Fickle? Not likely!
  |  First Published: September 2007

September is a bit of a transition month on the Tweed River and this just means that the fishing can be a bit fickle at times.

This will probably not be the case this year because of the amazing Winter run of fish we experienced. The number of tailor bream, blackfish and trevally had to be seen to be believed.

I think that the tailor should be still be around in good numbers this month. The pick of the spots include the Blue Hole and the rock bar at Kennedy Drive, with the bigger fishing coming out of the Blue hole.

We had countless bream sessions last month wrecked by schools of tailor. At some stages it was almost impossible to get a jig head back to the boat without getting snipped off. It became standard procedure that if you didn’t hook a bream then you would lose your plastic and jig.

The fish have been ranging in size from little choppers to greenbacks over 4kg. The best idea when the tailor are that thick is if you can’t beat ’em, then get stuck in. So we have been putting away the bream gear and spinning up a feed of tailor.

The run-out tide and the start of the run in have been the best times. Ganged pillies and slugs are the easiest ways of putting a good string of these tasty fish together. Simply let the slug sink to the bottom and then wind it back at a steady pace has been the go. The boys with the pillies have been drifting through or slow-trolling them.

Anchoring up and dispersing a bit of berley has also been effective but with the amount of boat traffic through the Blue Hole, this becomes a bit difficult. It’s always better to make sure you are out of the main channel before anchoring up.

There should still be some good bream in the system in September but they should be more dispersed than they have over the past few months.

This is also a great month to try your hand at catching a trophy flathead. Fish from 60cm to 90cm are not uncommon in the Tweed in September, so if you want to beat your PB then fish oversized plastics or large baits in the deeper holes and channels.

The area closer to the river mouth is one of the better spots but the amount of coffee rock through here usually results in a fair bit of lost gear. I fish this area with 2oz or 3oz jig heads and Atomic 6” Shads fished vertically under the boat for fewer snags.

Just remember that these big girls are the future of our flathead and it always pays to release them. I simply can’t bring myself to take home a flattie over 70cm but as yet it is still legal in NSW.

The upper reaches of the Tweed will still have some good numbers of bass and bream with the odd school of marauding trevally thrown in for good measure. If you are still keen to catch a few wild Tweed river bass then try to make the most of this month as they will be heading back up the rivers as the warmer weather starts to kick in.

I might even dust off some of the mangrove jack gear this month and have a go at a few early-season red devils. September normally has a bit of a temperature spike in the river which gets the jacks biting for a few days.

If you notice that the water has pushed up over 20° then a jack could be on the cards. Casting or trolling deep-diving minnows along the rock walls, rock bars and bridges is a good way to start.


The inshore reefs have been fishing pretty well over the past month and should continue so into September. Kingies, snapper and the odd jew will be the shallow-water targets while pearlies, snapper, trag and the odd arm-stretching amberjack will on the 30- to 50-fathom reefs.

September is one of the best months for jigging off the Tweed as the current usually starts to pick up towards the end of the month. The bigger kingies and ambers seem to sense this and you quite often come across schools of these excellent sport fish in the deeper water.

Dropping 300g Chaos Jigs down to them can often result in multiple hook-ups. Just make sure that your gear is up to it because these fish take no prisoners when they are hooked and bust-offs can be common.

I like to fish fairly heavy braid around 50lb to 80lb. There are some good braids out there and we all have our favourites but I stick to Verivas colour-coded braid or Platypus Super Braid, both in 80lb. I reckon that the 80lb isn’t much thicker than the 50lb and it just gives you that extra strength to put the brakes on a big fish.

The staffs at Anglers Warehouse have got some excellent gear in store and cater for most of the fishos out there, from estuary to offshore. So if you are after some quality service and advice pop in and see them. You will probably bump into me there having a yarn about the local fishing.

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