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Tweed Offshore Artificial Reef, New South Wales

The Tweed Offshore Artificial Reef site location. Map adapted from NSW Government artwork.
The Tweed Offshore Artificial Reef site location. Map adapted from NSW Government artwork.
The Tweed Offshore Artificial Reef layout. Map adapted from NSW Government artwork.
The Tweed Offshore Artificial Reef layout. Map adapted from NSW Government artwork.

Tweed Heads tides
Tweed coastline
Tweed bar crossing web cam
NSW fishing regulations
NSW marine parks

Tweed Offshore Artificial Reef is the latest in a series of artificial reefs installed off the New South Wales coastline.

The reef was deployed in October 2020, 7.5km south-east of the Tweed River entrance, about 2.5km off Wommin Bay.

A steel “fish grotto” reef is the centrepiece, at 10m high and 14m in diameter.

There are 32 concrete modules arranged in eight clusters of four surrounding the grotto within a seven hectare area.

The reef lies in 25m of water on a sand bottom, at 28 13.428S, 153 35.473E.

Species to be caught include spanish mackerel, cobia, yellowtail kingfish, amberjack, samsonfish, mulloway, pearl perch, pink snapper, cod and bait species.

Subtropical species may become more prolific on this reef with climate change.

The reef is located in a great holiday fishing region.

The nearby Tweed River, Fingal Head and coastal reefs near Cook Island are all great fishing spots.

The town of Tweed Heads at the Tweed River mouth marks the NSW/Queensland border.

Starting at the Gold Coast’s Burleigh Heads (in Queensland) and moving south, Tallebudgera and Currumbin Creeks are suitable for casting from a
canoe or cartopper, expect bream, whiting, flathead, with some jacks and trevally.

The Tweed River is a more serious venue. The main arm of the river is about 60km long, and is tidal to a weir 2km upstream of Murwillumbah.

Significant Tweed tributaries are Cobaki Broadwater, Terranora Broadwater, Terranora Creek, Bilambil Creek, Rous River and Bilambil
Creek.

The Tweed River mouth rock walls have deep water, with quality bream, tailor, luderick, jewfish, jacks, flathead and whiting.

Jewfish are best during flooding when baitfish are pushed downriver.

Large flathead appear in the river in spring, as do queenfish.

In summer, spotted mackerel, sweetlip, cod, jacks, flathead, grunter, whiting and small mulloway are caught.

Squid are all year, while prawns are best in March-April just after the full moon, with mud crabs in summer.

Winter sees bream biting hard, as well as mulloway, luderick, tailor and hairtail.

For rockhoppers, Fingal Head, Cudgen, Norries and Hastings Point all have good rock fishing.

Fingal is probably best.

The nearby surf beaches produce tailor, bream, dart, whiting and mulloway.

Vehicles are not allowed on beaches in the Tweed Shire, but there are access points along the roads.

South of the Tweed the various coastal communities have good surf beaches.

For boaters fishing out of Weed Heads, there are three major reefs to explore within 9.25km south-east of the river mouth.

Of these the Nine Mile Reef, east of Cook Island, is most popular, as well as nearby South Reef.

Fidos also fishes well at times.

Further south are the excellent Windarra Bank and Black Rocks reefs.

The Nine Mile is a large reef 7.4km out from the coast, with strong currents usually hitting the steep north face.

This reef rises to about 8m but averages 12m to 24m.

The rubble bottom lies at 40m.

This reef and others in the area can break, so take care.

Wahoo, cobia, kingfish and dolphin fish are popular targets.

Cobia of more than 40kg have been landed.

Mack tuna, longtail and yellowfin tuna are all caught.

The Tweed region has wider grounds variously called The Canyons, as well as reefy areas named after their respective depths.

July is usually good for boating with light westerly winds.

In winter striped marlin and yellowfin tuna are taken on the wide grounds.

Also in winter, reef fish such as pink snapper, teraglin, mulloway, pearl perch and tuskfish are biting.

The best action is usually early morning and late afternoon.

From July-Sept, yellowtail kingfish frequent the Nine Mile, with fish over 14kg common.

September usually brings the biggest kingfish, to 30kg.

Samson fish and amberjacks are generally caught all year.

The best game fishing in this area is in summer.

Trolling and livebaiting around bait schools works well.

The presence of bait is often associated with heavy rain in the Tweed River.

Black marlin inhabit the inshore reefs from January to April.

At the Nine Mile, wahoo appear any time from January to September, but March to June is best.

Cobia are all year, but best in spring/summer.

Spanish mackerel are best on the Nine Mile from Feb to May.

Mackerel tuna are thick all year, with occasional striped tuna, and small yellowfin in autumn/winter.

Access through the Tweed River mouth is usually good, but pick your weather and try to avoid the runout tide.

Please email any updates or corrections to fishfindermaps2@gmail.com

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Some external videos filmed in the Tweed region are featured below.

Tweed Heads rock wall fishing

Tweed Heads boat fishing

Tweed Heads flathead fishing

Diving a Tweed river bridge

Diving the Nine Mile Reef