October is one of those months that can go either way on the Tweed. It is a bit of a transition month and the fishing can be pretty good or pretty average.
We often experience some of the quality action we had during winter, fortunately without the cold weather, and depending on what the current does offshore, the reefs should still be firing.
If it starts to run hard early, the bottom fishing on the wider grounds will become difficult, forcing us to concentrate our efforts closer in. We will see the odd day where it slows, though, and on these days the fishing should be pretty good.
The snapper should still be around in good numbers with some quality fish showing on the inshore reefs.
Plastics are definitely an effective way of fishing for these popular fish but we should be thinking of the future and putting some of the bigger specimens back.
The 36-fathom reefs have had a good run of squire with numbers being taken on bottom rigs and by7 floatlining. It is interesting to see just how effective floatlining for these fish can be and how often the floater will pull a better class of fish.
The Tweed River fished fairly consistently over Winter but the water should start to warm this month. When it does there could be the chance of some early season mangrove jacks.
Trolling minnows, casting soft plastics around structure like deep rock bars and live-baiting are all good ways to target these prized estuary fish. Just remember to keep the tackle in good nick; a jack will exploit any weakness in your gear when you try to stop it heading back into the thick stuff.
The area around the Jack Evans Boat Harbour and up around Black Watch should be holding a few good flathead at this time of year. Bigger plastics or live baits will often be the key to hooking the larger fish.
If you use a plastic in the deep water over the coffee rock, try to stay on top of your jighead as you drift through the area, it will help you to lessen the chances of snagging and also improve your hook-up rate when you get a bite.
The tide runs fairly hard through the river mouth area and to chase these big fish you need to upsize your jigheads substantially, often upwards of 1 1/2oz to get down. But if you can hop the plastic through this area without getting snagged then you stand the chance of a real trophy flathead.
The river also produces a few jew around October and this is a good time to target them. Although there are not massive numbers of jewies in the Tweed there are enough to make them viable targets.
If you are keen to catch one concentrate your efforts around the tide changes with live baits or plastics in some of the deeper areas of the river.
As the water starts to warm, the upper reaches should fire as well, depending on the amount of rain we experience.
The bass will make their way up river as their spawning run comes to an end.
The initial warming phase of the river can often bring on a superb topwater bite and if you are on the water when this happens, you can have some great fun.Reads: 1314