Heart-warming action
  |  First Published: July 2010

Winter took a little while to get going but once the cold kicked in, the fishing improved.

Some good tailor have been on the cards for those putting in the time on the beaches, headlands and rock walls. Whole gar or pillies on gang rigs, fished on the drift or with a light weight, have been the consistent producers of quality fish.

The bream have not disappointed, with the river and the beaches producing fish in good numbers. I have watched fishos standing next to each other on the rocks catching bream or tailor, just depending on what bait they were using.

Some really good snapper have been landed on the inshore reefs and I finally managed to crack the 10kg mark after coming close several times. The snapper I caught weighed 10.4kg and took a Sébile bibless hardbody lure fished on a spin rod.

I was fishing with mate Simon Ormerod out of his centre console on a cold morning. The forecast had been fairly ordinary but the conditions turned out perfect.

We had a fairly quiet daybreak session on the lures and had just ventured a bit wider to try a new section of reef.

Simon was casting a plastic and I was casting the bibless rattler. On our first drift Simon hooked up on the plastic and as I was watching him fight his fish, I was hit as well.

His fish turned out to be a jew around 14kg, which we released, and mine was the snapper – quite an impressive double header, to say the least.

We caught a few more fish off the reef for the morning before heading back in through the bar in time for work.

We can expect the action to continue into August with all the Winter species still firing.

The weather can be a bit fickle at this time of year and has been fairly temperamental thus far, so anything better will be a bonus.

There are often quite a few large kingfish on the inshore reefs through August and September and although they are top sport fish, they can be construed as bits of pests by fishos trying to target snapper on float lines or jewfish with live baits.

On the other hand, I absolutely love catching these tough fish and will always take along my jigging rod when fishing for snapper on the close reefs.

If I come across a few kingfish then the jig rod will quickly replace the snapper rod. It is a case of horses for courses.

The light snapper plastic gear is generally way too undergunned for the kingies, but the jig rod in shallow water puts you on a level playing field. It is then just a matter of a tug-of-war to see who wins.


The river usually still fishes well in August, especially if the colder water hangs around for a bit.

The Winter species can really fire up as they sense the colder conditions coming to an end and they start to feed up before leaving.

Tailor, bream, flathead, blackfish and trevally are all viable targets throughout the system in August.

The area around the Jack Evans Boat Harbour has been the venue of some red-hot tailor fishing, with the odd really good greenback specimen showing up.

The Boyds Bay bridge at night is also a top tailor spot because the lights around the bridge are like magnets for the baitfish in the river and the tailor and flathead often school up there and gorge themselves on herring.

Soft plastics fished with small hops off the bottom or live herring work a treat for the flatties while poppers, floated pillies, or small slugs and minnows are the go for the tailor.


I am often asked where folks can take their kids for a fish just to catch something to keep the little ones interested.

The boat ramps on the Tweed River often have good schools of bream and although they can be cagey at times, they can be caught using a light line and a single hook fished weightless.

Bread and most flesh baits will work for the bream. The ramps that are frequented by offshore boats, especially around the cleaning chutes, are the pick of the spots.

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