What a cracker Summer was, with great action offshore and in the river and the fun should continue this month.
The extremely hot weather has probably contributed strongly to the good mangrove jack and trevally action in the river, while the spotted mackerel have been doing their thing on the inshore reefs.
It is not often that you visit a few tackle stores on the coast and most of them are sold out of thin wire.
And the small black marlin have put in a late show this year after we feared that they weren’t going to turn up at all.
I have been driving a game boat out of the Tweed and the action has been fairly consistent.
At one stage we were averaging one billfish a trip and even managed our first sailfish out of the new boat. These fish don’t often hang around until March but hopefully this year there will still be a few lingering around.
Wahoo will be the target species around the Nine Mile this month with plenty of crews really getting into the high-speed trolling.
We have been experimenting a lot with slow-trolling live baits off downriggers and the results have been amazing, to say the least.
The species list seems to grow each trip and I am really looking forward to giving the wahoo a good crack this month and then targeting the snapper over the colder months. In saying this, we have already accounted for numerous snapper on the downriggers while fishing for mackerel.
The Spaniards are especially keen on the downrigged live baits and it has simply been a case of setting the baits deeper as the sun gets higher. Fidos and Palm Beach reefs will be the main places to start if you are chasing a Spanish this month.
In the river the whiting have been biting well but there have been large numbers of smaller fish jumping onto the baits and poppers, making catching a feed of decent-sized fish a bit tricky.
Persistence has been the key, as well as timing your efforts around periods of low light. The Piggery, the sand flats opposite Fingal and the grassy island have been the main spots to target and they should still produce this month.
Even though the water temp in the river in the high 20s at times, there have still been quite a few flathead around. Some really good ones have been coming out around the mouth of the Tweed, the Fingal wall and the old Black Watch factory.
They have been patchy, though. A mate and I went for bream up the river and caught 7 or 8 good-sized flatties as a by-catch so I decided to head up there the following day to catch a few for a feed but couldn’t catch one to save myself.
Fortunately, my mate was onto it and caught a few just to make sure that I didn’t go home hungry.
I managed to catch an ‘injury time’ jack on a surface lure just before we went home to stop all the flak I was copping so it ended up all good.
There were some really good jacks in the river over Summer and they must have eaten very well because the tales of bust-offs have far outweighed the ones of fish landed. They must be getting angrier each year.
The usual big-eye trevally have been making the rounds, smashing into any bait they can find.
The bridges have been the hot spots for them, simply because of the amount of bait that has been holding around the pylons.
Poppers are hard to go past if you are looking for big-eyes.
March is a really good time to head out for a fish on the Tweed River so get out there and have some fun.Reads: 1213