The Tweed River has turned a corner after all the rain we’ve had, and it has finally been restored to a fishing Mecca once again.
The variety of baitfish present is amazing, so first up it’s a matter of trying to match my soft plastics to the bait I could see through my polarised Tonic sunnies. Typically they were medium size and of a white appearance, while some were smaller with a white belly, but green on top. Interestingly, I had some Z-Man plastics on board that matched the exactly those colours precisely. The Z-Man range is worth a look, as they have just about every colour you’d want. My favourite is the little Z-5 Swimmers. For some reason, regardless of the colour of the baitfish, the Motor Oil colour seems to out-fish the actual real bait colour, so there you go. It’s worth changing your lures constantly until you find 1 that works.
I have to say it’s all part of the fun of fishing a finicky river like the Tweed. You really have to mix it up to find the bite and keep an open mind. As an example, I might start off with a light 1/40oz jighead teamed with a Gulp Shrimp in the Banana Prawn colour. Now that’s an extremely light rig and has to be fished with patience. I usually count to 10 before working the plastic, but with such a light rig you have to fish it very slow.
Here’s a hint though; watch your line for any telltale bites, as with this lure presentation it slowly sinks down through the water in a very realistic way, so not a recommended technique on heavy line. I use 6lb Utinka multi-coloured braid and a 4lb fluorocarbon leader, so I can pretty much feel anything, whilst praying a big flathead doesn’t grab it.
Inspired by Carl’s Jocumsen’s recent success in the US Bass Elites, this has spurred me on. Not that I’m into comps, but the inspiration of the guy kind made me have a little look in the mirror and ask myself, “What are you doing?” as lately I’ve just been going through the motions...
After staying up all night the other week watching Carl kicking butt, something happened in my brain. I was so impressed with what I saw, it really excited me. I couldn’t wait to go fishing, but now with new vigour and excitement. By the way, I’ve caught a heap more fish following Carl’s example of being patient and persistent, so thanks Carl Jocumsen for the lesson. I used to be inspired by guys like Darren Borg and Tristan Taylor, but Carl Jocumsen has taken it to another level.
But back to the Tweed. The mouth seems to be the spot at the moment, whether fishing from a boat or off the rocks. The flathead have turned up in numbers around the coffee rocks behind the hospital, which is okay if you’re on a boat, but very snaggy from the shore. Shore fishos, head out to the rock walls for some big bream, tailor, GTs and the odd little snapper. The snapper caught recently was on a tailor rig — a three-hook gang with a pillie for bait.
Jacks are still around, though the size seems to have dropped. Again, they’ve been caught around Jack Evans Boat Harbour. If you’re keen, this place is worth putting in an overnighter on, because what happens in that little place sometimes has to be seen to be believed, as it can turn into a fishing frenzy in the blink of an eye. I’ve mentioned it before that I’ve actually had baitfish landing on my feet after being chased by marauding GTs. It doesn’t happen often, but that’s the only place I’ve seen it — twice now.
I’ve also been spending time in the canals surface fishing with a lot of success. The closer you can get your lure to structure, the better. There’s nothing like a surface strike, though I must annoy the homeowners as I have a tendency to scream when I get a fish on! Oh well, as my Dad said, “That’s just you.”Reads: 773