River won’t disappoint
  |  First Published: January 2010

Although the offshore season has taken a while to get going, the Tweed River has been fishing well and should continue to do so this month.

Baitfish have been in good numbers and in the warm conditions the predatory species have been in close proximity.

Big-eye trevally have been plentiful throughout the system, with the majority of these fighting fish doing the rounds under the cover of darkness.

The many bridges and rock walls on the Tweed have been good places to catch a few trevally and many of these spots are accessible to land-based fishos.

Soft plastics, poppers or live bait all work for a session on the big-eyes and if you come across a feeding school, the action can be thick and fast, with a hook-up or bite almost every cast.

Mangrove jacks have been popular targets this Summer and have not disappointed. Even though there is substantial fishing pressure on them every year, the river continues to produce good quality jacks in good numbers.

They are a tough fish to catch at the best of times and require a fair bit of time and effort.


Over the past few years I have targeted them with lures but lately have decided to go back to basics and fish for them with live baits.

The good thing about this is the by-catch can increase significantly.

On a recent outing I caught a 48cm jack on a live mullet, followed a few minutes later by a 92cm flathead that grabbed the next mullet. I thought it was jack No 2 but was pretty happy with the outcome.

Jewfish, bream, flatties, tailor and most trevally species will all happily grab a live bait.

Whiting are in full swing with the fish fairly evenly spread throughout the system. If we don’t experience heavy rain the spread should be similar this month.

If we do have good rain then the majority of the fish will be found in the lower reaches of the system.

Poppers have been catching their fair share but the good old worms and yabbies are still the mainstay.

Light lines and fine gauge hooks are the keys to securing a good feed of Summer whiting.

Early starts are also a good idea, not just to beat the heat but because the bigger fish generally prefer the lower light periods and can be fairly wary of heavy boat traffic.

Flatties should also be fairly spread out throughout the system and although still in good numbers, the bigger fish should generally be found in the deeper parts of the river.

The water gets up around 30° at times, especially in the upper reaches, so the bigger fish tend to stay deep to find shade and cooler conditions. The smaller models, which are good for a feed, can be found in the shallower water but any bank that is in the shade will usually produce better results.


I think the 2008/09 season spoilt us. Nothing really happened on the game fishing front until after Christmas 2009 and after the exceptional ’08/’09 season we were brought back to reality.

Most of the action on the Tweed really starts only after the festive season. This year has been no different and hopefully due to this fact, fish like marlin, mackerel, wahoo, mahi mahi and tuna might hang around a bit longer.

The deeper grounds seem to have produced a bit more early in the Summer, with the odd black marlin and mahi mahi coming out on lures.

Yellowfin tuna have been on the cards around the Nine Mile with the odd good one coming out. Halco Laser Pros and skirted lures have been doing most of the damage here.

Here’s hoping the razor gang sticks around for a while yet.

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