Early winter action
  |  First Published: June 2015

Yes, winter has now descended upon us and things are cooling down. Not so in the fishing world though, as there is plenty of action to be found.

With the colder weather, early starts are not a necessity, so sleep in, as the fish will more often not get active until the sun warms the water. This is especially the case in the Bega River, where species like bream, whiting, luderick, flathead, trevally or mullet will graze the shallow flats where the sun’s rays heat the water quicker, as they search for tasty worms, shrimp or prawns, and the ever-present nippers.

This activity creates several options for anglers. Usually associated with the cooler months is crystal clear water. This allows anglers to sight their target before making a cast. Calm conditions are a great time to sit back and soak a bait, like those already mentioned above. Whether you are in a boat or shore based, this style of fishing can be very productive, however, improve your chances by first sighting fish within your intended area.

If you are a more active angler who wishes to fish lure or fly, these conditions can be very rewarding, even though sometimes many casts may be needed to achieve a result. This is due to the cooler water and the fish being sluggish, so just persist. This is also the time any estuary perch in the system will congregate in the deep sections near the rocky shorelines. Here anglers can sound them out, where soft plastics or blades jigged will often produce, but again persistence is the key.

Other forms of fishing are also pretty good at present. For those who like beach angling, salmon are readily available, with Tathra and Bournda beaches being the hot areas. There are also tailor available, quite a lot of nice bream, or of a night if you are keen, the chance of a mulloway or gummy shark.

The local wharf is also a hive of activity, with plenty to keep both the young and old entertained. Slimy mackerel, yellowtail and silver trevally are most sought after, along with those lovely big winter garfish. Of a night, tailor or salmon will patrol the area, and if you like your calamari, squid will often be here in numbers.

The rock platforms south of the wharf are home to some very nice black drummer, luderick and blue groper. Cunjevoi or cabbage weed are best for the first 2, while fresh red crabs should account for a groper or 2.

Out at sea, those calm conditions are allowing anglers to pursue the many reef and bottom fish within the area. Snapper are a tasty common catch over the reefs at present, and throw in some morwong, both blue and jackass, pigfish, perch or nannygai, and you have the makings of a seafood banquet. Flathead, mostly sandies, are available over the smoother grounds where gummy sharks and gurnard may also figure in fish bags.

Again the calmer weather is allowing those in the bigger boats to venture further afield out over the Continental Shelf, and with the aid of electronic reels tap into the deepwater dwellers like blue eye trevalla, hapuka, ling, gemfish and ocean perch. There may also be some game fish, like tuna, sharks or marlin in the deeper water, so be prepared.

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