The need for Tweed
  |  First Published: November 2004

The arrival of Spring and Summer traditionally defined the start of the lure fishing season for freshwater anglers. While the practice is obviously not purely confined to the warmer months of the year, it is still arguable the best time to target such waters.

For anglers in the southeast region, seeking out a waterway that is still a viable fishing option can be a hard thing to find. Urban intrusion, flood mitigation and overall general habitat decline really has played a negative role from an angling perspective.

One of the better options at an angler’s disposable is the highly regarded, yet regularly overlooked Tweed River. A noted river when it comes to mangrove jack, the river in its own right produces some outstanding fishing in its freshwater reaches.

Beginning its freshwater form at the Bray Park weir, the river extends its way up into the Tweed Valley and into some fantastic fishing country. There are a few feeder creeks that provide small water and only occasionally fish well, but on the positive side, the area does get regularly stocked by the overflow from Clarrie Hall Dam.

Fishing Craft

Once you journey out of the salt and into the freshwater reaches the only real viable fishing craft is a canoe or something of the same ilk. Shallow water, limited launch sites and purity of the catchments eliminate the use of anything larger or faster. When it comes to picking a place to launching such craft, some of the options available are as follows.

Byangum Bridge

Recently replaced, the location is the most down-river option available to anglers. With parking present close to the waterline, the area allows you easy access to the lower reaches of the main river, as well as its first tributary upriver of the weir. The fishing can be hot, and it is rare to venture into this water without seeing at least some action.


The township of Uki is located on the road leading to Kyogle and Nimbin, and is another location ideally suited for the launching of your craft. The road itself runs close to the river, and provides a numerous places where you can access it river. It’s a good idea to check if you’re accessing the river via private property and if you are, ask permission first. Otherwise move up or down the road a bit and you’ll soon find a public access point.

Angling Options

The main species on offer is without a doubt Australian bass. A natural occupant of the water and further enhanced in their presence by the escape of stocked fish from Clarrie Hall Dam. Their ease in being located and to a lesser degree in capture has increased in recent years with the regular overflowing of the dam. With a variety of habitat forms found in the river, anglers will find and capture fish from places ranging from lily and weed beds, to boulder lined banks and undercut cliffs. The productivity of each of these structural forms fluctuates with seasons, water level, and the time of day.

In addition to bass there’s a good chance you’ll cross paths with turtles, carp, and hopefully platypus. One of the other species you’ll more than likely encounter is the diminutive purple and orange plumed azure kingfisher. So the options are not all fish related and a trip down the river can be rewarding form many different viewpoints.

Tackle and lure Options

With so many different places to catch fish, there comes a variety of different tackle and lure options to catch them with. Such diversity largely dictates that a light spin outfit is the best option to choose. Such an outfit in the 2-4kg bracket, 6’foot in length and with 4-10lb line running over it is the way to go. It’ll provide you with the flexibility to use spinnerbaits, soft plastics, crankbaits and of course surface lures.

And all of these in the standard bass preferred sizes, options, colours and forms will produce fish. Some slight modifications in your choices though will deliver you more fish. Spinnerbaits ideally a best used in the 1/8oz - 1/4oz size, with soft plastics equally weighted and in the 2 inch to 2 1/2 inch size range also optimal for the size of the fish on offer and the nature of the waterway and the habitat forms being targeted.

Surface lures are one of the standout lures for the time of the year, and are equally productive in either a popper or fizzer form, with the 2- 2.5 inch size the best.

The need for tweed

This small water has some sensational fishing and anglers who take the time to fish it should respect it. There are some real trophy bass in this water, but they are far outnumbered by the smaller escapee fish from Clarrie Hall. This time of year expect action. So what are you waiting for?

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