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The beaches of Tathra
  |  First Published: April 2016



The title sounds a bit like that movie the Witches of Eastwick, however the only ‘witches’ here are which beach to fish as the areas has so many on offer! Starting north, Middle Lake Beach is well worth a look and from there if you move south you have Gillards Beach and then Cowdroys Beach. Both are worth investigating, and the latter is one of my favourites.

Next in line is Tathra Beach itself. Fishing around the entrance here is very productive with species like whiting, bream, salmon, tailor and flathead all on offer.

South of Tathra you have Wallagoot and Bournda beaches to explore, and often the salmon schools are so thick there that anglers can tire themselves very quickly. If you are into beach angling I highly recommend that you explore these beaches. Not only are they very productive, they are also scenically spectacular.

The Wharf has been fishing very well lately, with a variety of species hanging around. This spot is great for families on holidays as the kids get stuck into the many baitfish schools that are here. Yellowtail and trevally are regular catches with the visitors and, along with the ever-popular slimy mackerel, make up the bulk of the captures.

REEF AND OFFSHORE

Out to sea the offshore fishing has also fired up, with both the gamefish and bottom-dwellers on the chew. Marlin are still around for the gamefishers, with all three species now in the area. If it’s a big blue marlin you’re looking for, now is the time to target one. Tathra Canyons out over the Continental Shelf has, in the past, seen many an epic battle carried out on these great fish, and probably the best way to encounter one is with a spread of large skirted lures because it lets you cover more water to find where the fish are. Once you have raised a fish or two in a certain area you then can switch to using live baits in the form of slimy mackerel or small striped tuna.

You can expect to encounter other species while chasing the billfish – anything from subtropical mahimahi and spearfish through to a variety of tunas including albacore, and definitely a mixture of different sharks.

Calm conditions are allowing the bottom and reef fishos plenty of scope to work different areas in a range of depths. The wider reefs out in 70 fathoms – and there are some good ones out from Tathra – are producing some very nice snapper, mowies, tiger flathead and very big trumpeter. Berleying while out in this deeper water setting baits for sharks, tuna or marlin may produce while fishing down deep.

INSHORE AND ESTUARY

Closer to shore, fishing for flathead has always been popular out from Tathra. Most of the grounds, whether south of Bournda or north to Wapengo, have good schools of both sand and tiger flatties with the odd red gurnard or gummy shark to add to the catch. The inshore reefs are also hosting a variety of species, and the most popular targeted fish has been snapper. Bait fishing is still the most reliable way to catch snapper off the reefs, however the use of soft plastics in shallower water is becoming more popular. This is now being practised in a range of water depths, and as long as you can get your lure to the bottom you’re in with a shot.

The Bega River is open to the ocean, allowing fresh stocks of fish to enter the system. Schools of bream, blackfish, trevally and possibly some mulloway have moved into the river, and anglers have a chance to target them.

Fishing up around Blackfellas Lake and the rock walls in the Thompson area has been very productive for bream and estuary perch on lures. The drop-offs and main channel down towards the entrance have seen a lot of flathead and tailor taken on both lures and live bait, with the odd mulloway getting into the act.

Down around the flats, anglers using nippers and fresh prawns have enjoyed some exciting fishing, especially around the weed beds for some very nice whiting, blackfish and bream.

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