Although September can be a transitional time, it is one of my favourite months to be fishing.
We usually see a warming trend through this month and the fish quite often sense what is coming and feed prolifically.
It seems to be one of those times when it doesn’t seem to matter whether you are fishing in the fresh or the salt, the fish can be keen to eat a lure. The key is to keep a close eye on water temperatures and when they spike, make sure that you are on the water.
September also marks the start of the open season for our wild bass. These fish should by now be making their way back up through the Tweed system, depending on water clarity, and they will be quite aggressive in their feeding habits.
Surface lures fished tight to the bankside structure will be the go, with a switch to deeper-diving hardbodies, spinnerbaits or plastics as the sun gets higher in the sky.
Keep an eye on your sounder, too, because these great little fish will often school up and work around the balls of bait mid-river.
Don’t be shy to have a troll with a couple of deep-diving crankbaits while sounding around, because the bigger fish will happily smash a lure trolled in the deeper reaches.
Flathead, bream, trevally and the odd mangrove jack will all be on the cards in the river with mulloway also a very real possibility.
The jew have been turning up in some interesting places, quite often as by-catch when targeting other fish, and have been in reasonable numbers.
We have previously had to travel to waterways north or south to catch these fish with any regularity, but the numbers of Tweed mulloway have definitely shown signs of increasing lately.
Soft plastics and vibration-style lures, as well as trolled bibbed lures, have been the best choices. I haven’t been doing much live-baiting for them but livies also have been accounting for good numbers of fish.
The inshore reefs off the Tweed will really be worth a look this month if you want to catch a big red. The larger snapper will be around in better numbers throughout September, with soft plastics and floatlining baits the best methods to get a big one.
The key is just trying to stop these bigger fish from rubbing you off on the rugged rocks that most of them frequent.
Early morning or late evening will usually be the better times to fish for them, but also keep an eye on boat traffic. The quieter times off the Tweed, when you don’t seem to find a lot of boats buzzing around, will also produce good fish.
As you move out to the 36-fathom reefs, you normally find better numbers of snapper but generally they are slightly smaller fish. These are a great eating size and if you come across an area where you find them schooled up in the lower parts of the water column, you can have an absolute ball.
Again, the earlier you get out there the better the sessions can be, but a good drift in calmer conditions will help you to cover the reefs better.
The wider grounds should start to fire for anglers looking to start some heavy-tackle trolling.
Blue and striped marlin encounters will become more regular, with mahi mahi, yellowfin tuna and wahoo being most welcome by-catch.
All in all, September can be a top month so get out there and get amongst them.Reads: 1217