There’s no place like home
  |  First Published: August 2009

I have been working in the Coral Sea in three-week blocks guiding for Nomad Sportfishing and returning home for fortnight breaks. This has been working a treat as it has given me loads of time to get stuck into fishing locally.

It was interesting at first because most of my mates reckoned I wouldn’t be interested in fishing when I got back.

But when you are targeting big GTs, dogtooth tuna and numerous other extra-large ooglies, it’s good to come home and take a drive up your local river again. Pinning a few bass on minnows around snags up the top end of the river or chasing a few flatties down around the mouth can be really satisfying.

On my second shore leave I actually just hopped in my 5m Lewis and went for a drive all the way up to the weir for a look around and headed back down to the mouth without even picking up a rod.

Yes, there’s no place like home.

The time has again arrived to start getting serious about chasing the red devils of the Tweed River.

Although September is not yet prime time for these fish, we do often see a spike in the water temperature and this window will often give us the opportunity of catching a few early season jacks.

These fish are normally quality fish and take some stopping.

Although it is nice to catch big jacks, I can’t call any mangrove jack a bad one. If they are red they are an awesome fish no matter what the size and sheer joy to catch.

These early season fish tend to come out in the lower reaches and can often require a lure or live bait to almost hit them on the noise before they will commit.

If you have found a likely-looking spot to troll, it can take a few laps with several different lures to elicit a bite.

Similarly, if you are live-baiting an area, try to exercise a bit of patience before moving to the next location.

Jacks are really interesting fish and targeting them with live bait can be a frustrating experience at times.

If they are not in the mood to eat they will simply bite the bait, killing it. All you will feel is a good knock and then nothing.

The live bait can be replaced, only to have the scenario repeat itself.

Small fillet baits or even a yabby could be the answer when this happens.

They are definitely far from lethargic when you do eventually get the hooks into one, though.


Flathead will be top targets, too, especially around the coffee rock ledges around the hospital area.

Unfortunately, tackle losses can be a bit steep in this area but if you want to catch a quality flathead then this is the place to do it.

The weed beds up the Terranora Arm should also hold good numbers of mid-sized lizards that can be good fun on light tackle.

These flats also fish well for bream and the odd whiting. As the water temperature increases, so will the whiting activity.


Snapper should still be dominating most of the offshore catches.

The slightly deeper reefs tend to outperform the close reefs as we head into the warmer months.

This is partly due to the fact that the water starts to clear up progressively as the current begins to make its presence felt.

Early morning starts become even more important than in the heart of Winter but if the current allows, the knobbies should still play the game.

Cobia, kingfish and the usual array of reefies will all be on the cards.

Although things can be a bit tricky at times, September is still a top month for fishing off the Tweed.

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