Talk about a non-event on the black marlin! It seems that these great sport fish have again decided to pass us by.
The conditions leading up to Christmas were looking tops, with big schools of slimy mackerel on all the bait reefs; things were looking primed and ready and then a week of wild weather moved in and everything moved on.
Thankfully the blue marlin and mahi mahi have still been turning it on out on the wider grounds to give keen billfish anglers their fix.
There have been a few exceptional blue marlin caught this Summer, with several fish over 600lb brought to the boat. This action out wide should increase as we head in to March.
As good as the wider stuff has been, not everyone one can get out to these grounds and we all hope to see a few wahoo and yellowfin tuna getting around the inshore reefs so we can start turning a few reels in close.
The Spanish mackerel have started to show up although they’re a bit patchy and very hit-and-miss. But Kingscliff, Fidos and the Nine Mile will all be worth a good look in March.
Casting big stick bait type lures accounted for some good-sized Spanish last season; they seem to really like these large lures.
The key is just to use the wind to your advantage and cast the lure as far from the boat as possible. This way you don’t spook the fish and the lure also covers a lot of ground.
It has been a strange Summer, with reasonable catches of bottom fish on the reefs in 30, 40 and even 50 fathoms when the weather and current allowed.
Some quality pearlies, reasonable numbers of snapper and tuskfish and a few teraglin and kingfish have made up the bulk of the catches on the bottom on the days when the current backed off.
We had some truly memorable sessions on the pearl perch and I am guessing these should continue into March.
The bottom fishing is very dependant on the current but usually once March rolls along we start to see more consistent breaks in the run. Whether this will be the case will be interesting, because we have definitely experienced a late Summer.
The Tweed River was fishing consistently well before the lat January flood and should recover reasonably well if there’s no further deluges.
Whiting, bream, flathead and mangrove jack have been coming out in good numbers.
The whiting have been of good size and even though the water seems to become muddy during the days of heavy rain, the bigger whiting have still been keen on chasing down surface lures fished across the flats.
It is hard to believe that a whiting will chase down a 76mm lure like the OSP Bent Minnow but they absolutely love them and if a few fish chase the lure at once, it’s almost always get the biggest one of the bunch that pounces on it.
The upper reaches around Murwillumbah have been fishing extremely tough and the water just doesn’t seem to want to clear up long enough to provide any sort of consistent fishing.
There has been the odd bass up the creeks but you needed to make quite a few casts between fish.
Clarrie Hall Dam would be a better bet this month, with the preferred tactic casting topwater lures early morning or late afternoon.
Once the sun gets up, the bite there usually slows down and you need to start looking to the deep water and slow-rolled plastics or deep-diving hardbodies to get a fish.
Clarrie Hall is a great spot to take the family for a picnic and is usually reasonably quiet, even on weekends.
All in all, March can be a good month for pelagics on the Tweed as well as a few fish from the bottom.Reads: 1011