Cold snaps and snapper
  |  First Published: April 2012

Who would believe that it’s almost time to start looking for our Winter woollies? Fortunately we are not quite there and we can still look forward to some warm weather, but not for very much longer.

I call this month the mini-Winter because we often experience the first cold snap in April and it brings on a flurry of winter species while it lasts.

When this cold snap happens – if it happens – the snapper offshore will bite really well and the bream will do the same in the rivers.

It usually fines up shortly after and these fish tend to disappear again until the Winter patterns set in properly.

If you are on the water around this time, whether in the river or offshore, you can experience some really good fishing using a variety of techniques.

Some really big bream are in the river around April and the walls around the mouth can produce fish to a kilo. Deep-diving minnows, soft plastics and metal vibes will produce some good fish.

Keeping the lures close to the bottom around the coffee rock ledges and the whitewater around the seaway walls is the key to getting the bite.

Bait fishers should fish around the tide changes with whole or live herring with as light a weight as possible.

Some local anglers have the river mouth well worked out and you will see them walking along the bank following their baits as they drift along at the start of the rising or falling tide.

These guys account for some cracking bream each year and are well worth keeping an eye on as to when the fish start to show up in numbers.

April can be a bit of a transitional month on the Tweed and is usually when that change to Winter starts to be felt.

The good thing about this is that the Summer species on the inshore grounds, like mackerel, wahoo, tuna and the odd mahi-mahi, are still lingering while the Winter species like snapper, pearl perch, trag and kingfish start to show up.

The grounds out from the 50-fathom line will still hold good numbers of blue marlin and the odd striped marlin will show up as the water begins to cool.


The blue marlin season this year has certainly made up for the absence of the black marlin over the Christmas period.

On our best day on charter out on the shelf on board RU4REEL we released three blues between 115kg and 200kg and jumped off another. It has truly been a season to remember and we can expect more of the same this month with the odd striped marlin joining in on the action.

These blue marlin are truly apex predators and watching one rip 400m of line from a reel before you can get the other rods in is quite an experience.

This cooling trend as Winter starts to put its feelers out is generally what fires up the Summer species of fish and gets them chewing.

They sense that the warm times are drawing to a close and it’s time to move to warmer climes. They need to feed to fuel their annual trek up the coast and usually get stuck into just about anything that appears edible.

April is one of the best months for wahoo and big Spanish mackerel and the inshore reefs around the Tweed and down to Windara Bank are the places to be looking for them.

Trolling lures like Halco Laser Pros or hex-head skirts fairly quickly is the preferred technique.

Plenty of mackerel tuna also show up around April and can be good fun to catch. They are not the best eating fish but make for good sport on light outfits.

Unfortunately large sharks follow them and they can cost you a few lures during a hot tuna bite. Some sharks will grab your tuna shortly after the hook-up and make light work of your tackle.

The upper reaches should start to produce some bass as they slowly make their way out to the main river for spawning. The water clarity has been pretty ordinary over the past few months, making the fishing tough, but if the rain holds off this should improve.

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