Things are warming up
  |  First Published: September 2008

This is generally the month when the change of the seasons comes about on the Tweed. The winter species become less prevalent as they make way for some of the summer ones.

The warming air temperature and warmer ocean currents play a part in bringing about this change and September is the first month of the season when I think about doing a few exploratory jack trips.

This usually entails a few afternoon sessions initially because the water in the late afternoon is often a few degrees warmer than in the morning. If there is a low tide around midday, the sun will heat the exposed sand flats and helps to up the river temp a few degrees.

Scouting around in the early afternoon to see where the best concentrations of bait are and which part of the river has the warmer water is the way to go.

I often cover a fair bit of water in the first few jack sessions to suss out the spots before I pick a few close together to spend the twilight hours on.

We often see a major temperature spike in September that often means the river jumps 3° or 4° overnight. If you’re on the water when this happens then you are in with an excellent chance of getting one or more jacks in a quick flurry of activity.

This usually lasts for a few days, after which the temperature drops back and the red devils start sulking again.

Last year I was fortunate to be on the water when this happened and we managed four good jacks trolling hardbodies. We headed out the following evening, only to find that the water temperature had plummeted and couldn’t even raise a hit.

The river has been absolutely chockers with bait in recent few months and the trevally should turn up soon. Keep an eye on the rock walls along the river during the low light periods for these strong-fighting fish.

If they are about it normally doesn’t take them long to show themselves. A well placed lure worked back through them or a live herring are the two best ways to ensure a hook-up.

The choice of lure depends on the size of the bait that they are feeding on. You will be surprised how selective these fish can be, even when actively feeding. A lure that is too big will often be refused time and again.

Whiting were still around through the winter but many fishos will be happy to see the rise in water temp that usually means these tasty fish become much more active.

Most of the flats start to be productive in the Tweed and it is a case of trying a few locations until you find the better quality fish.


It isn’t quite time to break out the trolling gear although the odd speedster should be getting around. We experienced a terrible season on small black marlin last year with strikes very few and far between. Hopefully we can look forward to a better season this year.

The currents on the deeper grounds should increase towards the latter part September but at the time of writing the charter boys were still catching a few good reefies out wide with the odd kingie, amber or samson fish thrown in.

The inshore reefs produced some trophy snapper this winter but if you never got them, don’t stress because it is not too late. September is a top month to fish the inshore reefs off the Tweed with mixed bags falling to plastics and floatlining techniques.

If the weather allows, head on out and give the reefies a go. If not, then the river is still a viable option in September.

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