Turning up the heat
  |  First Published: September 2009

In our part of the world nothing improves fishing better than heat. Whether it is water temps, land mass or air temps that are on the rise, or a combination, when the heat is on so are the fish.

At this time of year the land is the first to heat up and then it heats the landlocked waters, including Brogo Dam for bass, the Bega River for estuary species and other rivers and lakes close to Tathra.

Brogo Dam has been below 20%, making it impossible to launch anything other than a canoe.

The shore fishing, however, is excellent: There are still plenty of fish in the dam and they are very hungry.

Walking the shoreline is a great option that provides plenty of entertainment, whether you cast a lure, a fly or a bait.

The Bega River is still landlocked so this system has become very warm very quickly, bringing the fish on the chew.

The upper reaches are producing good bass, estuary perch and bream.

Lures will provide plenty of entertainment, as will the flies which become a better option when the terrestrial life starts to get active. When flying ants or cicadas start to appear, this is the time to use the fly on the upper reaches.

Through the rest of the system, most estuary species are active and there are plenty of rewards for the thinking angler.

When an estuary is closed to the ocean, fish start to appear in unusual places because the fish have to fossick for food instead of it being brought to them by the tides.

Look for signs where fish have been feeding, often in shallow water where nippers and worm beds occur. Then go back later and have a crack at them with baits or lures.


Beach fishos are having fun with salmon, which have been in record numbers on most beaches in the area.

Other species showing on the sand include bream, tailor, some lovely gummy sharks at night and an occasional jewfish to keep things interesting.

With the school holidays, Tathra Wharf is a popular spot, especially for silver trevally which are easily caught on a strip of one of those yellowtail that also hang around the pylons.

Yakka strips also make excellent bait for the sand flathead that can be caught with long, raking casts out into the bay.

Live yellowtail will often attract predators like those salmon, which also can be targeted from the nearby rocks, whose high vantage point allows you to scan the water through polarised sunnies for passing schools.


The water offshore hasn’t started to heat up yet so the game fishing isn’t really happening, but the bottom fishing is hot.

On the reefs there are plenty of snapper with some very good fish being captured amongst the average plate-sized models.

Most other reef species are finding their way into anglers’ bags but the big news is that there are plenty of tiger flathead offshore. These are among the best table fish so get out there and make the most of them.

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