ON THE WATER: Noah Casey, 10 of Woodford Island fishing on the Clarence River at Ilarwill.
ON THE WATER: Noah Casey, 10 of Woodford Island fishing on the Clarence River at Ilarwill. Debrah Novak

Big wet changes fishing conditions in Clarence River

THE storm and heavy rain over the weekend brought to a sharp halt fishing activity throughout the area.

Those who managed to get out before the weather broke did well, but even the big seas had their benefits.

As reported in this week's Daily Examiner, Iluka residents were able to harvest a bream, a blackfish and a mullet swept up on the local breakwall by the seas.

Dirty water from the rain above Grafton has reached to entrance to the Clarence and as a result has brought with it most of the flathead, bream and blackfish which had been sheltering in the salty water above Grafton.

Beau Eveleigh of Grafton tried the T-Piece at the entrance for a bream of 660g, while Browns Rocks continued to produce plenty of bream, the best being the 880g fish landed by Josh Paul of Woombah.

Flathead were still in good numbers in Oyster Channel despite the rain, although the biggest weighed in was the 1.906kg catch by Fred Atkin of Iluka who fished the Serpentine above Browns Rocks.

Tailor were around in good numbers prior to the blow, with Geoff Head of Iluka scoring one of 3.068kg at Shark Bay, and Cam Buckley trying his luck at Flat Rock at the southern end of Pippie Beach for a fish of 2.380kg.

The dirty water should improve the catches of blackfish from now on with yabbies and peeled prawns being added to the range of baits.

Greg Biffin of Micalo, fished near the Yamba wall for a fish of 1.185kg while Brendan Cotterill of Harwood tried near the old cane barges at the entrance to the Serpentine for a fish of 1.110kg.

Josh Paul of Woombah fished not far away for a blackfish of 620g near the Goodwood Island wharf and Terry Daly of Yamba continued his regular run of blackfish with a catch of 826g at Learners Corner.

There were plenty of big jewfish around last week after the full moon, but this week their place has been taken by the schoolies with catches reported from The Broadwater to the entrance to the river.

Biggest weighed in was the 7.240kg catch by Tony West of Grafton who fish near the Harwood Bridge.

And before the blow 'Tom' of Gulmarrad scored one of 4.100kg on the Middle Wall.

Fiona Vernine of Brooms Head was fortunate enough to get offshore early in the week and returned with a snapper of 5.200kg taken off Sandon.

Other boats which were able to get out scored mixed bags of snapper, teraglin, venus tusk fish and the occasional pelagic.

Although the pelagics will slow as the cold water moves in, catches should improve again for the reef fish once the bottom settles down after the blow.

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