The Tweed at its best
  |  First Published: November 2015

The Tweed River and the local beaches have been firing lately. I’ll start with Terranora Creek and Broadwater where I’ve spent a fair bit of time chasing flathead in the shallows next to the weed banks with a lot of success.

Lately I haven’t caught big specimens, but have been picking up a few around the 50cm mark, which make a perfect table fish. I tend not to keep flathead caught in the shallows of Terra though, as they are pretty muddy. You only have to look at the difference in colour between a lizard caught out in clear water and one from the mud. I found Z-man GrubZ worked well, though the guy I was fishing with had on live yabbies. Interestingly, although he caught a lot more fish than I did, the fish I caught were of better quality.

Cobaki Broadwater has been pretty similar to Terra but there are a few whiting hot spots in there. Look for the shallows with yabby holes everywhere. If you’re into popper fishing this is the place, or you can pump a few yabbies and hang on. It’s also an interesting place to explore, with Piggabeen Creek running into it. With the weather warming those creeks are jack country.

If you’re into canal fishing, the Tweed always offers a challenge as it’s pretty hard to predict how the fishing will be. So some days it will be on fire while on other days it will be dead. Lately it’s been on though. Be game and cast your lure as close to the structure as possible, as lately the big bream have been sitting under structures and boats. I found that a really light 1/40oz jighead with a 2” Zman GrubZ works a treat. You can cast it anywhere but remember to give it time to sink. They take a while so be ready; I kept getting nailed on the drop.

The canals in the Tweed all have their own characteristics. There’s one that I call Little Italy because Italians live there, and they love to feed the fish their leftovers. I avoid that one now as the fish seem to be whiter in colour and kind of flaky. Maybe fish and human food don’t mix well?

Luderick have slowed right down, but greenback tailor mixed with the odd school mackerel are being caught off both walls at the seaway entrance with metal slugs and pillies on gang hooks. It’s the same story along the beaches around Fingal, and a mate caught two Aussie salmon off Devil’s Island (Fingal Light House) on slugs. Those fish seem to show up at different times every year; I can’t see any pattern to their movements.

Bass season has opened and my mates have been catching a few around the 40cm mark at dawn around Bray’s Park Weir. I’ve been told the bass are showing up around Condong as well. Condong either fires or it doesn’t, but that mill is always worth a squiz.

The weeks ahead should see the place at its best. Summer means jacks! They are already showing up at the usual places but right now there’s a heap of little ones smashing the walls outside of Oxley Cove, so I’m thinking if you keep trying you’ll get the big one. Nobody I know uses bait there, it’s all deep diving lures smashing along the rock wall. Bang the lure into the rocks, let it float up and repeat. The most popular jack retrieve at the moment seems to be a slow retrieve with a paddle tail lure rigged with a heavy jighead. My tip is to experiment.

Lastly, the fishing community has lost one of its own. Warren ‘Wazza’ Struthers died in a car accident on his way to Bathurst. Wazza, father of Guy and Amy, and husband to Tracey, was a man I admired immensely. My dad once told me to never judge a book by its cover, and Wazza was a rough diamond all right. However, he had a glint in his eye, an infectious smile and a willingness to put himself out to help anyone. He also gave helpful tips to the up-and-coming comp kids, and had complete dedication and love for his family. Gonna miss you Wazza.

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