Taking time
  |  First Published: December 2016

It has taken its time this season to warm up, but finally it has. Air temperatures are up, water temperatures have risen and the fishing has fired. Whether you choose to go inland to the fresh, wonder the rocks or beaches, to stealth fish the estuaries or patrol the bluewater for reef and bottom fish, or you chase the pelagics out wide, it’s that time of year when it’s all on offer.

Starting in the sweet water Brogo Dam, the river below through to the brackish water of the Bega River system is producing bass. Bass are the target species here and there are plenty of them due to the efforts of the FSCBSA releasing thousands of these fish into Brogo Dam each year, where they filter through to the river downstream. Although the warm conditions have the fish on the chew, anglers should concentrate their efforts on early morning or late afternoon when there is some shadow on the water.

Moving towards the beaches, rocks or Tathra Wharf, anglers can expect good catches of salmon. Schools of these fun sportfish cruise along the coast. For those fishing the rocks or on the jetty, following the salmon are kingfish, bonito and frigate mackerel. There may be larger predators following these in the form of sharks, so a salmon out under a float may lead to some exciting action. Whiting, bream, tailor, mullet or the occasional mulloway can all feature in catches for those visiting the sandy areas with most beaches in the area fishing well.

Estuaries are a favourite when the weather is at its warmest with all the species willing to eat. The Bega River is very popular and easily accessed with new boat launching and car parking facilities now in use. Another estuary worth a look is Wapengo Lake. With a little effort, a small boat can be used here. It’s easily accessed by kayak or canoe, as is Nelsons Lagoon just north of Tathra. Wallagoot Lake to the south is often overlooked for its fishing potential and is well worth a try. It often holds some very nice snapper that thrive on the many prawns this lake produces. There are plenty of prawns on offer in the estuaries for both anglers and fish.

Out to sea for those fishing on the bottom or around the reefs, flathead are the mainstay with plenty on offer and both species present. The occasional gummy shark may also show in the catch. Around the reefs, morwong are the most common catch with a few snapper, nannygai or sea perch. Kingfish are likely to show up at any stage.

Out wide, it’s marlin season. All three species – blues, blacks and the more common stripies – are on offer. A suggestion out from Tathra is to head north where the continental shelf is closer to shore, start in around 160m then move out wider to the shelf towing a good spread of lures and teasers.

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