Cool fun on the beach
  |  First Published: July 2016

It may be cold, however a lot of cool fun can be had on the beaches at this time of year, as with the westerly winds and calm conditions prevail along the coast.

This is a great time to walk the beaches surrounding Tathra and toss a lure or two into the many gutters that have been formed. Salmon are the most likely species to be encountered, however, expect plenty of tailor and the odd mulloway. With the use of some fish berley, you can maximise your chances and expect some interesting fishing.

Tathra Wharf is a place to focus on, and with cooler water temperatures the trevally have moved in. These fish are providing plenty of action for young and old, as well as some lovely fresh fish for the table.

There is plenty of yellowtail, the odd mackerel, a few garfish and during the night squid are also appearing. This is a great time to fish the rocks with the winds blowing from the west the calm conditions allowing for a variety of angling.

My favourite thing to do at this time of year by far is chasing black drummer, and this is best done early morning or late afternoon, with the best areas being from the north eastern point adjacent to the wharf right round to Kianinny boat ramp. Trevally, silver drummer, jackets and wrasse will all be part of the by-catch while pig fishing, providing plenty of entertainment.

With these calm conditions, pelagics patrol very close to shore, and often anglers are best casting along the rock shore line rather than straight out. What usually is on offer is salmon and some very big fish at that. Once a school is located, every lure presented is likely to be seized upon, which often may last for an hour or two. These fish, plus various other species, are easily accessed from the ocean by boat. This is great light tackle fishing, which can be done in many forms including trolling, jigging or casting. Expect other species as well, for there are some nice winter kingies patrolling the coastal shore-line, and bonito may well be another added bonus.

Jigging the inshore reefs close to shore with soft plastics or small metal jigs often can provide some very rewarding fishing. The variety of species captured in this manner can be extremely varied. Snapper are a short list specialty only too willing to attack a lure, while other species like flathead, sergeant baker, cod, wrasse or a host of varying predators are rarely shy of a lure. The best areas to do this style of angling is to the north around Goalen Head, Nelsons Headland or south around White Rock, where it doesn’t matter if you drift or anchor, either way it sure is a lot of fun.

Estuaries are generally not the best option, but although there is strong winds, there will be lulls. When this occurs, it is the best chance for anglers to target estuary perch in the Bega River system. These fish will congregate around most of the rock walls around Thompsons, towards the river mouth, and around the bridge pylons.

There are some black bream also responding to lures, but a lot of work is needed to provoke a strike.

If it is flathead you are looking for, think shallow water over the flats or close to the shore, as like most lizards they will find a sunny spot in the shallows to warm their bodies.

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