Christmas holidays around Tathra is a good party time for all to enjoy but if it’s serious fishing in a quieter environment you’re after, now is the time to be here.
Things around here go pretty quiet in February but the fishing is great. Whether you like going out to sea, bobbing around in an estuary or fish the beaches, rocks, lakes and rivers from shore, this is a perfect time to capitalise on the warm weather and water.
The Bega River is firing. The upper reaches towards and into the fresh are producing good bass as well as estuary perch.
Some days it’s so good just about every lure cast to a snag will get smashed, while on other days when the barometer is down, exercising that casting arm may be your only reward. So when chasing these fish choose your day carefully.
The middle reaches through to the entrance hold most estuary species and they’re very willing to feed. Lures will do the job on most species like flathead and bream although for best results fresh live mullet, nippers and prawns will attract most attention.
Speaking of prawns, the river is holding good stocks for those who wish to chase them with a light and scoop net and the dark early this month should be one to enjoy.
Local beaches are also fishing well with the highlight being whiting on beach worms adjacent to the Bega River. These fish are of a good size and there are plenty of them.
Mixed in are some sizeable yellowfin bream and big sand mullet. Salmon and tailor are prolific on most of the beaches on strip baits, pilchards or lures either side of the high tide.
Tathra wharf is well worth a visit now the crowds have departed. A whole host of species are available, from tuna, kingfish and sharks to bonito, frigates, salmon and tailor. Live baits or lures will perform for the speedsters.
Mackerel and trevally are playing havoc around the pylons while there are sand flathead on the bottom plus luderick and garfish closer to the rocks.
Lots of these species, especially the game fish, can be caught from the adjacent rock platforms. Live-baiting is by far the best way, drifting a bait out under a float or a balloon.
Time can also be spent chasing groper, drummer, leatherjacket and wrasse while waiting for that big bite or you can cast lures to passing schools of salmon.
Out to sea, warm water has provided the right conditions for bottom and game fish alike. Small tuna schools and baitfish attracting large predators like marlin, sharks and large tuna in very close to shore.
Live striped tuna have been accounting for some large hammerhead sharks plus the odd marlin, particularly blacks. For better results, go to lures to cover the water more effectively and they will also target a greater range of species. Blue marlin are more likely to be captured this way using large skirted pushers.
Around the reef complexes, bottom fishing is also excellent for a variety of species. Flathead are the most highly prized table fare here with grounds north and south producing sandies and tigers with the odd red gurnard.
The reef complex north at Goalen Head is providing anglers with plenty of fun on snapper, morwong and some excellent kingfish. Be prepared here because fish like marlin will come close to shore.
Up at Brogo Dam, evenings are providing good surface action for fly and lure anglers. Casting to snags or weed beds will produce or you can just lie back, soak a worm and enjoy its beauty.