Bega River hot to trot
  |  First Published: October 2007

The Bega River meets the ocean at Mogareka Inlet. It is a long system with a couple of lakes off to the side and, as a result of Winter rains, it is fishing exceptionally well.

From bass to bream, mullet to mulloway or duskies to drummer, this river has it all.

Following the rain, bass have been moving through the river freely but are now concentrating around Jellat Jellat, half-way between Bega and Tathra. There are some exceptional fish here for lure and fly fishos.

Since this system has been closed to commercial fishing, estuary perch are making a strong comeback and can be found throughout the river, with recent hot spots around Black Fellas Lake. Almost any structure could hold these fish and once you’ve found them, several fish can be taken from one snag.

This river has always been famous for its numbers of big bream. Whether you use lures or bait, you will find these fish through out the system. At this time of year the middle reaches are producing well around Thompsons.

There are rock walls and plenty of other structure to hold fish but don’t always look for the obvious because a lot of bream are encountered in shallow, warm, mid-river sections as they fossick for food.

Flathead are on the chew pretty much all through the system and without that commercial pressure, some very large fish are to be encountered. Fish over a metre are regularly encountered now.

Some of the deeper areas towards the bridge are fishing well and mixed with the flatties are jewfish, tailor and some nice salmon that swam in through the very wide entrance.

The rocks at the entrance on the northern side, known as Fords, are producing very good drummer and other rock species. Flicking some nippers, prawns or ab gut around will account for them.

Keep a spin stick handy for those schools of passing salmon, with whiting and bream common there as well.


Up on the Tathra Wharf it is holiday time and the kids are having a ball. The trevally are on, providing plenty of entertainment, and so are the yellowtail and slimy mackerel.

Long casts fished on the bottom are scoring some size sand flathead and some of the older kids are catching blackfish on cabbage weed near the rocks.

Nights are great on the Wharf, when you can expect the unexpected. Tailor take floating baits regularly and there are raids from salmon and barracouta. Squid are also common at night and at times can be plentiful.

Offshore, there’s more fun to be had with bottom-bouncers producing good catches. North-east winds build of a morning and can provide good drifts along the reef edges.

Whether you go north or south, most reefs are holding good fish. Morwong are the most common with blues to 3kg and jackass taken regularly.

Snapper are also about. White Rocks area to the south is holding most of them or you can venture north to Goalen Head, where you’re almost certain to have good fishing.

For soft plastics on the inshore reefs and close to rocks, either side of the entrance to Kianinny Bay boat ramp and up off Nelsons Headland would be good places to start.

October is definitely flathead time out at sea, with big tigers and succulent sandies out from most beaches. Out in 50m to 70m north of Wapengo and south of Bournda is producing large bags of tigers with red gurnard and gummy sharks. In around 30m you will find the sandies out from most beaches. Often overlooked Tathra Bay is a good option when the wind increases.

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