Estuary opportunities
  |  First Published: December 2009

We are lucky in this part of the world as there are many little estuaries or tributaries surrounding Tathra which anglers who wade, canoe or use small boats can access – and what a nice time to fish them!

Whether you are in the Bega River or these little lakes and estuaries, all hold fish and all fish differently from each other.

Those open to the ocean will have tidal effects and you will need to change your methods to suit the time of the tide. The Bega River and other waterways that may still be closed to the ocean will require quite different tactics.

In the Bega River’s little tributaries you can expect to find bream, bass, estuary perch, the odd flathead and plenty of big mullet.

Although not noted for taking lures, these mullet will often strike at a small wriggler tail ripped across their noses – then hang on.

One area very popular in the holidays is Tathra Wharf, where there is always plenty of action to keep the kids and older anglers entertained.

At present there are plenty of slimy mackerel and yellowtail, a bait source for future outings or even a session off the wharf itself, which on long casts will often produce reasonable sand flathead.

Float out a live bait at night for tailor or good salmon.

Or try your luck on salmon from nearby beaches at high tide. Of an evening and into the night expect tailor, jewfish or gummy sharks to join in, especially on a full moon.

Other species frequenting the beaches at present include whiting, bream and mullet. The north end of Tathra Beach is fishing well.


Looking out over the Pacific Ocean at daylight while casting a lure or bait from the rocks is special. Early mornings may be essential to beat the wind and those who cast a lure are likely to encounter kingfish, bonito, salmon, tailor or maybe some frigate mackerel.

Those using pilchard baits will also encounter may these species while cunjevoi, crab, cabbage weed or prawns will attract groper, drummer, leatherjackets, bream, trevally, blackfish and more.

Around in Kianinny Bay, use some of that slimy mackerel for berley to attract schools of garfish, which will respond to a prawn or nipper bait under a float.

Offshore, there’s good news for the bottom-bashers with plenty of flathead out from most beaches in moderate depths. Sand flathead mix with gummy sharks and out in 50m-plus, big tiger flathead are in extremely good numbers.

There are also the regulars on the reefs with snapper, morwong and perch.

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