With predominant northerly winds blowing this month, we’ve had cooler offshore water temperatures. Fewer predators have graced us with their presence. With these northerlies, jacks have been firing, destroying live baits, strip baits and artificial lures. These red dogs are the talk of the town, with good numbers taken over the past month.
With water temperatures sitting at around 25-26°C on the close reefs and 27-28°C on the wider reefs, we still haven’t had the pelagics show in good numbers. Only a handful of mackerel have been caught over the last month, so it’s a very slow mackerel season. Colder water temperatures on close reefs have seen snapper, jobfish and spangled emperor still hitting drift baits and soft plastics, with good numbers of them caught over the last month. Try drifting plastics and baits around the Fidos, 5-Mile, South Reef and 9-Mile.
There are mackerel and GTs on the 9-Mile. Look for southerlies and troll swimbaits and big stickbaits for the best results. Mahimahi are around the FAD and on the 24 and 36s. Small black marlin are around the 36s and on the 50m lines. Trolling 6” skirted lures is producing the goods. There are a few blue marlin out wider and out on the shelf in small numbers. A few packs of mac tuna have been caught around 9-Mile and 5-Mile. It can be really fun flicking metals for these speedsters on light gear.
Northerlies mean jacks. With the water temperature sitting at around 27-30°C, and the lack of bait in the system, jacks are hungry and angry. They have been terrorizing anglers on the Tweed, with good numbers caught all through March.
Be prepared to lose tackle on these brutes. If you’re not losing tackle, you’re not in the structure enough. These brutes and their evil tactics have anglers stopping only one out of three. Jacks definitely win the battle more than you do.
Boyds Bay Bridge, Highway Bridge, Cobaki Bridge, Barneys Point Bridge, Chindrah Rock Wall, Oxley Cove Rock Walls, Stots Island, Tumbulgum Bridge and Condong Sugar Mill are all worth soaking a live bait or flicking a 3” plastic at for these red devils.
There are still a few good size whiting around on the top of the tide over the sand banks around Terronora, Cobaki and the Piggery. Yabbies are still working the best for these ghosts of the flats.
GT and bigeyes are around Jack Evans Anchorage and at Boyds Bay Bridge at night. Live bait, small micro-jigs and blades are still doing all the damage. You can find the odd luderick hanging around the rock walls and bridges. Try cabbage weed or stringy weed for the best results.
Muddies have been moving around with these warm water temperatures. Try a back creek or a hole in one of the Broadwater systems for a big can opener.
Northerlies aren’t the best winds for our beaches. They normally bring the bluebottles in and give a side wind to our beaches, making it hard to cast. North winds and a big swell have seen good gutters forming right down to Hastings Point. Try one of these gutters on a draining tide. Beach worms and white bait seem to be working the best to get a feed.
There have been good catches of bass around Banora Point and the upper reaches of Duroby and Bilambil creeks recently. Look for running pools and fish them with cicada lures for some exciting surface action.
Clarrie Hall Dam is fishing quite well with a few fat bass taken this season. I haven’t heard of anyone catching a freshwater jack yet, so it could be worth a drive to Clarrie Hall Dam. Cicada lures, deep diving hardbodied lures and jig spins still do the most damage on these opportunistic hunters.
With more northerlies predicted for the next month, we’ll see more jacks feeding and fattening up for the last months of warm weather before winter. They seem to take more dead baits and strip baits as they try and bulk up for spawning season.
Hopefully we will see a bit more southerly wind action in the next month to bring the toothy critters in. Mackerel, marlin, wahoo and mahimahi like warm water brought in by southerlies.Reads: 731