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Best of both seasons
  |  First Published: March 2010



Easter is already here, with waterways again busier than usual, but if the weather gives us a fair go, the fish should come out to play.

April is one of my favourite times to fish the Tweed region. The Summer heat has disappeared yet the water temperature has only just started to drop.

So we generally can still expect Summer fishing action with the mildest of Winter weather, so who could ask for more?

As the water temperature starts to drop, many of the transient fish species on the Tweed, as well as some resident ones, feel this and the urge to feed kicks in.

Mangrove jacks usually show up in good numbers as they feel the onset of Winter.

All the usual haunts in the river turn on, with these red devils really making their presence felt.

Live baits and lures should account for a few jacks this month. Target the rock walls or submerged rock bars throughout the river during low light periods.

If you get to land it is another matter entirely. This is usually the last month on the Tweed that you still stand a better than average chance of catching a jack, so if you haven’t got one this year then get out there and give it your best.

Giant trevally also show up in the river in good numbers over March and April and they are generally good-sized fish that really put your tackle to the test.

Although they do make their way up the river and can be caught throughout the system, the bigger fish tend to hang around the river mouth.

Drifting live herring through the area behind the hospital and the entrance to the Jack Evans Boat Harbour is a cracking way to catch these hard fighting fish.

The addition of a light, sliding pea sinker to the main line is often necessary to get the live bait down when the tide is running really hard.

Again, early morning and late afternoon are by far the best times to target GTs. Live bait is not the only way to catch them, though, and soft plastics jigged through the water column, metal slugs and poppers will all account for their share of fish.

BIG BREAM

A run of big sea bream often makes its way into the river in April.

These fish come before the main run that we expect through the Winter. They are generally big, with the odd one clearing the magic kilo mark.

The walls around the river mouth, the Jack Evans Boat Harbour and the Blue Hole are the places to keep an eye out for these fish.

If you are land based and fishing with bait, try to pick your fishing times to coincide with the tide changes because the current can really run hard in these places and most of your fishing will be done over coffee rock, where tackle losses can be quite extensive.

The upper reaches of the river may well still be suffering the effects of all the rain but if they do recover, the fish will be keen to get up there.

Keep an eye on the weather and if it stays good, it may be worth heading up-river.

The bass should be moving out of the creeks and into the main river as the urge to spawn starts to take over. Over the next few months these fish should really start to feed up prior to their spawning run.

Small minnows, soft plastics and topwater lures cast around the snags are good ways to target these wild fish.

OFFSHORE

The offshore scene may be a bit touch and go this month as we are in a bit of a transition phase.

The Summer species will be making way for their Winter counterparts.

Fish like spotted mackerel will start to thin out but snapper and trag will make up for them.

The current will be slowing down, opening up the deeper reefs for species like pearl perch, amberjack and yellowtail kingfish.

April can be a bit tricky but if you get it right this month then the action can be top notch

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