Joshua Jesser of Gulmarrad who won biggest fish of the week last week for flathead. Photo: Jane Jesser / Contributed
Joshua Jesser of Gulmarrad who won biggest fish of the week last week for flathead. Photo: Jane Jesser / Contributed Jane Jesser

Fishing catches drop off as winds pick up, conditions vary

RAPID day-to-day changes in weather conditions have been reflected in a reduced weigh-in this past week.

Activity offshore has been restricted by strong winds and large seas, although several anglers have been able to take advantage of several calm days.

Nevertheless, catches from offshore have been limited and a reasonable result required several movements as a few fish were being taken and then they would go off the bite.

Most of the catches were made on the southern grounds out of Wooli and Minnie Water although very few reddies have been reported.

Biggest weighed in this week was the 6.920kg snapper taken by A Duncombe, of Iluka, while fishing off Woody Head using a blue pilchard bait.

Brad Page, of South Grafton, scored a 5.460kg spangled emperor of 5.460 kg on soft plastic off Wooli.

These fish, usually considered a prize off the Queensland coast, show up around here occasionally in limited numbers depending, on warmer currents from the north.

Mark Vallette, of Yamba, did better numbers wise while fishing off One Man near the bombora in front of Angourie. He boated a 1.240kg teraglin and a 1.640kg tusk-fish, both on pilchards.

The number of anglers on the river is down following the end of the school holidays and generally catches have been small.

The long, straight reaches of the Clarence have not been conducive to boat fishing during the strong winds but sheltered spots can be found close to the banks.

Greg Johnson, of Yamba, took advantage of the shelter among the trawlers tied up in Yamba Harbour and landed the best bream for the week, an 802g fish taken on a green prawn.

The Oyster Channel continues to fish well for flathead with the best, weighing in at 3.110kg, taken by Phil Stoddard, of Yamba, on a herring bait.

Flathead have also been taken in the vicinity of the Broadwater above Maclean and a number of boats have been tackling the drift from the Harwood Bridge to the slipway when the winds permit.

The Wooli River continues to produce sizeable whiting with Raymond Hebbard, of Grafton, picking up one of 500g on a yabbie bait. The previous day in the Wooli he landed a 1.000kg blackfish on a yabbie.

Blackfish are still very scattered in the Clarence, although a few are starting to show in the more popular spots such as Sleeper Creek and Romiaka.

Browns Rocks, although wide open to the strong southerlies, always fishes well in calmer conditions and Rada Babic, knowing the area well, took an 800g blackfish on a worm bait.

Mischa Porter, of Iluka, continues to target jewfish and this week landed two on the Iluka main beach on mullet. His best weighed 7.015kg while the other weighed in at 6.920kg.

Anglers who target jewfish need to be aware of a proposal by Fisheries to restrict access to the species by the holidaymaker.

A discussion paper apparently had a limited distribution. Some details about the proposed changes to conditions were available on the Fisheries website but the closing date for submissions was earlier this week.

Also, Tony Piddocke, from Southern Cross University, is seeking assistance with research he is conducting into mangrove jack.

Although this species does not appear in large numbers in the Clarence, numbers are sometimes taken around Oyster Channel and North Arm.

Tony is looking for filleted skeletons, with head and gut intact, for his research.

He is keen for anglers who wish to assist to place the frame and guts in a plastic bag, keep cold or frozen and contact him at 02 6648 3900 for collection.

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