Tathra is a great family destination with a mixed bag of fishing. Saltwater anglers can choose from estuary, surf, rock and blue-water, while freshwater offerings include streams and dams.
The major fishing attraction at Tathra is the pier. When I first went there in the 1970s, the pier was a rickety old platform littered with holes that you could easily fall through. At the time, the pier was popular with a small group of anglers who concentrated their efforts on catching sharks. These days the shark fishermen have gone, and some heavy restoration work has transformed the pier into a relatively safe fishing venue popular with families. Species caught here include Australian salmon, yellowtail kingfish, bonito, tailor and tuna. Around the pilings, slimy mackerel, squid, yakkas and luderick are common. The same species are caught from the rock ledges that run from the pier, south around the headland to Kianinny Bay. These ledges are definitely for adults only, and anglers need to keep an eye on the seas.
A concrete boat ramp is situated in Kianinny Bay. It is suited to boats up to 7 m and offers good parking and cleaning facilities. The ramp can be difficult on days with a north-east or east wind.
Anglers launching here have the option of chasing blue-water game fish like black and striped marlin, yellowfin, striped and albacore tuna, and yellowtail kingfish; or bottom bouncing over the inshore reefs for species like snapper and morwong. The Continental Shelf is about 14 miles due east, and the famous Tathra canyons a couple of miles further out (GPS: TC NORTH1: S36.44.50, E150.19.70; TC NORTH2: S36.44.80, E150.25.00; TC SOUTH: S36.54.25, E150.21.30).
Tathra Beach runs north from the pier to the Bega River. Although the beach produces most of the common surf fish such as salmon and tailor, it also has a big reputation for sand whiting caught on sandworms and nippers.
The Bega River is worth a visit for bream, flathead, luderick, whiting and estuary perch.
For freshwater anglers, Brogo Dam near Bega is stocked with Australian bass, while the Bemboka River near Brown Mountain and Tantawangalow Creek near Candelo are worth a visit for brown trout.