FISHING activity appears to have struck a doldrum, with again only a small weigh-in this week.
The observation from several weigh-in stations is that it has been very difficult to find flathead and that most of those hooked were barely legal. On the contrary, there have been some reported sightings of very large flathead in our estuaries.
There were no confirmed reports from the Broadwater at Maclean, usually a prolific area, and nothing from the drift past the sugar mill.
Top spot continued to be around Browns Rocks where Richard Peneke, from Armidale, brought in a 6.351kg flathead on a prawn bait.
His catch was just a few grams smaller than the best so far this year. while Greg, visiting from Werribee, scored one of 3.850kg on a pilchard.
A little further upstream, at Palmers Island, Billyjoe Black used a pilchard for her catch of 2.450kg, while along the Middle Wall, Charlie Woodley of Chinderah scored one of 3.500kg on a yabbie.
As the weather starts to warm up it is normal for the big flathead, usually female in roe, to move towards the entrance of the river on a spawning run.
It is probably a little early for the main move to be in motion but the areas between the Harwood bridge and the entrance to the Clarence should be showing a marked improvement in the next few weeks
Offshore conditions fluctuated during the week but when the boats were able to get offshore, most returned with some magnificent snapper.
The area wide off Yamba fished particularly well but the areas off Wooli and Minnie Water were the pick of the spots.
Josh Boyle of Grafton really scored with snapper between 7.510kg and 8.820kg -all taken on a hand-line.
Off Wooli, D Lund a visitor from Wollongong used squid for his catch of 7.600kg.
The calmer seas also gave rock-hoppers plenty of scope and Tim Geide of Woombah did well at Woody, returning with a 2.100kg groper.
Blackfish are also biting at Woody and the Iluka Bluff with one fish weighing in at 1.200kg.