Fishing prospects excellent
By DICK RICHARDS
DESPITE the prospect of some rain at the weekend, everything is pointing to excellent fishing over the holiday weekend.
Prospects offshore are very good with a continuing run of big snapper, plus plenty of surface fish, the headlands should fish well and fish are now well spread right throughout the estuary.
The only area at the moment which will need looking at carefully are the beaches where the big seas last weekend have changed the profile ? but there will still be fish taken.
Despite the difficult conditions, a few boats made offshore grounds, mostly before the big swells began really rolling in.
Most of the activity again was on the southern grounds where the biggest snapper was taken, a fish of 8.600kg caught by Brad Spears, of James Creek, who fished off Red Cliff, between Angourie and Brooms Head.
Mat Daly, a regular visitor from Dubbo will have a 5.100kg fish to take home while Mat Trowbridge, from Wooli, was pleased with his 5.400kg from local waters.
There were reports of almost wall to wall mackerel in the water between Angourie and Brooms Head, while the biggest pelagic weighed in was a cobia of 15.000 kg taken by Reg Middlebrook of Minnie Water off Minnie.
Gerard Wiseman of Iluka headed north, fishing off Black Rock and brought home a tuna of 11.155kg.
Those who fished the reefs did quite well, with Phil Munns, of Wooli, landing a parrot fish of 4.500kg and Ron Hambly, of Minnie, a maori cod of 3.500kg.
The best bream have been around the headlands, before the big bump, and this will probably be the case again this weekend.
Allan Farlow, of Yamba, switched from whiting in Oyster Channel to Yamba Point where he landed a bream of 1.200kg.
One of the best from an estuary was 806g by Garry Bush, of Wooli.
The size of the flathead weighed in is, as expected about this time of the year, down a bit although the biggest this week was a healthy 3.675kg taken by Peter Want, of Goodwood Island, fishing at Palmers Island.
Rick Kolac, of Iluka, fished the Middle Wall for one of 2.620kg, while Shane Landrigan, of South Grafton, did well in Oyster Channel with fish of 2.200kg and 1.800kg.
Good tailor were taken for those who were able to handle the conditions around the headlands, with the biggest 3.970kg by Andrew Holland, of Yamba, fishing in front of Angourie Point.
At long last blackfish are starting to show in better numbers in the river in most of the regular spots.
The gantry wall, among the trawlers in Yamba harbour, was one of the spots this week, where Edward Kell of Yamba scored a fish of 1.146kg.
Bob Liddiard, of Maclean, after several weeks of very meagre results, did wall near the Ilarwill quarry with 10 over several days, the best going 1.130kg.
And in between Don McDermid, of Yamba, fished at Harwood for a fish of 758g, with all three fish taken on black weed.
The main concentration of bream and blackfish does not normally start until after the traditional time for the start of the mullet run?Anzac Day.
When the seas are up, jewfish start to gather around the breakwalls, and this spot proved productive for Shannon Zammit, of Yamba, who landed one of 12.200kg and another of 5.100kg.
Grant McKeon, of Yamba, also fished the wall for one of 9.200kg.
Although none was weighed in this week, bass are around in fairly large numbers both below and above the Grafton Bridge and further upstream at Copmanhurst and the Gorge.
nTHE annual Minnie Water Holiday Park fishing competition will be held on Saturday and Sunday to raise funds for the Minnie Water-Wooli Surf Club.
Entry fee is $12 for adults, $5 for juniors 16 and under, and $28 for a family entry.
Fishing is from 6am Saturday with a weigh-in at 4.30pm and on Sunday from 6am to 1pm.
There will be a fish auction following the weigh-in on Sunday.
All children entering will receive a prize. Prizes will also be given for the heaviest snapper, jewfish, mackerel, pearl perch, parrot fish, tailor, bream and flathead.