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Busy but bountiful times
  |  First Published: December 2011



It’s a great time to be fishing on the rivers and offshore, although at times towards the end of the month it can get a tad busy afloat and ashore.

It’s the silly season on the Tweed and tempers can get frayed but with a bit of patience and helpful understanding, we can all enjoy this really great time of year.

The warm water has generally arrived and settled in this month and with it the pelagic fish.

It is definitely the time to brush the dust off the trolling rods, if you haven’t already done so. The Nine Mile Reef, Fidos, The Mud Hole and Kirra Reef are all great spots to have a troll during December.

What lures you troll will usually dictate to a degree what species you want to target. If you pull a spread of pushers then your targets will be small black marlin, mahi mahi and the odd mackerel, wahoo and tuna.

If you pull a spread of minnows then your targets will be more like wahoo, mackerel and tuna, with the odd marlin and mahi mahi thrown in.

The marlin and mahi mahi seem to prefer the action that pushers put out on the surface, while the other speedsters seem to be more confident eating a lure that runs under the water.

Adding wire to your minnows at this time of year is a really good idea because the members of the razor gang seem to be pretty good at removing them.

There is always an argument that you will get more bites when trolling without wire and this is probably true, but whether the bite-off rate warrants it is the question you need to ask yourself.

Halco Laser Pros seem to be the most consistent performers and the preferred choice of minnow, while the Pakula range of pushers has proven productive over the years for the marlin.

Palm Beach Reef and Mermaid Reef will have good numbers of spotted and Spanish mackerel especially towards the end of the month, and if you don’t mind the crowds then this is definitely the place to be.

Getting there early is the key but with the current state of the Currumbin bar I think that a lot more boaties will be using the Tweed bar and the Southport Seaway to get there.

If you do intend using the Currumbin bar this Summer then go down the day before on a similar tide and have a good look at it before attempting it. There is not a lot of water there at all at the moment and it will be quite treacherous with a bit of swell or an easterly wind on it.

ESTUARIES

The creeks should really fire this month if the rain stays away. Whiting, mangrove jacks, flathead and bream will all be on the cards.

Early indications are that we should have a good Summer on all these species and some cracking whiting have already been caught on lures.

For me, the OSP Bent Minnow has been a standout. It is hard to believe that a whiting or a bream would tackle a lure 76mm long, but the bigger fish seem to get to the lure first.

Poppers like the Lucky Craft Bevy Pop or slim stickbaits like the Sammy or NW Pencil also work over the flats.

Stick to the clearer lures and make big long, wind-assisted casts when fishing for the whiting. It’s great fun to see several good-sized whiting racing across the flat in 60cm of water to hammer your lure off the surface.

The mangrove jacks have been putting in a good showing and although the Tweed took a bit longer to start firing than the rivers up north, this is the place to look for a big jack this month.

Early morning or late evening would be the prime times to be on the water, simply because of the amount of boat traffic that we experience on the river this month. Live bait and lures will both work for the red devils.

From marlin offshore to whiting up the creeks, December is s great month to be on the water.

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