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Fresh flush shuts down the bite
  |  First Published: May 2016



If you’re a midnight trevally stalker like me, you are going to love the Tweed at the moment, as those big bruising bandits are running amok throughout the river system.

As I have previously suggested, it seems that regardless of tide they are a nighttime predator, and in my experience you seem to catch bigger fish in the wee hours. At the moment they’re pretty much all over the shop, and I’ve even caught them from my back yard while trying out different lures (I live on the water halfway up the Terranora arm of the river).

Although they’re mostly only small fish, they are very aggressive and seem to scare the other fish, which consequently shuts the bite down, a little like the dolphins do when they go on a binge.

The big ones are often found moving through Jack Evans Boat Harbour, in fact I think that’s usually my first port of call. What’s better, is that you don’t even need a boat to fish it!

Casting a medium sized metal slug as far as I can, aimed at the distinct water channel where shallow meets deep, then ripping it back as fast as I can seems to work most times. Sometimes it can get frustrating with cast after cast after cast with no results, and your arms start to tire and your concentration goes. You have to hang in there, because when one hits you, it’s on. These bruisers go off, and they try and out run you, smash straight into pylons whilst going full bore, and try anything to bust you off. But it’s so much fun!

I use a custom built rod, only 6ft and with an American rating of 20lb. Spooled on my reel is Diawa Tournament multi-coloured braid, which is the thinnest 40lb braid I have ever seen. The leader is 25lb Sunline Shock Leader, and so far all these have proven the goods. When chasing the midnight trevs, make sure your knots are good as you won’t get a second chance.

Chinderah, Kennedy Drive, Tumbulgum and the Highway bridge all seem to attract the big fish, particularly on the end of an incoming tide. Fishing bridges might seem daunting at first, but if you do it properly it’s easy and a lot of fun.

As I fish from a yak 90% of the time, I find myself on the west side of Boyds Bay Bridge, often sitting perfectly still in an eddy and casting parallel to the pylons and pretty much imagining what my Z-Man paddle-tail is doing, loaded with a 3/4oz TT jighead. That’s a pretty scary concept, as you would think you’d snag up with a jighead of that weight, but no, for some reason it seems to avoid the rock. A point to remember is that a few meters behind me is an underwater cable, which is unrelenting to lures. In the past, I’ve seen people fighting the cable and thinking it was a fish! I think it must move a little…

There’s been a lot of fresh up my end of the river, and it’s all coming from Cobaki and Terranora, which has turned the water tea coloured and slowed the bite down. The other arm of the river is cleaner, but the seaway area on the incoming is the pick if you’re on a boat.

Sometimes there are some cowboys out there who dive the wall parallel to the hospital with no flags, buoys or anything! The only way you know they are there is by all the bubbles coming to the surface. On one occasion the diver must have been able to see our lures dropping straight on top of him, not on purpose, and it was only after we started to hit the bottom did we spot the bubbles. I asked my mate Ricardo what’s a legal size diver fish, with that we both pulled our lines in quickly as there were that many bubbles it looked like the boat was having a spa.

If you’re fishing the river, I highly recommend live or fresh bait to snap the fish out of their shut down state. As I mentioned earlier, there’s a lot of fresh water coming through the system. On the positive side of that is the seaway, the beaches and the rocks.

Just be careful when rock hopping, and if you don’t have balance and a degree of fitness stick to the beach, which is full of fun at the moment with plenty of tailor action with the odd massive mulloway thrown in.

If you’ve got a day off and are keen on catching a trophy mulloway, start out at Pottsville and slowly make your way north. This place is God’s country, and there’s so many good fishing spots between Potty and the Tweed. Definitely well worth a weekend of exploring. My brother’s going to kill me for this… but the great mulloway and tailor Hell Hole is situated out on the headland, only a short walk from the Broken Head Caravan Park down Byron Way! That’s all I’m allowed to say!

• For all your fishing needs and up-to-date information and tips for spots and fish drop into the shop for a chat. Iluka Bait and Tackle is located at 3 Owen Street, Iluka NSW 2466. Give us a call on (02) 6646 5217 or 0402 997 572. We are available online at www.ilukabait.com.au or visit our Facebook page.

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