A bit of mixed bag activity
  |  First Published: August 2015

Fishing on the Tweed has been great over the last couple of months, and has seen the place restore its reputation as a fun and rewarding recreational fisho’s paradise!

I’ve never seen so many luderick fishermen. They, like their target species, are everywhere, as the river is full of fish of all kinds. After my last ’yak adventure where I caught around 50-60 fish — all on lures, but with only 5 being legal — what I’m trying to say is there’s a lot of bait to interest bigger fish and that’s why the bigger mulloway should start showing up! Oh, they have! I’ve just not got a legal yet, but other folks have.

Other species are being caught off the walls out the front, and not just the seaway, but also around the old pool at Rainbow Bay around to Snapper Rocks (fishing anywhere off rocks is extremely dangerous and all precautions should be taken). I’ve been told mac tuna have been around in numbers, and even the odd squire off the walls at Tweed? Yeah, right! More on that later.

It’s just getting better. The whiting are on the munch and I found that shallow sandbanks with weed around is where they hang. It also helps if you’re fishing the incoming tide, and with lures they like it fast, and with bait they like it live. Behind PKG Seafood is where I’ve been successful with live worms.

Flathead? There’s a lot of little ones around and big ones seem hard to come by these days. I notice a lot of nice lizards for sale in the local fishmongers and I’m told they are legally netted in certain areas of the Tweed. Commercially netting the Tweed? What! I looked into it and yeah, they do, and somehow they are allowed to do it.

Back to the fun part. After catching so many last Saturday I was looking forward to hitting the river in my ’yak again, when I got a text from Scott, a fellow fishing bud. “Fishing tomorrow?” Der. Silly question! He asked if I wanted to fish the wall on the Fingal side? Oh no! I’d put in a big 1 the day before and couldn’t imagine doing the long ride out there, but I need not have worried as he meant fishing from the rocks. Cool, got off that one. Scott picked me up at 8.30am (a sleep in for me), as that was the time the tide was turning to incoming and that’s how it ended up — incoming fish all over our rods.

It didn’t start out real well for me. To begin with I used a big popper — nothing. Then a big deep diver — nothing. Switched to a heavy soft plastic — nothing. Scott, on the other hand, was getting bitten off every cast. He had on the sinker, swivel then hook, but on the hook he would load it with prime chicken fillet. I hadn’t eaten brekkie and the sight of 4 raw chicken fillets was making me hungry for some reason — maybe I could see their potential.

After a heap of casts with all manner of lures for no result, I sat on a rock and took in what was happening. First, I hadn’t realised we would be fishing right near the sand pumping jetty on the point that overlooks the little beach at Fingal. Second, the only way to get fish here was down deep and close to the rocks. Third, raid Scott’s tackle box looking for what? I reckoned a 1/4oz TT jighead would do the trick. Oh, he’s got some. Fourth, swipe some chicken and away we go.

First cast out towards the seaway with the heavy jighead, bring the bait back into the wall, wait a bit, just as it’s level with me there’s a tap, tap, strike! Straight away I’m on and with my light rod I really give it to the fish, which felt like a horse bream. Somehow I got it through the rocks, weird colour though. Then Scott yells that’s a snapper and so it was. On my next cast I caught a massive bream, and it just kept happening until we ran out of bait.

Scott got into them after ditching his traditional rig for a jighead and a lighter setup. The smile on his face after catching a big bream on a 1-3kg Ian Miller T-Curve teamed with a Sol 2000 had to be seen. Next time I think I need to take him out to the end of the wall where the really big fish tend to hang out.

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