Rains trigger Winter species
  |  First Published: May 2009

The Winter species have arrived on cue and over the past few months the Tweed has been fishing really well.

The rains have given the system a good flush-out, and continue to do so.

The trevally put up a good show with plenty of GTs being caught around the hospital on live herring and various lures. Some crackers were also caught offshore around the Nine Mile and Fidos reefs.

Hopefully we should still see a few of these strong fighting fish over the Winter. Casting big poppers, trolling minnows or drifting live baits through the reefs are all good ways to get connected to the bigger models.

Just remember that when you do hook one, you will be busy for a while.

Bream make up the majority of the catches in the Tweed River throughout June.

The amount of rain that we experience usually determines how far up the system the fish will be.

The main concentrations of bream normally hang around the lower reaches of the system and often school up around the rock walls and coffee rock ledges.

They can be caught by fishing jighead-rigged plastics down deep, or with various baits. Popular jigheads include the TT Light Wire around 1/8oz to 1/4oz, while plastics around 2” to 3” should be sufficient.

If you come across a good concentration of bream, don’t be shy to upgrade your plastics to 5” to give the bigger bream more time to get to the lure.

Don’t think that this size lure is too big; we often catch undersize bream on them.

Popular baits are generally herring (dead or live), mullet gut, yabbies and fillet baits.

Try to use as light a weight as possible; larger sinkers are often necessary to get the bait down in the stronger currents but as the flow slows, the weight needs to be reduced.

The larger bream didn’t get that way by being stupid so lighter lines and a bit of stealth can often help a lot to catch bigger fish.


If you don’t have a boat, don’t worry too much because the land-based options around the river mouth are fairly good.

Try to time your fishing efforts around the tide changes, which will limit the amount of time you spend re-rigging and increase the time you spend winding in fish.

Most of the bottom around the river mouth is very rocky and when the current runs hard it can often mean getting snagged on almost every cast.

Blackfish are also a good target because they are around in good numbers in June. They are often caught as by-catch on lures while targeting other species but the main method is float-fishing using weed as bait.

I don’t do much of this type of fishing so I can’t go into much detail as to the gun methods. If you want to learn how to do it, take a trip down to the river and watch the blokes who have it down to a fine art.

The staff at Anglers Warehouse can also give you a few pointers on where to go and how to get started.

Bass should also be frequenting the upper reaches of the river.

Casting small minnows, poppers or plastics around the snag-lined banks is a top way to spend an afternoon but remember that there is a closed season from June 1 to August 31 during which no bass is to be removed from any NSW river.

Also be aware that the rains brought a large amount of debris so just be extra vigilant when traversing the river, there are loads more trees on many of the shallow sand flats.


The signs have been really promising for a good Winter season on the reefs off the Tweed.

The weather has been absolutely shocking and the bar really bad for up to two weeks at a time in the lead-up to winter. Although this has been very frustrating for many of us trying to get out there, it has been giving the reefs a bit of a break, allowing the fish to move in.

Snapper will be the prime target fish this month with some good knobbies already being caught.

Pearl perch, samson fish, amberjack, yellowtail kingfish and trag will be around in good numbers on the deeper reefs, so if the weather eventually gives us a bit of a breather, head out and get among them.

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