April can be a bit of a fickle month as far as the fishing goes on the Tweed. It can be red-hot on the offshore grounds and in the river or it can be pretty ordinary.
A major factor is the weather. This is when the first signs of Winter start to make their presence felt. The river starts to slowly cool, as does the water offshore.
This is not always a bad thing because the fish feel the change coming and realise that now is the time to start feeding up.
All the Summer species can really fire if we experience stable weather. If you have not yet caught a mangrove jack for the season then this is probably the best month to do it.
Live-baiting or fishing lures around the abundant structure in the Tweed should get you connected to one of these prized estuary fish.
April generally marks the arrival of some quality bream. The rock walls at the river mouth are excellent places to prospect for a few of these quality fish.
Casting deep-running minnows or plastics up tight against the rocks and then working them out is the gun technique.
If you enjoy topwater luring then try getting out on the water at first light before the boat traffic becomes too aggravating and work poppers or surface-walking stickbaits along the rocky edges. Lucky Craft Bevy pops or Sammys are excellent lures for this.
The topwaters produce better around the top of the tide when the water is over the rocks and moving into the mangroves. The water is also a lot clearer on the top of the tide, which makes it easier for the fish to find the lure.
For those who prefer to soak a bait, these same locations will produce the goods around the tide changes when the run slows down.
While the tide is running too hard snagging becomes a major problem. Exercise patience and save your gear and your bait for those windows when the tide slows right down.
Pillies, worms, yabbies and herring are all reliable baits for these bream and don't be surprised if a jack, flathead or trevally becomes by-catch.
At the time of writing we were still experiencing periodical rain and the upper reaches remained very dirty.
This has been the case for a while now and although this water colour doesn't seem very good for fishing, the fish become accustomed to it and start to move back to their regular haunts.
If you are noticing that the lower reaches of the river are becoming too crowded then take a chance and head up-river into the dirtier stuff. Just keep vigilant for the floating debris, there has been no shortage of it lately.
The rains have kept the whiting on the chew with some quality ones coming from the Fingal area and the Piggery on worms and yabbies, but poppers and small vibration lures have been accounting for their fair share.
The dodgy weather has made crossing the bar difficult lately but when the guys could get out, there have been a few fish to be caught.
The Nine Mile has been the pick spot, producing wahoo, yellowfin tuna and the odd king.
Some really big giant trevally show up at the Nine Mile towards the end of March and through April. If you hit the conditions at the right time with little or no boat traffic (which doesn't happen very often) you can often see these fish cruising the shallower side of the reef.
Casting poppers at them is some of the best action you could possibly experience. Unfortunately landing them is not as easy as hooking them.
The current starts to slow down at this time of year and snapper become viable options again. We had a ripper of a season last year targeting them with soft plastics and learnt heaps.
Unfortunately we lost countless big fish to the jagged reefs. Stopping these fish is really tough on light spin gear but it was great fun trying.
Heavier spin gear helped a fraction although if you put too much pressure on the fish something else has to give, so it is a bit of a trade-off.
My mate Simon landed the best lure-caught snapper between us for the season. It went 10.1kg and it almost had him bricked but he managed to turn its head at the last possible moment. To say that we can't wait for this year's season would be putting it mildly.
Even though you might need to start packing a jumper, April is a good month to get out there and catch a feed.Reads: 703