Action on the wharf
  |  First Published: November 2016

Tathra Wharf has long been a favourite structure from which anglers can fish for a variety of different species. It’s a meeting place. As a kid, it was a great venture to catch up with mates, fish and do what young people do, creating fond memories.

Last season saw plenty of the small pelagics like bonito or frigate mackerel captured from the pier. This is just starting to happen and we should see more in the future, along with great kingfish that harassed pilchard schools. These are still the regulars to be had here with slimy mackerel, yellowtail or silver trevally to keep the kids entertained, while some nice luderick are being taken close to the stones. A lot of those species mentioned are also being encountered off the rocks, with the added bonus of some big drummer or blue groper tossed in.

For those who like to grace the table with tasty fish fillets, its tiger time offshore – flatties, that is. This is probably the best month of the year to target them and they’re in pretty good numbers. However, early starts are in order to beat the spring winds. Whether you fish north or south off Tathra, it’s all about depth and structure.

Tigers will hang near reef. Start up on the reef, catch some nice morwong, snapper or other reef fish to start with and then drift onto the gravelly sand that tigers prefer – this should see constant action throughout the session. Depth is important, as there seems to be a pecking order with these fish. In the 30-40m mark, you’re likely to encounter smaller fish. As you go wider to depths of around 100-140m, they’re much larger. Even though it’s hard work in the deep, there are added bonuses of other reef fish like those big tasty Tassie trumpeters.

Out on the deep blue, tuna are starting to show in numbers with stripies being the most prolific. There are albacore around, along with a few yellowfin – most are out over the Continental Shelf. Trolling is the preferred method with a mix of skirted or swimming lures working best. With the water warming, it won’t be long before we see marlin starting to show. Remember, where there are tuna there are sharks, especially makos. A well laid berley trail consisting of tuna should see one of these lovely gamefish attached to a line.

Back on shore, the estuaries are the highlight. The Bega River is in full swing from top to bottom. This is largely due to the amount of food in the system and those surrounding Tathra. As a result of last season’s massive rains, prawn stocks were able to come in from the ocean and much to our delight, this provides good prawning and good fishing too.

In the upper reaches where the fresh meets the salt, bass are fired up. With many good holes created, there are plenty of options for anglers. You’re likely to find some nice black bream here, which make a perfect target for those wishing to sight cast to their pray. Big bully mullet exist here too, but prove elusive for those who pursue them. A small wriggling plastic may be the answer to obtaining a strike.

Throughout the rest of the river, all species are in full swing and providing plenty of action. If it’s a lure, bait or fly you like to fish, there’s something happening for all. If you want some serious fishing, get up early, catch some live prawns, fish them on daylight and enjoy the experience.


Trevally are a popular species from the ocean to the estuaries.


The Bega River is full of shallow water light tackle bream action.


Sweet water kayak fishing is popular and there is plenty on offer in the Tathra area.

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