The calmer weather options
  |  First Published: June 2017

The start of winter usually heralds some calm cool weather. This is a time for anglers to take advantage of it and try some different options or techniques.

Leaving a safe entrance like Kianinny Bay at Tathra there are several options for where you can and how you can fish. North off Goalen Head is a massive reef structure. Here most anglers are just drifting using a simple paternoster rig for good results. Others may choose to anchor and lay a berley trail with some very pleasing larger fish coming up the trail.

Drifting whole pilchards or large cut baits will often account for large snapper while other species such as kingfish, bonito, small sharks or even the odd yellowfin may be attracted by the berley. It will often pay to have a live bait out while doing this style of fishing, so have some heavier gear handy. Another popular method used now on snapper is jigging with plastics.

To do this, drift, cast your lure up ahead of you then work it back to the boat or anchor up and work the area over before you move on. These methods will work in other locations out from Tathra like Nelsons Headland, straight out from Kianinny Bay or further south at White Rock.

Not only are there snapper on the reefs, but plenty of other table fair will also grace anglers’ bags. Common catches are morwong, leatherjackets, perch, pigfish and just off the reefs are the ever-present tiger flathead. If you go further to sea close to the Continental Shelf, these deeper reefs are holding larger reef dwellers like nannygai, trumpeter or larger fish of the species already mentioned.

One added bonus is when you go wide this allows you a chance at some larger gamefish in the form of the many tuna that are around right now.

Albacore are definitely on the short list and are responding well to both trolled lures or cubes, as are the yellowfin and more recently some big-eye tuna. There are plenty of stripies attracting quite a lot of mako sharks. Don’t rule out a chance at late season marlin.

Back on shore the local wharf is popular as schools of trevally are showing up to provide plenty of action. Passing salmon schools are welcome catches for those who like casting a lure while bonito are interested in a well-presented live bait. Other species regularly encountered are yellowtail, garfish, luderick closer to the rocks and tailor at night. Have a squid jig handy – this is the time of year they may show in good numbers.

Adjacent to Tathra Wharf are some excellent rock platforms providing great fishing. Schools of salmon, bonito, tailor and the odd kingfish provide activity towards the surface, while baits fished in the wash will account for many drummer, bream, trevally or one of those mighty blue groper.

Things are quiet in the Bega River with cold water conditions slowing the feeding activity of the fish. One species that feeds well in these conditions is estuary perch. Expect to find them in the lower areas towards the entrance along the rock walls.

Bream, flathead, trevally or the odd mulloway are all in there. Expect to do a lot of work to encounter them. Surrounding estuaries that are open to the ocean are harbouring lots of good bream, trevally, garfish and plenty of luderick on weed. Lately schools of reasonable salmon will turn up just to make things interesting.

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