Hitting Rock Bottom
  |  First Published: June 2010

Bottom bouncing is dropping a sinker to the ocean floor and bouncing your baits along it in the hope of catching your evening meal.

This time honoured tradition is often frowned upon by the purists but it has survived decades of evolution in the angling world. Not only is it superbly effective, it provides a bit of a mystery bag – when the bait hits the bottom you just don’t know what might eat it.

Over the sandy regions it is expected you would catch such species as sand or tiger flathead, gummy sharks, red gurnard or maybe a flounder or two. Around the reef areas, assortment of species will occur from the ever popular snapper, morwong, perch, wrasse, and kingfish.

Wider out over the Shelf, bottom bouncing has taken on a new ear with electronic reels fishing the deep abyss for species such as harpuka, ling, jemfish, blue eye trevalla, cod, perch and Lord knows what else!

Now is a great time to put it into practice as the calm conditions allow anglers into their favourite areas. No matter what form of bottom bouncing you like, Tathra has some great water. Winter is one of the best times to take advantage of this long favoured form of angling.

Associated with winter is offshore winds, and this to us anglers means access to places like the rocks and beaches without the constant pounding of the wave force.

For rock anglers there are many areas around Tathra to pursue their quarry. There has been good success on species like drummer, luderick, groper, bream and trevally. In and around Kianinny Bay is also producing very nice bags of lovely tasty sea garfish of good size. All that’s required to catch them is a small hook, a float, some sort of berley, preferably consisting of tuna and a bit of prawn for bait. You will also catch them off the Wharf along with many other winter species.

Trevally are also on the short list, along with yellowtail, salmon, luderick near the rocks. At night expect tailor, barracutta and squid to be present.

The beaches are cool in the evenings and mornings, as you would expect, but for those willing to brave these conditions you can be sure to encounter tailor, salmon, the odd jew or gummy shark. Anglers fishing through the day may also encounter some of those species along with some bream, trevally or mullet.

Wallagoot Lake to the south has been land locked for many years now but is still very salty. Lots of fish have been trapped in there and are growing quite large, especially the snapper, some of which may be 2-3kg and perform very well on the end of the line. They will take lures or a variety of baits, and using berley will enhance your chances of a better catch.

Things are quiet in the estuaries, although for well seasoned anglers there are fish to be caught. Luderick are being taken around the bridge pylons or rock wall adjacent to the boat ramp in the Bega River. Up stream there are plenty of black bream and estuary perch for lure anglers, but many casts may be required to gain the attention of one of these species.

A fish that does like the cooler water, which will respond well to lures and lurks through out the whole estuary system, is the tailor. So when things get tough you can resort to some lovely light tackle action.


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