A season of promise
  |  First Published: October 2009

Everyone has been saying it will be a long, hot Summer and although this may mean a bit more discomfort for those of us wanting to fish throughout the day, it also means that the fishing should be really good.

If the rains stay away or, even better, come down in moderation, we should be in for a really good season.

The afternoon storms will start to kick in this month and will have to be carefully monitored when planning an afternoon session. The storms can really increase activity levels of the fish in the rivers, bringing on a frenzied bite, but they can also very dangerous to fish in.

We usually keep an eye on the storm front as it moves in and if it looks like heading closer, we leave. The storms often work their way across the inland reaches of the
iver, leaving the lower reaches mostly safe to fish.

When this happens, the afternoon bite can be exceptional.

November is well and truly mangrove jack time on the Tweed and without a doubt, these are the fish that people ask me about most. Jacks are special fish and an increasing number of anglers are targeting them.

The growing interest in these red devils unfortunately also places a lot more pressure on them.

It amazes me that the Tweed still continues to produce trophy jacks every year.

Some seasons do seem better than others, with many more fish being caught. The interesting thing is that if we have a cracker of a black marlin season, it seems to be a top jack season as well and vice-versa.

It will really be interesting to see how this
ummer unfolds as we had a pretty good season on both accounts last year.

Jacks can be caught throughout the Tweed but generally the early season fish seem to come out in the lower reaches and as the summer progresses, the upper reaches come into their own.

Working visible structure, as well as rock bars or drop-offs with live baits or lures should see you in the game.

Trolling is a tried and proven technique for jacks; the problem is that they often have to swim less than a metre from hitting your lure to busting you off.

Remember to use your outboard when you get the bite and drive away from the structure if you possibly can.

Once you are well clear and all your gear has survived, you can continue to fight and hopefully land your fish.

Live-baiting can be just as much fun, with quick decisions also needed to try to land the fish.

he bite when live-baiting is changeable. One session the fish will smash the bait and you simply hang on for dear life, while on other occasions the jacks will just nibble on the livie like a bream.

You generally get quite a surprise when you get tired of the nibbling ‘bream’ and strike, only to find yourself connected to something that pulls a lot harder.

Whiting should show themselves a lot more in November as the water warms. There have been a few around but not really enough to keep the fishos happy.

This should change this month with plenty to be caught on bait and lures.

I will definitely be out there trying to scratch up a feed of these tasty fish.

The weed edges throughout the river should also hold good numbers of flathead around 40cm to 55cm with the odd larger model.

As the water warms, the bigger flatties move into the deeper water and become a bit harder to catch.


November is a good month to get out the trolling gear and start to chase the speedsters out there.

It is still a bit early for the main congregations of pelagics to arrive but there are always a few early-season fish kicking around.

We had a cracking black marlin season last year and although the Tweed seemed to get the tail end of it, the grounds up north of the bar were firing early on.

Every year has been different for these top game fish so hopefully we will be in for a good season.

The current should be making fishing on the wider grounds really difficult so if you intend heading out for a bottom-bash, then it may pay to stick to the shallower reefs.

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