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A place for the kids
  |  First Published: December 2016



For many decades Tathra Wharf has been the place for young anglers to spend their school holidays chasing and catching fish. This season looks like it will be no different. There are all kinds of baitfish that call Tathra Wharf home, providing hours of entertainment for young anglers and older ones alike. This month there are plenty of slimy mackerel and yellowtail, which are falling to well presented strips of fish.

Silver trevally lurk underneath these schools and take some angling prowess to wrangle away from the pylons. Very nice luderick hang around these sticks closer to shore and can be tempted with some cabbage weed with the odd black drummer sneaking in to make things interesting. Heavy lead is required to make long casts to fish the bottom for sand flathead that venture close enough for anglers, where an odd gummy shark or shovelnose shark may also be encountered.

Those small baitfish come in handy where you can float them out alive for one of the many predators passing this structure. This season has already seen the passing of many pelagics in the form of kingfish, salmon, bonito or a small whaler shark only too willing to snavel a live bait or a well worked lure.

On the adjacent rocks, anglers are mixing with those pelagics and lure fishing provides most of the action. There are other species to target as well with drummer, groper, trevally or bream on the short list. Use berley around Kianinny Bay to find schools of garfish, which are just great on the table, as well as bream and trevally.

There are all manner of angling options available at sea – light tackle sports fish providing great fishing. Plenty of kingfish this season have been taken on the troll, jigs or casting when they come to the surface. It pays to troll the coastline until you locate them, while catching some small tuna in the mean time.

Anglers wishing to fill their bags with tasty table fish are scoring offshore on the bottom – tiger flathead are the bulk of the catch. These are caught in and around 40m depth or beyond, where sand flatties and gummy sharks add variety to the bag.

Around the reefs, especially up north out from Goalen Head, morwong are on the chew in very good numbers. Jackass and rubber lips are very willing to bite. Any form of structure located on the sounder around the deep 50-60m water depths is fishing the best. Great snapper are lingering and mixing with the morwong – they add a bit of colour. Not to be outdone, expect the same action on the reefs south and around Tathra, which you may go to as governed by the weather.

Out wide over the Continental Shelf there’s some game action in the form of albacore, striped, yellowfin or the occasional bigeye tuna. These are being taken on the troll on a variety of lures – the wider you go, the better the action. Following these schools are sharks, so if you like to lay a berley trail down, expect to mix with some very large mako, blue or whaler sharks. If you have the gear, try sending a bait to the bottom for some deep water fish with a difference.

The legacy of the big rains during the cooler months has the Bega River fishing its head off from top to toe. The upper fresh to brackish water has the bass, estuary perch and bream on the chew. These provide good fly or lure fishing as they feast on cicadas that fall from overhanging trees.

The perch and bream filter down stream and mix in with some nice dusky flathead, plenty of whiting, luderick, trevally and tailor. They’re being caught with a variety of methods. Try some live prawns at first light, as there are plenty of prawns in the system for both bait and the table.

1

Luderick are just one species you will encounter around Tathra.

2

An early morning hook-up, can it get any better?

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