MONEY WELL SPENT: John Cooper, second from right, with partner Hilde Heytens, father Malcolm and son Shae spends up big at Big River Bait and Tackle, Maclean, after scoring $500 worth of Daiwa tackle by winning The Daily Examiner’s 2014 Fishing Competition. PHOTO: DICK RICHARDS
MONEY WELL SPENT: John Cooper, second from right, with partner Hilde Heytens, father Malcolm and son Shae spends up big at Big River Bait and Tackle, Maclean, after scoring $500 worth of Daiwa tackle by winning The Daily Examiner’s 2014 Fishing Competition. PHOTO: DICK RICHARDS

FISHING: Comp starts slow as rain continues

WITH only six days without rain in the past five weeks, fishing activity has slowed up with some species as yet unrepresented on this year's table.

Blackfish is usually one of the staple species in the Lower Clarence but they are notably absent.

Reports from the tackle shops suggest there is still demand for floats and small blackfish hooks but little demand for weed.

Once again whiting has dominated the catches in the past week.

Hot spots continue to be Oyster Channel and the western end of Whiting beach but more are being taken from the sand flats opposite the Yamba Tavern and behind Collis' Wall at the entrance to North Arm.

The smaller rivers of the Wooli and Sandon are also fishing well.

Biggest whiting weighed in this week was the 420g fish reeled in by Steve Smith of Waterview while fishing in Oyster Channel.

Josh Lentfer of Yamba scored a 366g whiting on Whiting Beach.

Although the water is still dirty in the lower reaches, there are plenty of bream on the bite, especially on metal lures.

Participants in a bream competition last weekend did quite well, with most of the activity concentrated from Browns Rocks downstream.

Browns also fished well for several anglers not in the competition with Geoff Tyndale of Cudgen landing an 850g bream on a herring bait.

Jackson Moss of Goodwood used a handline and worm for his 545g catch and Bob Gutteridge landed one of 450g but Shae Cooper of South Grafton grabbed the biggest of the week, pulling in a 1.100kg bream at Minnie Water.

Big flathead are showing in better numbers in the lower reaches with Nev Fergusson of Iluka scoring one of 2.974kg on a herring bait on the Middle Wall.

Harry Willett of Palmers Island continued to show his versatility and this week weighed in a 2.930kg flat-head taken at Collis'.

One of the surprise catches of the week was a 1.120kg javelin, or grunter fish, taken by Craig Smith of South Grafton while fishing at Goodwood Island.

The grunter, so named because of the grunting noise it makes when landed, is normally found in large numbers in Queensland waters.

The occasional grunter has been landed in the Clarence in recent years but they are normally few and far between and the latest catch probably reflects the warm northern currents that have flowed down the coast in recent months.

The fresh last week pushed large numbers of prawns down the river, although the current price does not reflect the large quantities taken recently.

Plenty of mudcrabs are also one the move, making it worthwhile to drop in a dillie if things are quiet.



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