Hot time for pelagics
  |  First Published: February 2013

This is generally the hottest time of the year. The sun can take its toll on many an unwary angler at this stage of our season and it pays to take precautionary measures whenever you head out.

Whether in the river or offshore, ensure you keep the fluids up, your hat on and the sunscreen reapplied.

Fortunately, the fishing can make up for the uncomfortable weather and the pelagic action is in full swing.

We can expect to see mackerel, wahoo, tuna and black marlin on most of our inshore reefs.

These reefs can get a bit busy, especially one of the most popular spots for trolling off the Tweed, the Nine Mile Reef. On the odd occasion you could almost expect to see a set of traffic lights on the Nine Mile, with up to 50 boats circling it.

The crazy thing is that even though there are that many boats, those crews who persevere still seem to catch a few.

I don’t have the patience for that and don’t usually last very long, moving to quieter, less-pressured areas as soon as it gets too crowded.

As good a fishery as the Nine Mile is, it’s not the only place that holds pelagics and the more boat traffic it sees, the more the fish tend to spread out.

Most of the pelagic species tend to wander around all the inshore reefs, picking the area with the best water quality and the most food as their home while it lasts.

Covering a good amount of ground while trolling often helps you to run over the right area and you can catch a few good fish in a short time.

However, the place you caught them one day may not produce the following day, with the baitfish and the pelagic predators feeding and then moving on.

Current will still play havoc with the bottom fishing this month and each day can be different, with massive variations in the run. Opportunities to fish the bottom should increase as the month progresses.

It pays to have a Plan B if you are keen on a bottom fish and the current is racing when you get out there. We always carry our troll rods and many a tough day of bottom fishing has been saved by a good day’s trolling.

As long as you are catching fish, it really doesn’t matter wether it be trolling or bottom fishing.

The wider grounds around the continental shelf will still produce numbers of blue marlin for those of those keen to venture out there. By this time of the year, though, the by-catch of wahoo and mahi mahi should decline, depending on water clarity and temperature.


The Tweed River will be great this month, with the only difficulty being the size of the tides, but if you plan your fishing sessions around the smaller neap tides you should make life a bit easier and catch a few more fish, while losing less gear to snags.

Trevally will be really good targets, with the area around the Jack Evans Boat Harbour offering good numbers of these hard-fighting fish.

Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times to target trevally and they often give away their presence by smashing into the baitfish on the surface.

A quick cast around the fringes of the action will often produce an instant hook-up. Small metal slices, soft plastics or live herring would be the way to go.

Just make sure that you have got a bit of time because some of the trevs that call this area home can be of a pretty good size and can take a bit of subduing.

All the other summer species like whiting, bream and flathead will be on the cards, too.

Target the whiting on the flats around the piggery and Fingal.

The flathead will be holding around the weed beds throughout the river, stalking the baitfish that use these areas to hide.

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