This summer has been an absolute ripper around the Tweed and the run of small black marlin has been just too good to be true.
Everyone has been getting in on the fun. The area around the Nine Mile was the pick of the spots and although the boat traffic through here has been very busy, the numbers of fish caught has still been consistent.
Anything from marlin to mackerel has been jumping on the lures and I expect the action to continue this month as long as the weather holds.
The Tweed River has been fishing just as well. Mangrove jacks have been around in fairly good numbers and the size of the fish has been really good with numerous fish over 50cm.
As Summer progresses the feeding habits of the jacks in the Tweed River also tend to change a bit. I target them on crankbaits through the early season and once the temperature really gets up towards the latter part of Summer, I pull out the poppers.
There seem to be larger numbers of prawns in the Tweed at this time of year and if you are on the water early enough you often see these little critters being terrorised by the jacks around the bridges or rock walls. If you can fire in a quick and accurate cast, you are in with a good shot at a popper-caught Jack.
They seem to be a lot easier to extract from cover when you chase them with surface lures because they usually swim a bit further away from their hidey holes to hit the lure.
The trevally in the system have been their usual aggressive selves, with big-eye trevally the main culprits. They have been marauding up and down the river smashing anything in their path.
Night or change of light sessions are the best when looking to pin a few of these fish.
Don’t be in a rush to go anywhere at night. Instead, put the boat in and take a leisurely drive up or down the river listening for these fish. You will often hear the bust-ups as they smash into the bait. It is then just a case of getting the boat close enough to them to cast a popper.
Try to work the popper a bit faster to simulate a fleeing baitfish. You can also cast a live herring or just drift a few livies through the area that the trevs are working.
February is sometimes a rainy month on the Tweed and this has an effect on the fishing. Try to take into account the previous few days’ weather before deciding on which part of the system to fish. For example, if there hasn’t been any rain for a few days then the upper reaches of the river should fire but if there has been a considerable amount of rain then head for the river mouth instead.
This is a fairly simplified way of explaining it but is the general rule. I always take the weather into account before heading out on the river. There are numerous boat ramps on the Tweed so it’s not necessary to travel long distances in the boat to get to one’s favourite fishing spot.
Flathead and whiting will be spread throughout the system this month, once again as long as the weather holds. All the flats on the Tweed or Terranora arms will hold good numbers of whiting with a few bream for good measure. The weedy flats around the Terranora Arm close to Seagulls hold good numbers of pan-size flatties as well as the flats up around Black Watch. Towing small hardbodies around the edges of the flats is a good way to secure a feed of flatties.
As I mentioned, the small black marlin have been going off all through Summer. Hopefully this has not been an early season and the bait and the blacks will stick around for February.
The toothy brigade should still be around in February. Palm Beach Reef will be a popular yet consistent location for the spotted mackerel while Fidos and the Nine Mile will be the pick for wahoo and Spaniards.
Some good kings should be around on the shallower reefs as well. They normally follow the bait in as the water warms. Hot, glassy conditions provide the best scenario to spot packs of these big kings cruising in search of prey. We had some amazing sessions last year sight-casting poppers, soft plastics and livies at them and I am looking forward to doing it again.
Just make sure that the gear is up to scratch as they take some stopping in the skinny water.
February is a top month for a feed in the river or to tangle with some speedsters outside, so get out there and enjoy it.Reads: 927