Thinking fishos see red
  |  First Published: May 2009

With the arrival of Winter most anglers have packed away their tackle until the warmer months but at this time of year calm seas get thinking anglers seeing red – big red snapper.

Leaving the safe launching area at Kianinny Bay at Tathra, the snapper options start to open up.

You can fish north off Goalen Head, where a massive reef enables anglers to drift with simple paternoster rigs for good results or anchor and lay out a berley trail to attract some very pleasing larger fish.

Drifting whole pilchards or large cut baits down the trail will account for large snapper, kingfish, bonito, small sharks and even the odd yellowfin tuna.

It often pays to have a live bait out on heavier gear while doing this style of fishing.

Another popular snapper method, jigging with plastics, is done by drifting, casting your lure down wind or current and working it back to the boat. Or you can anchoring and work the area over before moving on.

These methods will work in other locations out from Tathra, areas like Nelsons Headland, straight out from Kianinny Bay, or further south at White Rock.

There is plenty of other table fare on the reef, such as morwong, leatherjackets, perch and pigfish while just off the reefs are the ever-present tiger flathead.

Close to the Continental Shelf, deeper reefs hold creatures like nannygai, Tasmanian trumpeter and larger versions of the species already mentioned.

A bonus when you go wide is a chance at larger game fish like tuna.

Albacore are definitely on the shortlist and are responding well to trolled lures and cubes, as are the yellowfin and some big-eye tuna.

There are plenty of stripies, which are attracting quite a lot of mako sharks and don’t rule out a chance of a late marlin.


The local wharf in the bay is popular as schools of trevally show up to provide plenty of action. Passing salmon schools are welcomed by those who like to cast a lure while bonito are interested in a well-presented live bait.

Other species regularly encountered include yellowtail, garfish, luderick (closer to the rocks) and tailor at night. Have a squid jig handy.

Adjacent to the wharf are some excellent rock platforms for salmon, bonito, tailor and the odd kingfish, while baits fished in the washes will account for drummer, bream, trevally and blue groper.

Things are quiet in the Bega River with cold water slowing the feeding activity of fish.

One species that does feed well in these conditions is the estuary perch. Expect to find them in the lower areas towards the entrance along the rock walls.

Bream, flathead, trevally and the odd jewie are still all in there but you should expect to work had for them.

Nearby estuaries open to the ocean are harbouring lots of good bream, trevally, garfish, plenty of luderick on weed and schools of reasonable salmon.

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