A variety of fish landed off the rocks down at the Tweed……
Conditions: Light breeze, light swell and the sun was out smiling
Season: Late Autumn
Strategy: Fish the rocky headlands while conditions allow & see what’s biting under the bridges
Technique: Long casts and fast retrieves for slugs and working plastics slow along the bottom
Gear set up: A: 9ft, 6-10kg graphite rod, 4000 size spin reel with 20lb braid & 20lb leader. B: 7ft, 2-4kg graphite rod with 2500 size spin reel with 8lb braid & 8lb leader.
Lures: 7” & 5” plastic jerk shads, 40g slugs, 4” plastic minnows
Session Rating: 8/10
Tailor fishing at the Tweed always comes to mind as the temperatures drop in the lead up to winter. I wanted to get there before dawn but arrived a little later then planned as the sun first peeked over the horizon. One of the locals was already there casting slugs from the rocks. He had been fishing for half an hour without a touch.
Plenty of fish
I was about to tie on a plastic when old mate finally got his first hit and pulled in a Chopper Tailor. I changed my mind and put on a 40g slug instead and put out my first cast out. The fish were in quite close and I soon had a 40cm Tailor of my own flipping about at my feet. The fish swallowed the entire treble and so I put him in a rock pool, cut the line and tied on another slug.The fish were definitely feeding. I followed this fish up with another similar sized Tailor on the next cast and he became company for the first fish in the rock pool.
The next fish to get on the line hit the slug hard, and took a bit of line in the fight. I was convinced that it had hooked a bigger specimen of a Tailor. This fish actually turned out to be a Bonito instead. He definitely seemed to have more “go” than the Tailor despite being about the same size.
Old mate headed home and I stayed on to spray the north side of the headland with more slugs. Over the next hour or so I landed four more Tailor between 38 and 45cm one of which I kept as it also caught a treble down the throat. This was turning out to be an enjoyable session. I wanted to continue fishing but I was wary of critically injuring any more fish than I intended to eat fresh. Any more than two was going to be a waste so I made a mental note to install some single hooks on some slugs for next time.
Slow rolling plastics over reef
I moved to the southern side of the headland and fished with some plastics over the rocky reef. I find this to be a really enjoyable form of fishing. You need to stay mentally focused to keep your lure above the reef bottom while also keeping an eye on the swell. On numerous occasions I was able to see through the wave into the reef below where I saw a number of bigger reef fish lurking. I got a number of bites but it was not until the end of the session that I was able to convert a bite into a hook up. A frenetic fight finished with me landing a big Dart who joined the Bonito and 2 Tailor in the bag as I packed up to go head home.
A few casts under the bridge
On the drive back along the river, I decided to have a couple more casts under the bridge. This short session was done with the little estuary outfit and was a nice change after using the bigger rods off the rocks all morning. I was castings plastics on lightly weighted jigheads into the shallows where the weed beds met the sand.
I hooked a Longtom which I let go. Three casts later in the same spot, I pulled in a respectable Flathead at a round 45cm long. Seeing as dinner was to be the two Tailor, I let him go before reflecting on what had been an awesome session with no less than five different species of fish caught. Fresh air, exercise, beautiful surroundings and a feed for lunch is why I love fishing. It certainly does not always pan out this well but when it does, it’s awesome.