A ripper of a month
  |  First Published: September 2003

THIS CAN be a ripper of a month to fish the area. There are lots of small creeks to target, great headlands and beaches and an abundance of reefs that see very little impact.

After plenty of winter rains, the Tweed River is in a very clean state compared with previous years and I am tipping a good Spring season for anglers.

Mangrove jacks begin longer feeding periods this month as the days become longer and the water temperatures begin to climb. They can be difficult to catch because of their shorter feeding times, but bigger fish can be accounted for.

Lures are a great way to search these fish out. Robust deep-divers work for deep rock bars and shallow-runners for casting or trolling the shoreline. Low light levels with a change of tide are the peak conditions. Again I urge anglers to strictly catch and release jacks – their numbers are being impacted on as more anglers chase them.

The bream season will be hitting its straps by the time this issue is released. I don’t think anything needs to be written about the effectiveness of soft plastics and the pleasure that this style of fishing provides. Certainly this month should see some big fish taken around the rock walls at the mouths of the estuaries.

Flathead, too, will make a big appearance in the systems this month, with the full moon urging the big females into their breeding areas. I don’t like targeting these fish at this time, as an extra few hundred thousand potential fish in a system certainly is appealing to me as a side effect. There will, however, be plenty of fish available to lure and fly anglers on the flats and by trolling the deeper sections.

The beaches and headlands have fished reasonably well with Black Rock, Hastings Point and Cabarita beaches, in particular, providing some great fishing.

The inshore and offshore fishing has also been productive, with some good catches of big snapper from the close reefs from Kingscliff south. There are also good numbers of big kingfish and cobia. The bait reefs have good numbers of slimies and yakkas, mostly small, so perhaps the end of the drought triggered a big spawn last season. Either way, it all looks good for fishing in close and anglers should fish fresh bait alive or dead this month, with better results attributed to fresh bait.

Out wide, pearl perch, red-throat sweetlip, morwong and snapper have been around in reasonable numbers and should continue to be at least for this month.

Jigging the deep water is also taking off, with the River2Sea range of lures, along with Raiders, proving inexpensive alternatives to losing $50 lures. I know Gold Coast Tackle have been moving a swag of these lures in recent times. These jigs, cranked at speed in deep water, have been accounting for everything from jew to samson, amberjack and, of course, the kingfish. It’s something I plan to do a lot more of this month.

Weather is generally stable through September, offering anglers comfortable conditions. The current will not have started with any real push yet, so try inshore early and the wider grounds after dawn.

The Tweed bar has undergone some serious dredging in recent months and has good access to the open water Care is the keyword, however. Don’t cross the bar without a lifejacket because the minute it takes to put on could save your family from a tragedy.

Check your safety gear is in good order, your battery is charged and don’t go fishing without a licence. NSW Fisheries has been going through an education process for the past year or more but no longer – severe penalties apply for infringers.

There are signs on all ramps on the Tweed and no shortage of places to by a licence.

1) jack

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