Pigging at the Rocks
  |  First Published: June 2008

Tathra is renowned for its spectacular rock platforms and the fishing that goes along with them, especially drummer.

Rock blackfish, drummer or pigs, whatever you like to call them, are the most sought after species in this area. Not only does their hard bulldog fighting attract anglers, so does their eating qualities once on the plate.

The area from Tathra Wharf through to Kianinny Bay is the prime location. For those who wish to do a little more exercise by walking south of Kianinny may find their fishing a little more remote.

How to fish for them varies too, a lot of the traditionalists like to use a bobby float with either cabbage weed or cunjevoi, whilst others may use the latter on a no. 1 hook with a small ball sinker drifted among the wash.

Prawns, nippers or squid have even accounted for some and I have had plenty of success around shallow rocks adjoining beaches. When I was burleying bream with striped tuna, a school of hard pulling pigs also found this bait also to their liking.

Pigs are not the only species on the chew. Luderick will often feature in bags, as will groper, bream, trevally, and wrasse. By keeping a spin stick handy, there are also schools of salmon or bonito passing within range.

Around the wharf most of these species are being captured, along with yellowtail, mackerel and garfish. They are always good fun for the kids. Long casts with sinkers fished on the bottom will see some nice sand flathead added to the bag as well.

In the Bega River things are pretty quiet, but still active enough to lure anglers to the system. The lower reaches are producing best for estuary perch down around the rocky outcrops near the bridge. This are also some lovely solid black bream mixed in. These bream are also further up the system where they are responding well to lures.

Flathead are still being captured, but the cooler water species like trevally and luderick are supplying the main entertainment for anglers around the bridge.

Salmon are being taken off almost any beach that has a good gutter on it, with either side of high tide being best. Combine these tides on a full moon and you’re likely to encounter jewfish, gummy sharks or tailor in the much deeper water. If your baits are coming back tatty it is likely there are bream around and you may need to down size to capture them.

Pushing out to sea from Kianinny Bay boat ramp, bottom fishing is solid but frustrating. Leather jackets are causing most problems making it hard to find the better species. You may need to move a lot to avoid them or fish closer to shore.

The better species that are around will be flathead with sandies making up the bulk of the captures out from most beaches. Around the full moon gummy sharks will also be a regular capture providing some variety to the bag.

For snapper and morwong, closer in reefs are probably the best, especially to avoid the jackets, where you can use either baits or jigs with soft plastics.

The deeper reefs out on the edge of the Continental Shelf have seen some very nice tassie trumpeter being taken with mixtures of ocean perch, large tiger flathead, morwong and snapper.

While out wide, it is also worth targeting yellowfin and albacore tuna. There are plenty around whether you troll for them or burley. They have been in as close as 20-fathoms this season so it pays to put the lures out early.

Following the schools of tuna are mako sharks. These fish are one of my favourites and can be targeted while burleying for tuna or fishing the bottom. So have a trace ready or a bait in the water and enjoy their antics.

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