Make a run to the close reefs
  |  First Published: May 2016

The past month has been a great start of some productive fishing, and we live in a great part of the world for inshore and offshore fishing.

After February, northeasterlies followed by a tropical low usually generates big swells. The Tweed Bar has a big sand build up on the north side of the bar, so if you are going to head out proceed with extreme precaution. Work with the tides, and the making tide is preferred if there is a slight swell on… safety is paramount.

All local offshore reefs have been producing quality fish for this time of the year, with good catches of wahoo and Spaniards on the Tweed Nine Mile.

Resident yellowtail kingfish are always there with the odd black kingfish or (cobia) thrown in. The 8” hexheads in bonito colour towed around 10-25km/h seem to get the wahoo going.

For the Spanish mackerel, I like to tow dead and live baits such as a whole bonito, slimies or yakka rigged on a Predapro Fish Rig, these are the best thing since sliced bread! The weighted jig slots into the mouth of the baitfish, then pins the mouth closed. The other two pins are used to lock the gill closed. They give a great swimming action for all dead baits, and it’s always worth swimming a dead garfish in your spread.

Small black marlin are still feeding close on the inshore reefs, and just recently I had my first sailfish sighting for the year.

The FAD is still there and so are the mahimahi. They are only small but great fun on light gear. These fish can be very touchy when it comes to lures, but I have found that ZMans Diesl MinnowZ in pearl works a treat. If that fails, try using cubed pillies and place an unweighted hook in one of the cubes. I like to use Black Magic KS 3/0 as it hooks in the jaw and reduces mortality rate. Bulls sit deeper in the water column, so if you can get a livey past the rats you are in for a chance.

The 50-fathom line east of the bar has had great water temperatures over the past 4 months with bull mahimahi in numbers and plenty of yellowfin as well. Surface stickbaits will usually being these guys aboard. My favourite is the Rapala X-Rap Long Cast Shallow in baby wahoo. It’s a great form of fishing and the surface strikes can be an amazing sight with fish leaping 3-4ft out of the water after hitting your lure.

With cooler water temperatures moving in, the snapper will be about on the 18, 36s, 42s, and The Mudhole just east of the bar producing. The occasional pearl perch and tuskfish should also turn up, which are great additions for the table.

With the current flow (gentle and running south) try using some blade jigs or 7”soft plastics 1/2oz 6/0 jigheads for these bottom dwellers.

There’s some great fun to be had this month, so why not get out and enjoy it?

Fish on!

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