Stop, camp and explore
  |  First Published: March 2016

Ever thought of secluded beaches, remote rocky headland, beautiful blue oceans or estuary systems you can have to yourself with no other anglers around? Well, it is possible in this area, so why not come stop, camp and explore what is possibly one of last true wildernesses NSW has to offer.

Just to the north of Tathra is Mimosa Rocks National Park with some good camping spots close to some of the most pristine little lakes and estuaries. One such area is Picnic Point camping ground situated on a hidden beach close to Wapengo Lake. Taking the Wapengo Lake road will bring you out here and as you will see, you are only a few minutes away from the lake.

This lake has been fishing well this season with plenty of flatties in the main lake’s channels, while over the flats or around the weed beds you will find most other species like bream, luderick, whiting, mullet and more. Over the sea grass beds, by using some berley there are plenty of garfish to be caught. Down at the entrance off the rocks, passing schools of salmon offer some spectacular light tackle sportfishing either on lure or bait.

Only slightly to the north of Tathra is Gillards Beach, which has also got a very nice camping area adjacent to the beach. This is the middle section of three beaches along this part of the coast where species like salmon, bream, tailor and whiting are all common while at night mulloway and gummy sharks become an option.

Taking the road off to the right as you approach the camping grounds will bring you out to the entrance of Nelsons Lake, Cowdroys Beach and the adjacent headland. The south end of this beach around the rocks offers some excellent fishing, with the addition of berley attracting bream, mullet and salmon. The main rock platforms adjacent to the beach offer all you want from the stones with most common species like drummer, groper and luderick, while the deep water out the front will give you a chance at those passing schools of pelagics that are present in the form of kingfish, bonito, tuna, salmon or maybe a small black marlin passing. It is very deep water here and over the years I have seen all of the above fish here.

You can also gain access to Nelsons Lagoon via this track. Small boats or kayaks are a good option or wading this system can be a lot of fun. It is very shallow yet holds most of the estuary species already mentioned where you can get lost in the labyrinth of channels weaving through the mangroves.

There is plenty to explore around Tathra itself with the Bega River fishing well throughout its length with all species feeding well and some very good mulloway towards the entrance, while up in the brackish water those bass and estuary perch are there to be caught.

As already mentioned the beaches or rocks surrounding Tathra are fishing well with Tathra Beach producing some excellent whiting on beach worms.

On the Wharf there is action aplenty with those ever present schools of baitfish like mackerel and yellowtail to keep you entertained while garfish, silver trevally or luderick will give you something for the table. Using one of those mackerel or yellowtail for live bait may see you connected to one of the pelagics already mentioned, so keep your options open.

For those who can explore out to sea there is plenty of great fishing to be had. The reef or bottom fishing is excellent with both species of flathead on the chew. Sandies will be encountered closer to shore out from most beaches while you might need to go wider into deeper water to find those lovely big tiger flathead. Also, expect some nice gummy sharks when fishing closer to shore.

Most of the reefs have their share of action in the form of morwong, snapper, perch and the occasional tasty pigfish. While on the way to any of these grounds, it may pay to troll a few lures as the kingfish action has been good close to shore and throw in a few bonito, striped tuna or frigates for a bit of fun.

For those wishing to chase a marlin, there is no time better than now. Striped, blacks or blues are all out towards the continental shelf where a good spread of lures is a great way to find them, while closer to shore there is a good chance of a small black.

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