Nippy starts, zippy bream
  |  First Published: June 2006

Winter bream have well and truly arrived with consistent catches of good-sized fish.

The quality of the fish has really made up for the cold early starts.

One morning I headed up the Chinderah Arm of the river and on my first cast the soft plastic ended up about 3m up the bank in a tree. I had to re-rig and my next cast pinned a 36cm bream.

That quickly warmed up the fingertips and, several fish later, I was glad I had not turned off the alarm clock and gone back to bed.

The Tweed can be at its best when travelling up the river on first light, mist rising up off the water and the banks hardly visible. It is truly a beautiful time of the day.

The bigger bream have been coming out behind the hospital and around the Jack Evans Boat Harbour. Soft plastics hopped along the bottom and whole herring, live or dead, have been the pick of the techniques to target the bigger fish.

A trip to one of the bridges on the Tweed is the easiest way to pick up a few herring on small bait jigs. A quick sound around the pylons is sometimes needed to locate the schools.

A few good-sized flathead will also be around this area and can be a pleasant by-catch.

June is also a good month to chase trevally throughout the Tweed River. The areas upstream around Condong and Murwillumbah hold good concentrations of these tough fish and early starts normally produce the goods.

We have come across large schools of these fish ripping into the bait and casting poppers, slugs or soft plastics at them usually result in a hook-up. As soon as the sun shows itself, the action dies away.

Trevally patrol the deeper water and drifting livies or jigging softies fairly fast from the bottom can get you connected to a few more.

Catches of flathead were fairly consistent through May and I expect this to continue this month.

The average size of the winter flathead is usually around 45cm to 55cm, which is a good size to take home for a feed. There have been a few larger models around as well so try to use a slightly thicker leader to stop that fish of a lifetime sawing you off.

Casting 3” Atomic Shads or Jerk Baits around the shallow flats and drop-offs is a pretty easy way of pinning a few of these fish. I use a 1/4oz or 3/8oz jighead when targeting them to ensure that my softie is hitting the bottom on the drop each time, keeping the lure in the strike zone as much as possible.

Flathead find a softie hopped enticingly on the bottom hard to refuse. Another good way of securing a feed of flathead in the Tweed is to tow a few Lively Lures Micro Mullet over the flats and around the edges of the weedbeds. If the lures are touching bottom from time to time, you know you are in with a chance.

Lures are obviously not the only way of chasing these fish and gang-hooked pillies, mullet fillets or herring are all good baits that can be fished in the same areas.

Bass usually start to get more active this month in the upper reaches and the sections above the weir. Live shrimp and a variety of small lures flicked around the snags will quickly tell you if there are any about.

We had some awesome sessions casting poppers and spinnerbaits around the sugar mill and Murwillumbah this time last year, including some huge bust-offs by big bass. The trick is to get your lure as tight to the structure as possible and when you get the hit, pile on the pressure or stand the chance of losing your lure. These are a great fish to catch and go really hard for their size.

If you are unsure where to go or what to chase, call in at Angler’s Warehouse or phone (07) 5536 3822.


June is definitely time to break out the snapper gear. The Mud Hole, Fidos and the Nine Mile are all good areas to try with the usual floatlining techniques.

The current on the wider grounds will have slowed right down so the reefies will be on the chew. Pearl perch, snapper, tuskies and heaps more will all be on the cards.

The odd amberjack, samsonfish or kingfish will also be around to stretch the arms. These larger fish can be targeted with 300g Chaos, Knife or Sacrifice jigs in the deeper water. It’s an excellent way of chasing the Seriola family and we had some top sessions last winter on the 45 and 50-fathom lines. Jigging is a fairly energetic way of fishing so if you prefer bait, then a live slimy or yakka will also be good.

June is a good month for fishing around here. All you need is a good beanie, a flask of warm coffee and a good fish on the end of the line and you will be in the game.

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