A win-win deal
  |  First Published: April 2011

Believe it or not, winter is just around the corner, bringing with it some respite to the hot, humid conditions we have experienced for much of the year so far.

Some of the days that I was out on the water on RU4REEL, I was thankful for any kind of breeze to offer some respite from the heat of the day. Hopefully all of that will be behind us this month and we can look forward to some good fishing weather ahead.

This is basically the start of winter and this month the fishing conditions can go either way.

If the current slows and the water temperature drops with it, we can look forward to some good bottom fishing on the wider grounds.

If the current sticks around a bit longer then we can expect some more pelagic action on the troll. It’s almost a win-win situation at this time of year as there are a multitude of options to look forward to.

A similar situation should present itself in the Tweed River.

As the temperature of the ocean starts to drop, the river will also follow suit.

This cooling lets the river fish know that winter is coming and they generally really start to go on the chew.

If you have not caught a mangrove jack this season then this is a really good time to try for one.

They can fire up just before winter and the bigger fish that the Tweed River is renowned for will often be caught this month.

Trolling with deep-diving minnows or live-baiting some of the abundant structure on the river can put you in with a chance of catching one of these prized fish.

The upper reaches of the river seem to have recovered from the incessant rain and if we do have some reasonable weather, these sections should start to fire this month. In saying this, though, the weather we experience over Easter is generally not the best.

Bass will start to work their way towards the main river as the cooler conditions remind them of their need to spawn.

As they progress on this journey they feed aggressively to put on the extra condition that they need.

Small surface lures, minnows, soft plastics and spinnerbaits will all work on these feisty fish. Just remember that they go really hard for their size and won’t hesitate to get you back into the snags.

Bream also should be good targets in April with some larger fish making their way into the river.

We often see an early run of big fish turn up in the river for a couple of weeks in April. These are fish that arrive before the main schools of spawning bream and if you are in the right place when they turn up, you can be in with a shot at catching a kilo-plus bream.

Usually the rock walls at the entrance to the river are the best spots to target these fish as they come in.


There have been promising early signs that we may see some big wahoo this year, with fish around 25kg to 30kg already caught.

Over the past couple of years we have had a run of average size fish around 8kg to 15kg with the odd larger fish.

This year we may see fewer but larger specimens. But that is only a guess on my part and we will know better by the time this goes to print.

Blue marlin are still being caught out on the continental shelf with mahi mahi and wahoo keeping things interesting while trolling for the marlin.

Mackerel will still be an option, with larger models on the cards.

Some good mackerel have been caught in the past couple of months and April should be no different.

We have been doing a lot of casting for these fish with large lures and the results have been pretty good.

On a recent session we landed several mackerel to 20kg casting Maria stickbaits and hooked a black marlin of around 60kg. I don’t know who was more surprised when I struck, the marlin or me.

It eventually jumped off, throwing the large stickbait, but the few minutes I had it hooked up on my popping rod were well worth it.

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