Bega River still needs rain
  |  First Published: November 2009

Despite the Bega River not receiving enough rain to reopen the river to the ocean and let in fresh fish stocks, the system is still fishing reasonably well.

Anglers just have to adapt to the conditions and at the moment that means fishing shallow water – very shallow water.

When a system is closed to the ocean, fish will be on the move to fossick for food. Plenty of shrimp, mullet, prawns or other crustaceans will seek safety in the shallows so it’s not surprising most of the bream, flathead and estuary perch are coming from only a few centimetres of water.

These fish are being taken on lures and bait, while other species like luderick, whiting or mullet are taking baits.

After some rain the river has risen slightly and has backed up over new ground –good news for those hunting bass up in the brackish waters.

These fish are moving around in the shallows under over hanging trees in wait for any unsuspecting cicada that may slip. These are good times for anglers who like surface lures or flies.

Early mornings, late afternoons in calm conditions are best and also expect the occasional thumper of a black bream, which are quite partial to cicadas.

Down towards the ocean, the slight rise in levels has pushed some exceptional flatties into deeper water, along with a few nice jewfish.

Try targeting the flatties over the shallows early mornings then move to deeper water as the sun gets higher.


Over the school holidays, where kids to spend their time on Tathra Wharf the ever-present trevally, slimy mackerel or yellowtail are afraid, very afraid.

These fish have to fear the predators in the ocean and those from above, with hordes of youngsters throwing all sorts of gear at them.

Most of these fish are not too bright and that is good news for the kids. Most days you will see fish flapping in a young person’s bucket.

The offshore bottom fishing is special.

Tiger flathead are plentiful at the moment in around 50m, especially on the fringes of any reef. Most anglers are acquiring their bags with little trouble and some exceptional fish to 80cm have been taken.

Early starts are required to beat the north-east winds.

On the reefs, morwong are the mainstay with squid strips on a paternoster rig doing the job. There are still plenty of snapper, some lovely ocean perch and maybe an occasional gummy shark.

Striped tuna are around in good numbers close to shore. They make excellent bottom and estuary bait.

Those in pursuit of yellowfin tuna and albacore are out wider, and so are some very large mako sharks.

Most of the tuna are being captured on trolled lures, which give anglers a better opportunity to cover more water and also a shot at an early season marlin.

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