large bream in the river but they’ve been hard to catch. Try a hard-bodied and neutral buoyancy lure which will hold in the strike zone. Polaroid your bream then work your lure in their faces.
If a fish follows, slowly increase your speed then stop the lure abruptly, allowing the fish to run into it. This may not result in a hook-up but it sometimes cheeses off a fish, resulting in a second strike and a hook-up.Reads: 554