Action improves with the weather
  |  First Published: July 2009

The coldest months of the year are behind us and although we might still have to keep the beanies handy, things should start to warm up this month.

The fishing around the Tweed should hot up with the weather.

All the Winter species should still be firing with the odd Summer species starting to make an appearance.

Although we experienced a disappointing Winter bream season on the Tweed, there have been a few good fish around to make up for the lack of numbers.

August should see these fish still being viable targets along with blackfish, tailor, flathead and trevally.

Tailor have been around in good numbers with several of the local fishos targeting these fish around the streetlights and bridges at night.

The lights attract baitfish in various forms and the tailor and flathead often school up in large numbers on the edge of the light.

They then pick off the baitfish at will and can be seen chopping up on the surface.

Small slugs, soft plastics and minnows as well as lightly weighted pillies work extremely well on these fish when they are feeding like this.

Smaller chopper tailor often get to the lures or bait before the bigger fish, but if you upgrade the size of bait or lure then you can target the larger fish.

Flathead sit just under the tailor, swooping on all the chopped-up bits of bait and any unwary baitfish that strays too close to the bottom.

Large numbers of these flatties can often be caught if the lures or baits are allowed to sink to the bottom – if the tailor give them a chance.

Soft plastics hopped along the bottom are absolutely deadly in this instance.

The key is to get the lure up-current of the lights, allowing enough time for it to be on the bottom once it is in the region of the lights. It then becomes a case of simply working the plastic through this area until a flattie jumps on.

Upgrading your leader material when fishing this technique is a very good idea as you never know just how big the next fish will be.

In one night session at the time of writing a 36cm flattie was followed by a 72cm model on the very next cast.

Fortunately, the already badly abraded 20lb Sunline fluorocarbon leader was up to the task.

Bream will start to disperse throughout the system once again as their spawning urge subsides.

Mangrove-lined riverbanks are top spots to target them.

Two major techniques can be used catch these fish.

One is to anchor on the edge of the channel close to a promising-looking bank around high tide and then get a bit of a berley trail going, followed by a lightly weighted bait.

If you prefer to use lures, wait for the tide to drop enough to skip soft plastics under the overhanging mangrove branches.

The idea is to get the lure into the shade that the branches provide. Be careful not to hang up on the aerial mangrove roots (pneumatophores), though.


The snapper season has been an absolute cracker this Winter and the next few months should see the action increase, if anything.

Some quality knobbies were caught last month, such as an 11kg model caught by Nathan Johns on a soft plastic.

Tales of bent jig heads, bust-offs and pulled hooks have been prolific.

Even some of the fishos using beefed-up spin reels with 40lb braid and heavy spin rods have not been able to put the brakes on the bigger fish on the shallower reefs.

These are awesome fish and any doubt that they are kingfish is quickly dispelled when you get back a jig that has huge tooth holes punched into the lead head.

Many of the bigger fish have been coming out in the deeper water simply because they are grabbing the plastics or floaters further from the bottom, allowing the angler more time to put the brakes on.

Sweetlip, kingfish and the odd cobia will also be making their presence felt.

The charter boys have been making good catches of pearl perch, snapper and tuskfish on the deeper grounds.

This should continue this month but keep an eye on the current, which will start to increase on the wider grounds and make the bottom fishing a bit trickier

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