Catches improving across Grafton
CALM conditions on most mornings during the week have seen a marked improvement in fishing activity, however, the threat of rain or thunderstorms late in the day has limited offshore activity.
Returns from those anglers targeting snapper have been very good.
Rick Kolack, of Iluka, tried his luck off Black Rock in the north and came home with a snapper of 3.286kg
Palmer Walters, of Wooli, tried his local waters where his best catch was 2.8kg.
However, best catch for the week was husband and wife team Brett and Tammie Foster, of Minnie Water. Tammie weighed in several snapper ranging between 3.9kg and 4.05kg on a handline with squid bait off Minnie.
Brett weighed in a teraglin of 2.05kg on a soft plastic lure, but missed out on the certificate, beaten by the 2.252kg landed by Rick Kolack.
Reports from the northern fields were plenty of teraglin, but most were just over legal size and rather thin.
Although no surface fish was weighed in, there were reports of good cobia in the area, while in the south there were yellowtail kingfish and dolphin fish.
Anglers targeting bream in the estuary are having the same trouble as the professionals chasing prawns – most of the fish are small.
A recent outing by the Grafton Anglers Club resulted in plenty of fish weighed in but not many over the 500g mark.
Biggest weighed in for the week was the 1.272kg catch of Nev Fergusson, of Iluka, who fished the Iluka wall using herring as bait.
Jason Allen, of Yamba, picked up one of 910g with a live bait in Oyster Channel.
Whiting continue to bring smiles to the faces of many anglers, with catches coming from throughout the lower reaches of the estuary.
Allan Farlow, of Yamba, topped the bill with his best, a fat 470g taken on live worms at Whiting Beach – usually he tries his ‘secret spot’ in Oyster Channel.
Jackson Elliott, of Yamba, was another who tried Whiting Beach, where his best was 386g taken on a popper lure.
Troy Smith, of Gulmarrad, scored at Browns Rocks with a fish of 374g on a lure, while Mark Haines, of Woolgoolga, did well at Red Rock with a catch on worms of 455g
Flathead are still around in good numbers, with the larger fish congregating on the Middle Wall. Tom Bushell, of Palmers Island, weighed in the biggest, 3.5kg, a little bigger than the 2.5kg catch of Richard Foster, of Yamba.
Andrew Reid, from Green Bank in Queensland, tried the sandflats in front of the Yamba Tavern and landed one of 1.1kg, while the Oyster Channel is still producing good fish – Frazer Vanagas, of Yamba, had one of 3.37kg
Terry Daly, of Yamba, was another who tried the Middle Wall for a fish of 1.785kg, while Allen McIntosh, from the Browns Rocks Caravan Park, tried the flats on the opposite side of the river near the gun club for one which tipped the scales at one kilo neat.
Blackfish are looking much better, although the best fish are still coming from around the headlands.
Rob Knight, of Yamba, tried Yamba Point for one of 1.356kg but was just beaten by Frank O’Loughlin, who returned to Craigmore Rocks for a fish of 1.4kg.
Several anglers have reported getting good bites in the river but just before the fish is brought to the landing net it drops off.
These are almost certainly mudcrabs, which grab the bait, but usually drop it near the surface. All reports suggest there are plenty on the move, just in time for Christmas.