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Nothing a beanie won’t fix
  |  First Published: July 2012



I really enjoy Winter on the Tweed. It’s a bit cool but it’s nothing a good jumper, a beanie and a cup of coffee won’t fix.

The cool balmy mornings and the variety of fishing on offer over the cooler winter months make it all so appealing.

The upper and lower reaches of the river usually fish relatively well throughout Winter and the inshore reefs really come into their own for those wanting to chase a feed of reefies or a big jew.

On top of this, the deeper reefs and wider grounds out to the canyons also offer some great fishing possibilities for those wishing to venture a bit farther afield.

The current tends to back right off in July but it will be interesting to see if this does happen this year because we had a rather unusual Summer season with very little current to speak of. And when it did start to run, it was quite patchy.

I’m hoping it won’t try to make up for it this Winter and that the deeper grounds will be fishable.

The 50-fathom reefs out from the Tweed can fish quite well this month and anyone willing to put in a bit of time searching for some good ground can be quite well rewarded. Pearl perch snapper, rosy jobfish and trag are all on the cards.

HEAVY HITTERS

Members of the Seriola family, kingfish, samson and amberjack, can also appear for those keen to get their arms stretched.

These predators are very keen on metal jigs, live bait or a whole butterflied yakka or slimy mackerel.

The key to landing them is to have reasonable tackle and a reel with a fair bit of drag. Ensure your drag is right up there before you drop the gear down and that your rig is up to the task.

When you get the bite, go hard from the start. The battle with these fish is won or lost in the first few seconds and if they get their heads pointing towards the reef and get a bit of momentum going, it is quite often all over.

Turn their heads up after the hook-up and keep them turned and you will land a lot more.

Most of our customers on RU4REEL are amazed by the sheer power of these fish and are quite often taken by surprise when they hook up.

We always try to brief them about just how hard they hit so they are ready for the bite and they land a lot more.

Seriola species don’t have teeth and therefore can’t chew on a bait like most reef fish. They hit their prey head-first and engulf it in one go. This is why the bite is so hard and you need to be ready.

THE RIVER

The upper reaches of the river can offer some good bass fishing if the rain holds off and gives the water a bit of time to settle. The last two years the top sections have struggled to recover from constant rain and the fishing has struggled. Hopefully this winter things will be different and the fish will turn it on.

Just be mindful that there is a closed season on the wild bass that frequent the upper reaches and this is to give them the chance to be settled during their spawning time.

Trevally, bream and flathead also get up to these upper reaches and it can be a bit of lottery sometimes as to what you will catch next.

I remember one session up the river when I was catching a few bass on spinnerbaits. I had caught a couple of bass casting tight around some snags and set the hook into what I thought was another bass. It turned out to be a reasonable sized tailor, which did a fair bit of damage to my spinnerbait skirt.

A few casts later in the same area I followed up with a flathead on the spinnerbait, so it turned out to be a rather interesting session.

There should be good numbers of bream in the lower reaches as they make their way down to begin schooling in preparation for spawning. These fish hold in the deeper sections of the river and when you come across them the action can be a fish a cast.

Larger flathead also hang on the fringes of these schools of bream and respond well to large soft plastics jigged vertically.

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