We might not have experienced a Winter last year on the Tweed coast but 2007 is definitely making up for it.
I have made a few early morning trips up the river chasing bream recently and have had to stop half-way to my spot just to defrost. I was struggling to make a cast, let alone feel the sensitive hits of a bream on a plastic.
But the fishing has made it worthwhile and those willing to put in the hours have been making some really good catches of bream.
This should increase through August but generally by the end of the full moon the numbers of quality bream in the river decrease. The spots that have consistently producing are the gravel patch in front of Kennedy Drive and the area from the hospital to the seaway walls.
All the main bridges will still produce the odd quality fish but the pylons make getting these fish to the boat quite tough. The fish seem to skulk in the cover until the bait or plastic finds its way right in their faces. It’s then a case of trying to wrestle them out before they stitch you up.
There are a few keen young fishos braving the cold mornings to fish along the walls with slugs and plastics at first light and they have been making a few good catches off tailor and trevally.
The tailor made a bit of a late appearance on the Tweed this year but this might mean that they will stick around a bit longer. The area around the mouth and up towards the Blue Hole are good places to drift pillies and cast slugs around if you are after a feed of tailor. The Fingal rock wall also produces a fair few tailor and trevally in August.
The flathead really start to get more active this month and I enjoy targeting them around the Black Watch factory, the Piggery and the flats up the Terranora Arm.
Casting 3” Atomic Jerk Minnows or 3” shads usually accounts for good numbers of the smaller fish, which are good chewing. If I am trying to locate numbers of flatties in the system I tow a few diving minnows around until I start to get the odd fish. I then usually stop the boat and start chucking the plastics on 1/4oz or 3/8oz TT or Gamakatsu jigheads.
One of my mates has been doing really well on the flatties with small live herring. He rigs them with a light ball sinker sliding straight on to the hook and hooks them through the nose.
He then casts them out over the flats and while I am casting plastics, he sits back and enjoys a beer until his rod folds over. He reckons it’s heaps more fun than what I am doing.
The upper reaches of the river around Murwillumbah will still hold some good-size bass but they should also start to head up the creeks as soon as the warmer weather begins to make its presence felt. Casting small hardbodies, spinnerbaits and little poppers to the snags and rock walls are the gun techniques for them.
We have been giving the shallow reefs off the Tweed a good flogging this Winter with soft plastics and it has been an absolute ball. Some of the fish that have done us over have been awesome and left us shaking.
I think that August will be even better with quite a few fish moving shallower before the warmer currents start to kick in.
Kingfish should be patrolling Fidos and the Nine Mile. Livies fished back into a berley trail or actively fishing for them with big plastics and poppers are exciting ways to get connected; actually stopping them in the shallower water is another story.
The deeper reefs should still hold good quantities of reefies as well as amberjacks, samson and kingies. I haven’t done as much jigging this Winter as I did last year but on the few occasions that I did get out there we managed to get our arms stretched by a few of the Seriola family. I expect this action to get better this month with some of my best catches of jig-caught kingfish being in August and September.
So don’t be afraid to brave the colder weather, the fishing will make up for it.Reads: 662