Weigh-ins encouraged before draw for prizes next week

THE hot weather and the end of the main Christmas holiday period has seen a slowing of fishing reports, but there is plenty of evidence of anglers still enjoying good catches.

Above Grafton, despite the high temperatures during the middle of the day, bass are still on the bite early in the morning and towards evening.

Offshore, there is more activity, although any quantity of snapper and other reef fish are hard to find without plenty of movement.

Nevertheless, the small marlin up to around the 20kg mark are still being taken both north of the entrance of the river and off Angourie.

Anthony Ord, taking a break from the hot dry weather around Coolah travelled to Black Rock for a mixed bag with a teraglin of 2.2kg

His mate, David Oats from Boomi, settled for a cobia of 10.6kg

For these hunting mackerel, although the concentration is not as big as in some previous years, they can still be located off Woody and Shelley headlands.

A feature of estuary fishing has been the continued run of good whiting, with the Sandon River in particular fishing well.

Nathan Williams of Maclean did well with a catch of 472g on a yabbie bait

Brian Quinlin of Maclean used worms to score his best of 310g and Curtis Wishart, a visitor from Austinmere, used the same for his best of 422g

Oyster Channel is also another area which has fished consistently well during the past few months as Terry Sahlquist of Grafton found one of 360g in the waters of Crystal Waters lake which runs off Oyster.

School jewfish are also being taken in the vicinity of the Oyster Channel bridge with more coming from under the Harwood bridge, especially at night

However, the biggest weighed in this week came from Brooms Head, where Taigan Heath of Grafton, after scoring on tailor the previous week, brought in a schoolie of 6.2kg

As is usual this time of the year, larger flathead have moved to the lower reaches and along the coastline.

Neville Ferguson of Iluka, another one of the locals who prefers to return the big flathead he hooks to the water alive, scored one of 5.784kg taken on a herring bait off The Skids on Freedburn Island. Josh Cashel from Glen Innes, who knows the lower Clarence waters well, fished the Middle Wall and landed one of 2.290kg on a herring bait.

Blackfish are well and truly scattered with catches being taken from the headlands, scattered areas through the estuary and as far upstream as Lawrence, where Riley Crosslands of Grafton landed one of 1.138kg.

Michael Clay of Gulmarrad thought he was on a winner this week after several dry runs at the Iluka Bluff when he landed one of 1.084kg , while Leo Nichols of Pillar Valley scored one of 554g on a yabbie in the Wooli River.

Another who did well at Wooli was Rebecca Eichmann of Grafton who landed a tarwhine of 774g on a yabbie on the breakwall.

With only one more weigh in before the closure of this year's competition, there is still the prospect of some of the big species being knocked off their top position.

A random draw for the top angler will be made from every angler who has weighed in a fish during the past 12 months after next week's weigh-in.

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