Winter species still a chance
  |  First Published: August 2008

By the time August rolls up, many of us are starting to look forward to the summer species again but this is not the case just yet. We can still enjoy some good bream in the river and top snapper fishing outside before the warm currents make their presence felt.

The Tweed has had a really good run of winter bream again this year with the rock walls out the front and the Fingal rock wall the pick spots. The run-in tide has been the key with the bigger fish coming on the chew once it has been running in for an hour or two.

The odd big flathead has also been on the cards while fishing over the same coffee rock ledges where the bream school up.

Using larger baits or lures is the key to targeting these quality fish. Just remember that the big females are the breeding stock so try to return them as soon as possible and keep just the smaller ones for a feed.

It is quite an awesome sight to be winding in a 45cm flathead, only to see a much larger specimen shoot up out of the depths to engulf the smaller one. It happens on the odd occasion and the big female usually has a few goes at eating the smaller male before eventually losing interest.

Blackfish will still be around in good numbers on the majority of the rock walls around the lower reaches but we should start to see a decline in their numbers towards the end of the month.

The blackfish season did get off to a bit of a late start this year, so they might stick around a bit longer than usual.

Once you see the numbers of float-fishos start to thin out then you generally know that the season is drawing to a close.

August should still find the odd school of tailor harassing the baitfish in the Tweed. There should still be fish throughout the system but the larger numbers will be around the river mouth.

We had a few outings this winter while chasing bream that quickly changed into tailor sessions after schools of choppers started ripping into baitfish around the boat.

The bait often uses the shadow of the boat as cover and this only condenses them into a nice ball for the tailor to get stuck into.

Just about anything lobbed into a school of actively feeding tailor gets quickly engulfed when they are in that kind of mood.


The action on the offshore reefs has been very patchy this winter with red-hot days followed by absolute shockers.

It has been very hard to pick what days would fire and which days wouldn’t. I think that this has been partly due to the fact that the bait has been moving around a lot with the fish on the inshore reefs close behind.

Soft plastics and the ever-consistent floatlining techniques have been producing some good fish on the days when they decided to bite.

The odd big jew or sweetlip has been a great by-catch and August is one of the better months to target these excellent fish.

Fishing around the tide changes seem to be the only factor that links most of our jewfish catches to date. If you are in the right place at the right time you could be in luck and hook up to a quality jew.

One of the jewfish caught on a plastic was around 18kg to 22kg before I released it. A 7” Jerk Shad fished on a 1/2oz TT jig head right on the top of Fidos reef at daybreak did the damage but the jewies could show up anywhere at any time.

The charter boys working the 36- and 50-fathom lines have been keeping the punters happy with a good variety of reefies and this should continue through August if the weather allows us to get through the bar.

Just a word of caution: At the time of writing the bar was breaking a long way out and very tricky to navigate at times so exercise extreme caution when crossing it.

The dredge has been working on it now for a couple of months so hopefully we will see some improvement.

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