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River really fires up
  |  First Published: November 2012



It looks like we may well be in for a hot Summer. This is not necessarily a bad thing because it often seems that the hotter summers produce hotter fishing.

This month the river should really start to fire. It’s not quite the heat of Summer yet and the water temperature is still rising but most of the warm-water species are getting amongst the baitfish that proliferate in the river.

Many of the rock walls and bridges can become hot spots for species like trevally, which often give away their presence when smashing into the baitfish. The one problem anglers experience when this happens is that the trevally can be so focused on the baitfish and their specific size and shape that they can be quite difficult to tempt with artificials.

To stand the best chance of catching one of these marauding fish, you need to match their prey as closely as possible.

This may take a bit of trial and error at first but when you get the right lure for the job, the ensuing action can be well worth the effort.

When all else fails, a small popper can often stimulate a bite as trevally find a popper chugging fairly quickly across the surface very hard to refuse.

These same areas will often be good spots to look for mangrove jacks, which happily chase the same prey.

As the water continues to warm, whiting will become increasingly active throughout the Tweed system. Poppers and surface walkers as well as baits like worms and yabbies should get these great little table fish.

Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times to target whiting because the bigger models come out to play when the traffic on the river eases up a bit.

Unfortunately many of us are usually actively targeting larger, more exciting fish around these stages of the day and we are often not aware of the great fishing that the whiting offer.

I for one will definitely be doing more of this type of bread-and-butter fishing this summer with my two sons in tow. My oldest, now just over 4, never stops asking me to take him fishing.

Fishing for whiting and bream is great to get the kids involved, especially at a young age. The whole process of getting bait and then catching the fish is all part of the fun.

OFFSHORE

The shallower reefs should come into their own this month, albeit a bit sporadically, with the odd pelagic fish showing up to grab a trolled lure.

November is a good month to get out the light tackle trolling gear. You can give it a good test to ensure that all the creases are ironed out and the reels and rods are all functioning properly.

This way, when the mackerel, tuna and hopefully the small black marlin show up in reasonable numbers you will be ready to go.

The wider areas out on the continental shelf around the Tweed Canyons should definitely be producing a steady flow of large blue marlin, mahi mahi and the odd wahoo.

By now the water should be constantly over 24° and the fish should be here for the Summer.

The key to catching these fish on the wider grounds is to cover a fair bit of water to find the concentrations of bait or any other fish-attracting thing that will bring you closer to a bite.

The water out there changes every day and it is a big place to find a fish. Perseverance is the key.

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