Fishing & Activities On The Water
The sapphire coast encompasses an area from Bermagui in the north to Eden in the south and along this section of coastline we are blessed with numerous estuaries, beautiful beaches, rugged headlands and close proximity to the edge of the continental shelf.
Because of the geographic nature of the above it is little wonder that the area has been regarded as a fisherman’s paradise.
If we look at the estuaries the major ones are the Bega River, Wallagoot Lake, Merimbula and Pambula lakes, Kiah inlet and Wonboyn Lake plus there are numerous smaller systems that all contain an abundance of various species of fish.
Bream, whiting, dusky flathead, trevally, tailor, estuary perch and mulloway are the main species that you will encounter whilst fishing these waterways.
If we profile some of these systems and look at the Bega first it has made quite a name for itself as a premier location to pursue bream on lures and fly with estuary perch also being a common catch using the same methods.
Dusky flathead are also plentiful and mulloway also put in an appearance at times.
Both Merimbula and Pambula lakes are both great locations to target all the species that inhabit the south coast estuaries and a wide variety of methods will take them.
Further south both the Kiah and Wonboyn inlets also hold a multitude of species as well and although all the estuaries generally fish better from spring to early winter they are a year round proposition.
There are countless beaches, rock ledges and headlands along the sapphire coast and the species that you will encounter is vast.
Salmon, tailor, bream, whiting and gummy sharks are the most common catches along the beaches and although at times these same species will frequent the rocks drummer, grouper, leatherjackets, bonito, kingfish and at certain times the apex predators of tuna, sharks and marlin have all been taken at these land based locations.
Some of the most popular beaches are Gillard’s, Tathra, Bournda, north Tura, Merimbula, and haycock.
The wharfs at Tathra and Merimbula are also very popular land based locations with many species on offer and they are also great locations to experience family fishing fun in comfort and safety.
As we venture offshore we encounter numerous reef systems spread along the entire length of this coastline interspersed with long expanses of beaches.
The reefs are home to snapper, morwong, leatherjackets, nannygai, sweep and kingfish where as the sand grounds will reward you with sand and tiger flathead, whiting and gummy sharks and both these grounds will fish well year round.
Around late October we start to get our first game fish showing up on the wide grounds in the form of Yellowfin tuna, albacore and mako sharks.
As we progress towards Christmas the marlin start to show and will continue right though until late autumn when the water cools and the big Yellowfin tuna take over.
We get all three species of marlin blues, blacks and stripes but it is the striped marlin that is the most common.
Mako's, blues, hammerhead and whaler sharks are all encountered throughout the course of the season as are Yellowfin, striped, albacore, bluefin and at times bigeye which are all members of the tuna family and are regular catches.
Throw in mahi, mahi, which can be common, and occasionally broadbill, wahoo and spearfish and it becomes apparent that with a long season and a wide range of game fish species available it is little wonder that it is acknowledged nationally as one of the best..
Capt Bruce Libbis Rathlin 11 fishing charters www. Rathlinfish. Com.au