Changes to the Bega River
  |  First Published: April 2017

The Bega River system has seen a few changes over recent times. There hasn’t been enough rain to keep it open to the ocean, however there has been water flowing down the system, causing flooding around the lower areas around Tathra and forcing the authorities to manually open the river to the ocean.

This may not be a long-term solution and will probably close up again relatively soon. While it is open, make the most of it. Use the tidal flow to your advantage for bream, flathead, whiting, mullet, and luderick. There have been some very good mulloway on offer as well. Another species to target, especially around the rocky areas, are estuary perch, as they are now in better numbers than they were a decade ago.

For those who like to feel the sand between their toes, the beaches around Tathra are excellent. Anglers can expect plenty of salmon to frequent them while tailor, the odd mulloway and gummy sharks will become part of the mix. Frequenting the shallow water of the beaches, those tasty whiting, bream or mullet are a welcome catch and there seems to be plenty of them.

Being holiday time, the place to be is the wharf. This platform attracts a wide variety of fish and anglers pursuing the many fish species surrounding this structure. Presently, schools of big slimy mackerel are providing most of the entertainment, while yellowtail and silver trevally are a welcome addition. Some of these may be recycled out under a float as a live bait where passing predators like kingfish, bonito, some tunas or the odd shark may take a liking to it.

Frigate mackerel and salmon are providing plenty of action for those who wish to work lures, while closer to the rocks, those wishing to add something tasty to their bags are finding garfish, luderick and drummer willing to take a bait. Some of these species like kingfish, salmon, frigates, bonito or the odd shark are a prime candidate for those fishing the rocks within the area. Live baits can again be deployed to attract them, while luring will give anglers options of moving from spot to spot.

As things start to cool, drummer are there for the taking, especially as the shadows from cliff faces creep over the ocean. Groper are also on the increase off the stones, while bream, trevally and leatherjackets will make a nice by-catch.

Out at sea, there is plenty for all, with some of those pelagic species already mentioned becoming a sportfishing option for those hugging the coast, either trolling or casting lures. For those wishing to acquire a feed of reef or bottom fish, the cooling weather is improving this fishery.

Snapper are increasing in numbers, and most reef areas are holding quality fish. The better fish have been attracted with berley by the boats at anchor. Most other common reef fish like morwong, nannygai and pigfish are on the improve, and it’s not hard to gather a tasty meal.

The sand or muddy areas are also holding their share of flathead, gummy sharks and red gurnard so you can add a bit of variety.

We are now at a cross-over time of the season for game fishos where out wide of Tathra towards the Continental Shelf, anglers are encountering species like marlin, mostly stripes with the odd black or blue, mahimahi, and plenty of striped tuna with the odd yellowfin and albacore also starting to show. For those who wish to berley, a mixture of shark species are likely to visit in the form of whalers, blues, makos and an occasional large tiger.

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