It has been a long season with intermittent good fishing followed by periods of very trying weather. Let’s hope we can look forward to good weather now and really get stuck into the fish.
However, the rivers have certainly had a good flush-out, boding well for the winter species.
The offshore grounds should start to fire with the close reefs and the wider marks starting to produce the goods.
Pelagic fish should be very viable options with mackerel, wahoo and yellowfin tuna the main targets, but expect to still see the occasional black marlin or even a sailfish.
At this time of year we generally try to troll a spread of minnows but also have one or two pusher-style skirted lures, just in case a marlin does come into the spread. You generally stand a better chance of landing one with the single hooks.
April can be an exceptional month for snapper and the Mud Hole, Brumbies and Fidos reefs are great spots to have a crack at these excellent table fish.
April is like a mini-Winter on the Tweed and we can often see a good run of quality bream on the close reefs as well as a good run of snapper.
This is generally fairly short-lived, with the fish biting well for a week or two and then disappearing until the colder water sets for good in later in the year.
The prawns generally start moving around April and the river fish get stuck into them. If the water temperature doesn’t drop too fast then the surface fishing should be a standout this month.
My favourite surface lures for bream and trevally work with a darting, erratic retrieve to simulate a skipping or fleeing prawn and firing up the fish into aggressive hits. Intersperse this erratic retrieve with the odd pause and you should be in with a chance.
For the same reason, mangrove jacks tend to respond very well to surface lures at this time of year. A larger surface lure that can accommodate some heavier-gauge hooks would be a better option, unless you are fishing with lighter gear.
I don’t like donating lures to the Jack Foundation so I prefer to throw a bigger popper with upgraded hooks. The larger popper allows me to throw it on baitcasting tackle and I stick with 34lb braid and 40lb leader.
This way, when I hook a jack I know I can lay into it and have the tackle to do it with.
April is probably one of the better months on the river. Depending on the weather, it can be the first month when there’s that cooling influence as things lead into winter.
As the water cools, many of the Summer species tend to feed quite hard. This is one of the times when we catch our biggest jacks in the river, so you will definitely see me out there harassing one of my favourite sport fish.
If you don’t enjoy fishing in the cold then you will need to be hitting the water this month. From here on in we can look forward to the Winter season rolling in on the TweedReads: 1002