Transitional tactics
  |  First Published: April 2005

After such an exciting Summer it will be hard to accept a month when the fishing can slow a little.

April can be difficult on the Tweed River as it’s a month of transition. Some species will slow while others start to show as temperatures start to drop. Species to target will be bream, trevally, flathead, black fish and mangrove jacks.

Be prepared and have a range of outfits rigged to target different species during a session. Depending on what is around it is vital to have a rod ready. A bream session can quickly turn into a tailor battle so one needs to be prepared.

Bream should start to show in larger numbers around the river mouth. The northern migration would have started so some quality bream should be taken around the rock walls close to the hospital, Jack Evans Harbour and along the walls down towards Chinderah.

If you have the luxury of picking the prime time, the full moon with the first few hours of the run in should reward. Dig some fresh yabbies, they’re the best baits most commonly found up river in the Cobaki Lakes.

If spinning with plastics is your go, a well presented shad or stickbait fished with the current will provide plenty of action. Fine braid rigged with a slightly heavier then normal jig heads will allow the lure to work best in these deeper waters.

Flathead and whiting should continue to take fresh baits up the river. Tidal flats up around Stotts Island hold plenty of fish, as do the flats around the piggery, behind Seagulls Football Club and up behind the airport.

Plastics still remain the key to successful flathead fishing and the new Storm Twitchin’ Yabby is working a treat. Fished slowly along an inviting bank can produce a large assortment of fish and I’m sure such a life-like lure will spend more time on your line than in your tackle box.

April can and be a tremendous month for the mangrove jack. If the big rains and cooler temperatures stay away then jack action can be the best of the year. Jacks this time of the year are generally meaner, fatter and angrier.

The conditioned fish will continue to hang around rocky out crops, walls and holes down river closer to the mouth while many of the bigger ones will make their way out to sea. Successful baits are live mullet, diver whiting or herring. Many favour a diving minnow of any variation with gold a favourite colour.

If you’re keen, plan your assault for a few hours before sun up as plenty of action along with a nice quiet river far away from traffic seems to be the winning formula. Use a long heavy trace 60lb to 90lb mono or even a wire trace to decrease the chances of getting cut off.


Tailor should start to show in better numbers this month . The back beaches of Fingal should present some impressive looking gutters after the Summer season.

These gutters should hold plenty of tailor providing the conditions are right. Calm seas with limited winds will provide best conditions.

If you have a boat try fishing behind the break. Exciting catches can be had using slugs or poppers, and even the fly rod can be swung into action. Other land-based spots to try, easily accessible by car, are the rock walls leading to the river mouth on the run-in tide. Best time is just before and just after dark.

If the tailor are slow try your hand for a trevally as they shouldn’t be to far away. Good numbers should continue to show up around the pockets of turbulent water near the green light on the bend and along the walls.

When fishing on the river it is important to have your licences with you. It’s common to be asked for your boating and fishing licenses as a new patrol boat and new staff patrol these waters day and night.

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