Doggone weather!
  |  First Published: April 2015

Fish on the Tweed the past month? Well it’s been pretty bad for me, as we’ve had so much rain the river has turned to mud with all that runoff coming from Terranora Broadwater, Bilambil Heights and Cobaki Broadwater. The outgoing tides have been awful; I’ve been continuously dodging floating logs, bits of land, and if it wasn’t so bad I would have laughed at seeing a floating island go on by.

The incoming tide is the time to fish and out at the seaway where the clean incoming meets the outgoing is a great place and an opportunity to chase some mulloway that tend to feed there. The best I’ve managed is catching a few flathead by trolling deep diving hardbodies, but with so much junk still in the water, that was hard going too.

I know there was a big article on the ABT comps in last month’s magazine, and I’d just like to share my experiences fishing the comps. It all started at my workplace (Griffith University Dental School) where I couldn’t help but overhear these 2 blokes talking about fishing. I got to know them quite well, I’d help them with their lab work, and they’d take me out the seaway hunting big trevs. Eventually Tristan Taylor and David McKenzie invited me down to the Clarence to fish my first ABT bream comp. It was a great atmosphere having all these keen fishos together. I have to say it wasn’t that easy to catch a legal bream, and when I did I grabbed my boater Darren Love in a bear hug and danced around the boat yelling and screaming. I kid you not, I was that excited.

Some of the folks I fished with have actually won the grand final. It’s a pleasure to watch these guys in action, and what you learn is amazing. I stopped using bait, started to release any fish I caught, and basically made fishing a far more exciting thing to do. I don’t ‘fish’ anymore — I like to think more I’m hunting.

There was a comp on the Tweed recently, but luckily the river had started to clear for those who entered. The bite, well there’s fish around, but hard to get, although once the river clears completely things should go back to normal.

So with nothing to say about where they are biting, I’ll finish with a funny story, though it wasn’t so funny at the time. It had just got light and I was in a canal system. The tide was really low and I was having some success around and under a particular boat when I heard a low growling sound. I turned around to see this giant bulldog staring at me and he had a mate — a big wolfish looking beast. I told the dog to be quiet (really, I said something else, but it’s unprintable), and resumed casting, when I heard an ominous splash.

I turned back to see the bulldog heading straight for me, only a few feet away. I knew he was after me because when I’d turn, he’d turn. Luckily I could just out-run him with the Hobie’s upgraded turbo fins, but as I was furiously peddling away I got such a shock at what happened next! I couldn’t believe it, but big wolf dog had run up the beach, jumped in and was trying to cut me off!

Jeez, so now there are 2 of them chasing me, so I really gunned it, as I only had a window of a metre or 2, staring into wolf dog’s eyes. I’m thinking this can’t be happening, but I made it by a metre. I was shaking like anything, couldn't even hold a rod in fact. That’ll teach me to tell doggy to be quiet, and quiet it was except for the laughter coming from a couple of houses.

I went back the next week and there on the same shoreline was a bloke with a little bulldog. I told him what had happened and it seems someone had told the council, so the dogs were locked in their yards. It transpired that the little dog belonged to surfer Joel Parkinson and near his jetty is one of my hotspots.

Oh, there is something biting! All this fresh has stirred up the mud crabs. There’s a local lad Jessie, who keeps posting photos on Facebook of some real monsters. I run into him on the river sometimes and do you think he’ll tell me where he puts his pots? He didn’t need to, as I carry binoculars on the ’yak, so I see a lot of stuff and sorry mate, I know and here’s a hint — around the mangroves and weed beds. Good luck!


A nice soapy for Dave.


Table fish connoisseurs will know Dave has hit the jackpot here. And on a lure, no less.


A tidy bream from before the big wet.

Sola0415_ 4

Grr! The big wet has got the muddies on the move.

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