As predicted, summer has been stinking hot and the estuary and offshore fishing has kicked into gear.
This month should be just as good with all summer species still firing. The silly season will have ended with most holiday crowds back at work, meaning the rivers will see a lot less pressure and the fishing should be a bit better.
I will definitely be spending a bit more time this month chasing my favourite river dweller, the mangrove jack.
The jacks in the Tweed seem to get even more active this month and we get a lot more on poppers. There will be a fair number of prawns in the river this month and the jacks, trevally and bream can be seen chasing them right up on the surface. The best times to see this awesome surface action are early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
Lately we’ve had some red-hot action fishing small poppers and soft plastics through fish busting up on these little prawns. They get extremely picky when doing this and we had to trim our softies right down to about 25mm to get the hits, but once we did this we hooked up to trevally or bream just about every cast. None of them were huge fish but they were still good fun on the light gear and very exciting fishing.
There will be a few kings around the Jack Evans Boat Harbour this month and chasing them with poppers, slugs and softies are all good techniques. Unfortunately, these fish are pretty tough for their size and quite often result in another trip to the local tackle store.
There should be a few good-sized trevally in this area, as well as around the bridges upriver.
Flathead should turn up a bit more regularly in February. The sand flats up around Super Cat and the Piggery are good places to start. A white pillie or a live herring drifted over the flats or around the drop-offs will work, as will as the reliable soft plastics jigged over the flats. Popular softies include the Atomic 3” Jerk Minnows, Berkley 4” minnows and Atomic 3” shads.
These same areas have been producing good catches of whiting. If you don’t have any luck through the day try a night session with a good supply of yabbies. Try to fish as light as possible for best results.
We have experienced an abnormal number of storms which have affected the fishing conditions in the upper reaches of the Tweed, so try to take the previous few days’ weather into consideration when planning your next trip.
I have had more than one trip up around Murwillumbah spoilt by chocolate-coloured water. One good thing about the rain is that it brings on the mud crabs so get the crab pots out and you should be able to scratch up a few good keepers this month. If you need a few extras, some other top gear or some good quality bait then give the guys at Angler’s Warehouse a call on (07) 5536 3822.
The current will be going strong this month, as will the pelagics. Small black marlin should still be around but not in the numbers they were last month.
The Nine Mile will be a busy place with the guys chasing wahoo and Spaniards. High-speed trolling is the favoured technique, with most boats towing Hex heads at 10 to 14 knots. The strikes at these high speeds are quite impressive and really get the heart jumping.
Palm Beach will still fish consistently for mackerel if you don’t mind fishing among 50 other boats.
All in all, February is a top month for fishing the rivers or outside so get out there and enjoy yourself.Reads: 392