Early starts for big rewards
  |  First Published: November 2006

The only downside to fishing through the warmer months is that we have to get up so much earlier to get the dawn bite. Thankfully, the fishing this month should make up for it.

The summer species in the Tweed really start to hit their straps this month with whiting, trevally and mangrove jacks the main targets. There will still be a few bream around throughout summer but the size is usually somewhat smaller.

I intend having a crack at a few good whiting over the warmer months. Last year they took a back seat to the mangrove jack and I never got around to targeting them as much as I would have liked to.

Good spots to start looking for a feed of whiting are the flats opposite Oxley Cove and around the Piggery. The flats around Fingal also produce some quality fish but the boat traffic around this area usually makes it hard to enjoy a leisurely afternoon on the water.

Yabbies, worms and soldier crabs are all pretty consistent baits for whiting as long as you fish them on light gear with as little weight as possible. Try to keep as quiet as you can if fishing from a boat. Banging your tackle box down on the floor will alert any decent fish of your presence. Keep in mind that the bigger whiting didn’t get that size by being stupid.

If you don’t have time to head out and collect some fresh bait then stop over at Anglers Warehouse on your way for a quality supply and you will be able to start fishing immediately.

If you are looking to catch a few trevally, any of the bridges or rock walls are excellent spots to check out over periods of low light. You should see the trevs smashing into bait if you are in the right area.

If they aren’t showing themselves then jigging soft plastics or metal slugs around the bridge pylons is a good technique. Drifting livies around the pylons also works and can result in a few different species.

Mangrove jack are most estuary anglers’ prized fish. They are tough fish that don’t surrender easily and specimens around 50cm are not uncommon in the Tweed. These fish can be targeted by trolling or live baiting.

Minnows that dive to about 4m are good jack lures, with popular models being Lively Lures Mad Mullet, Mann’s Stretch 15+ and 20+ and Rapala Shad Raps.

Suspending a livie under a float or with just enough weight on to get it down in the current around the same sort of structure is a good way to tempt a jack. Just remember never to put the rod down unattended because that’s normally when the jack will strike.

Rock walls, rock bars and bridges are all good areas to start. These fish cop a bit of a flogging in the Tweed so I try to release the ones I catch. I caught several fish last year with bits of line hanging from their mouths which just proved to me the amount of pressure that gets put on them.


The current will be pushing warm water in close in November and with it will come the speedsters. Wahoo around the Nine Mile, mackerel around Palm Beach and Spanish around Fidos should all come through.

Trolling Hex Heads around 12 knots or slowly trolling livie are the top methods to pin a wahoo or Spaniard. If you are chasing mackerel in particular, try anchoring up and fishing pillies back into a berley trail. Keep a constant lookout for actively feeding schools of fish.

While anchored one of the anglers should always try some high-speed spinning. Sometimes this will tempt a fish when the other techniques fail.

The small black marlin should start showing this month around Kirra Reef and the Nine Mile. Watch the sounder for bait schools and work around these with small skirted pushers for best results.

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