Offshore chances increase
  |  First Published: May 2013

Generally in May we see a significant drop in air temperature and we also see a drop in the rate that the current runs on the wider offshore grounds.

This current slow-down should improve the catch rates on popular species like snapper, pearl perch, teraglin and the arm-stretching members of the Seriola family – kingfish, amberjack and samson fish.

I always look forward to winter on the Southern Gold Coast and Northern NSW because the conditions are normally a lot better for getting offshore.

The sea conditions over the second half of the Summer season were absolutely terrible and shut out offshore fishing up and down the coast.

At least the Tweed Bar was not its usual unpredictable self; it was constantly crap and at best impassable.

It is at least three since it has been dredge, possibly more. Clearly the safety of the boaties who regularly use this bar is not a major concern of the local authorities.

This can be a strange month. Even though we notice a significant change in air temperature, the ocean has not yet gone into its winter pattern although it will be starting to. Sometimes May can be really good offshore and in the river, while other years it is a tough time.

When the weather looks good, get out there and have a crack and hope that the fish play the game.

You can still expect to see the odd Spanish mackerel and wahoo on the popular haunts like the Nine Mile, Fidos and South Reef.

Mackerel tuna and yellowfin should also still keep the reels turning when trolling these same inshore reefs, but we can expect to see fewer pelagics and a shift of focus to the bottom dwellers.

Popular techniques like floatlining and bottom-bouncing with paternoster rigs will start to account for most of the catches and if you are in the right place at the right time, you can really load up.

Unfortunately we can’t expect too much consistency to these catches until the cooler water settles in.


The number and size of bream in the Tweed River should improve this month, with the odd tailor also making its presence felt. We usually know they are around when they start stealing our bream lures.

The tailor can be targeted around most of the rock walls and rock bars in the lower reaches of the river. Trolling small diving lures or slugs can help you to find them.

Keep an eye out for any bird activity in the river as well, because the birds often follow the tailor and the bait that the tailor feed on.

As we get more into winter the tailor should spread out a bit but the bigger models will still generally hold around the lower reaches of the river.

The upper reaches of the river should fire up with good numbers of bass.

If the rains stay away we should see a good winter bass spawning after the flush-out that the summer rains provided.

Casting small diving minnows, spinnerbaits or poppers around the snags should mean you tangle with a few.

Bream, trevally and the odd flathead will also be on the cards in the upper reaches while fishing for bass – if the rain holds off.

Once we have all acclimatised to the colder weather added a beanie, a jumper and get cracking.

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