Bega River gets a makeover
  |  First Published: August 2007

The Bega River system, entering the ocean at Tathra, has a large catchment area and when this valley floods, the water has the power to carry massive amounts of flotsam which creates new structure forming habitat for fish to congregate and for anglers to target.

Those rains earlier in Winter were also desperately needed to flush our rivers and lakes. They allowed lakes and rivers that were closed to the ocean a chance to open, creating fresh access to tidal ocean water and safe passage for fish moving to or from the ocean.

New snags and holes have now been created throughout the Bega River meaning new angling challenges and conditions.

In the upper reaches, sandbars have changed and so has the timbered structure. Every bass fisho knows how these fish like cover and after the floods it can be very exciting looking for new structure where these fish will gather. Although August is not a prime time to target bass, which are now on their spawn run, it could be a good time for anglers to do some investigating of potential fishing in the warmer months ahead.

Further down the system, the flush has allowed estuary perch and black bream to move about freely. From a twig out in the middle to solid rock walls along the banks, any form of structure may hold these species. Also look for gravel areas washed out by the rains because bream especially like to forage here for shrimp and crabs.

With the entrance now constantly open to the ocean, large schools of luderick are entering and congregating around the bridge through to the rock wall adjacent to the boat ramp. Cabbage weed will account for most of them with squirt worms and nippers taking their share.

There have been some very nice schools of trevally and tailor also entering the system. The tailor are being taken on lures trolled upstream from the bridge or cast from the rocky shore near the boat ramp, while the trevally are being captured on a variety of baits in similar areas.

Speaking of trevally, now is the time to visit the Tathra wharf because there are plenty of them to keep the kids and adults busy. Salmon are also making passing visits and can be targeted by casting lures. There are also resident schools of yellowtail to be found, while of an evening tailor and barracouta may come on the chew.

There have been some terrific gutters created along the beaches near Tathra which are fishing well for salmon, bream and tailor.

The bream can be targeted with worms, pipis or strips of fish such as striped tuna used in conjunction with berley, while the other species will respond well to lures and baits.


Following the Winter storms, the rock fishing has been excellent. Drummer have been in very good numbers from the wharf through to Kianinny Bay on abalone gut, cunjevoi and green weed. Mixed in are silver drummer, groper, plenty of trevally and luderick are responding well to the weed.

There are some good platforms here which are favourable for the lure casters to target the passing schools of salmon.

Offshore, warmer than usual water has seen a late run of tuna. Yellowfin have been particularly good this season, as have albacore, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see schools of southern bluefin pushing up along the coast as the water cools. There are no rules with this species and they are likely to pop up anywhere from close to shore to wide of the canyons. A good spread of lures will be effective and hang on when you find them.

Reef and bottom fishing is great for a variety of species. Wide of Bournda has always been a noted area for tiger flathead. You will find them mixed red gurnard plus a few gummy sharks.

The depth of water in which you may target them will vary, so you may need to move around a bit. Blue and jackass morwong and snapper are dominating most of the reef captures from a variety of different locations and depths. Some of the shallower ones from 5m have produced very good bags of snapper for those fishing soft plastics.

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