Tathra Tempters
  |  First Published: February 2009

Offshore reef and bottom fishing is what Tathra is renowned for, and once you leave Kianinny Bay boat ramp the question is which way do I go? Not a bad dilemma to be in really; fish to the north, fish to the south and even plenty of fish straight out.

So how do I choose?

Most of the time the choice is made for you by the weather. If the forecast is for northerly winds go north, if it is for southerlies go south and if it is for really strong winds the straight out option may be best, as you are only a short distance from port.

If heading north, after leaving the entrance of Kianinny Bay, the last headland north you will see is Arragunnu. Just around the corner there is Goalen Head, arguably the best reef complex within this area. Here you will find a mix of reef fish, which include the highly sort-after snapper, morwong, perch, kingfish and more. And all are fishing well at present.

Pelagics are up on the surface in the form of small tuna like bonito, strippies, frigates and there are schools of slimies which all attract larger predators in the likes of marlin and sharks.

Slightly south of Arragunnu, sand flathead are in good numbers out from Wapengo and Gillards beaches in around 25m water depth. Wider out will have you in the mix of some very nice tiger flathead, gurnard and a few gummy sharks.

There are more reef complexes out from Nelsons headland, which are also fishing well, and this area is also worth a look for those large gamefish. Tathra Bay is also playing host to plenty of sand flatties if you don’t want to travel too far.

Straight out the front of Kianinny provides a mix of reefs, sand and gravel bottom features. This area is also providing mixed bags of the above mentioned species.

Going south, White Rock is not far and is producing good reef species, mainly morwong and snapper. You can fish wide or close to shore where jigging with soft plastics is often successful. Further south, out off Bournda Island, is flathead heaven. Most species are here in varying depths where they have been accompanied by some excellent gummy sharks.

There is plenty of action on the wharf with slimies and yellowtail being ever-present. Mixed in are trevally, some garfish, tailor of a night, and schools of predator fish in the form of salmon and small tuna are regular visitors. Some hammerheads sharks and whalers are present and will often take a well presented frigate mackerel under a balloon.

Most beaches are firing within the area with salmon being most prolific. Tailor are a night option, along with jewies, small whalers and gummy sharks. Through the day, whiting and bream are in very good numbers, which are a regular catch in the shallow gutters on worms.

The estuaries are not to be left out, the Bega River and surrounding systems are all firing well. The good prawn season is responsible for excellent fishing here and there are still plenty in the Bega river. Used live they have accounted for many large flathead, plenty of bream and estuary perch. You could also try something different by using them unweighted in shallow water over the sand flats for whiting, this can be exciting producing some very big fish.

Tailor are growing quite large in the Bega River, providing some good light tackle angling especially of a night. Some anglers have been using fresh strips of tailor as bait for good results on jewfish and large flathead.

Brogo Dam is also fishing excellent of a night or early morning. Some of the fish there are reaching a good size with 40cm fish being encountered regularly. Lately I have had good success on larger fish using an old fashion Crazy Crawler just on dark.

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