Better than last month
  |  First Published: September 2014

Usually I start the column off with how good the state of the river is, and here I go again! It’s fishing even better than last month, the water quality is fantastic and so is the quality of the bait. I love checking out the baitfish to see what size and colour they are so I can attempt to match them with a soft plastic or hard bodied lure.

The boys who net the mullet off Kirra Beach have been kept busy as there’s a lot around. Up at Point Danger whales have been spotted chasing them closer to shore. While I was spinning for tailor off the north wall two whales came in very close (just behind the surf break) and started getting friendly with each other. I had no idea what they were doing but the guy fishing next to me informed me they were mating. No wonder there were no fish nearby.

So with all this baitfish around, it’s an exciting fishing destination.

Small chopper tailor are being caught in the river with the Blue Hole a pretty popular spot. You can find some bigger fish using metal lures or pillies on a gang hook. Try the causeway at Fingal, the beach off Fingal, both walls of the river mouth and pay particular attention to the Beach where the sand pumping jetty is. All these spots are fishing well for the famous Tweed greenback.

Luderick are around in numbers under Boyds Bay Bridge. The wall to the south side of the bridge is also generally packed at this time of year, particularly on the weekends. From the water these guys look like they are having a lot of fun, a real social occasion.

Some big winter whiting are showing up in the shallows. I was struggling getting them on poppers but my mates were smashing them with live worms, so I grabbed a packet of Ecogear soft plastic worms and hey – they worked! The boys saw my success and started using them too. Weird how the fake bait out-fished the real thing.

School jewies are around in numbers but landing a legal 70cm+ mulloway is beyond me. My biggest so far this season was around 67cm and I haven’t heard of any legals caught in the river (you could try around the bridges just before daybreak and on dusk).

Yellowtail kings in the river? Yes there are a few that have been caught on heavy gear from boats in the seaway. Big shallow diving hardbodies are doing the damage I’m told.

Finally the bream are spawning, squirting milt everywhere. It’s all good fun until you cop a spray between the eyes, which happened to me recently. That fish was lucky not to be eaten. The bream are everywhere with the biggest being caught off the walls out front.

If you don’t have a boat or yak here’s a couple of land based hot spots. The boat harbour just past the trawlers is a great spot for luring and sharpening your casting skills, and there are a lot of big fish in there. Once I was slow rolling a deep diver along the side of a boat when a big barracuda came roaring out of the shadows and grabbed my lure. I got such a shock I almost threw my rod in the water. Yep, I got busted off.

The other spot is a walking track behind South Tweed Shopping Centre. It’s a beautiful part of the world, and the track will take you out to the main river where you can walk for miles casting into the shallows chasing flathead and whiting. It is indigenous country and this special spot takes you back to nature, I guarantee you’ll like it. There’s a seat halfway along the track next to the river, and I recommend you take time to sit silently there for five minutes. See how many different bird sounds you can make out.

Lastly I was in my yak fishing the trawlers when all the charter boats came in. I had an idea for a contra deal. I took time out to individually ask each skipper if they would be interested in taking turns to take me out with them so I could report on what’s happening outside. To my surprise they all said yes, how cool is that! Paul Burt pulled me aside and said he’d take me right out wide to catch some big, big fish. Now you’re talking, bring it on Burty.

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