Don’t fight the crowds
  |  First Published: December 2008

I thought for something different I would start this month’s report with some tips for launching your boat over the busy festive season.

Boat ramps are usually crowded and people can get very impatient when someone is cutting into their early morning fishing time. A few simple things can help you to speed up your launching time and do it so that the rest of the ramp can still be used by others.

Removing your turnbuckles or boat straps and removing your trailer light board before you actually get on the ramp definitely tops the list of priorities.

Ensure your bung is in. I do this at home as a habit, I think most of us have forgotten at some stage to put this extremely important item in its place at some stage.

Most ramps are fairly wide and can accommodate two boats with, the odd ramp handling three abreast, so stick to one side and allow the other guys enough space to launch as well.

When backing down the ramp in low light, turn off your headlamps so that your lights do not blind the other person that is trying to back his boat down.

Once your boat is off the trailer, move your car out of the way.

Lastly, if you cannot back a trailer efficiently, go somewhere that isn’t crowded and teach yourself. I can assure you that a busy boat ramp on a Saturday morning is not the place to be learning.

If you use some of these basic principles and try to be courteous at the ramp, things usually run a lot smoother for everyone.


December is a very busy time on the Tweed River. With more 6-knot zones coming into effect on the Nerang River to the north, we could see a lot more folks making their way down for a day on the water.

Just be aware of the increased number of boats and take note of the other craft.

It’s not all doom and gloom on the fishing front though; it just takes a slightly different approach.

If you look at the boat traffic as another factor that influences fishing (like wind, rain or tide) then actually catching fish becomes a bit easier.

Don’t try to fight it, work around it. Once you are on the water you will notice on the Tweed that there are several areas that many of the boats stick to. Try to avoid these areas and try to fish quieter sections of the river. Ensure you are on the water very early or stay that little bit later to make the most of the quieter periods too.

It is a case of being on the water when the majority of the other people are not. A place that is alive with boats in the middle of the day can be a cracker to fish when things quieten down.

The Tweed has many narrow arms and fingers that branch off it and some of these mini-waterways can come into their own in the summer because the fish generally head higher up-river.

You do still get the occasional boat hooning through, but it is a lot better. All the summer species will be on the chew in December.

Good spots to look for whiting are the Piggery and the flats around the grassy island towards Condong. The bigger fish are sensitive to boat traffic so you need to be out there early.

The flats behind Seagulls, Stotts Island and around the Black Watch factory have been holding good numbers of flathead and should continue so this month.


This is the first of the months for pelagics on the Tweed. Towards the end of this month the small black marlin start to make their presence felt.

Kirra, the Nine Mile and the Mud Hole are all good spots to start looking for these fish.

Locating the bait is generally the key. Start by trolling some pushers around to locate the bait schools. If you find some good schools then mark them on your GPS and troll them thoroughly.

If that doesn’t work, live-baiting could be the answer.

Jig up a few livies and then drop one, lightly weighted, back into the bait school. Working the boat forward at a slow idle and in and out of gear to lift and then drop the livie back down can be the key to triggering a bite.

They are great fun when you hook one.

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