Early birds enjoy spring conditions
WITH spring having sprung more anglers are starting to hit the waters in what can only be described as ideal holiday weather, despite a nip in the early morning air.
Although the weigh in this week was on the light side, there were plenty of good stories around.
Bream continue to be the catch of the week in the estuaries with quite a few around the 600g to 800g mark.
Although the biggest, a catch of 1.228kg, was taken by Doug Hammond of Iluka at Shark Bay, most of the rest were taken in the estuary, with Browns Rocks continuing to fire.
Margaret Busch of Grafton spent time at Maclean to land her catch of 560g on a prawn bait, but the majority weighed in came from Browns.
Jackson Moss of Grafton scored one of the best - 695g - on a pilchard, but it was Rada Babic from Lightning Ridge who scored the most fish, between 560g and 710g.
But Rada, like many an angler when things are a bit slow, did some mental calculations and came up with an amazing result.
He calculated that each of the three fish he weighed in cost him 135 hours of effort, when he could probably bought each of the fish at the Co-op for $5 or so.
However his fishing time was not wasted, for as well as the bream, Rada also landed a flathead of 2.545kg. But his effort in catching the flathead was not nearly so dramatic as the effort from Michael Warren of Iluka to land his one kilo flathead at Ilarwill.
Michael had hooked his flathead from the bank and had almost got it back to the bank when a pelican saw it as a tasty meal and grabbed it.
But, knowing how his partner Jen loves flathead, Michael was determined not to lose his catch and promptly dived in to wrestle with the bird.
The pelican was reluctant to give up the fight, but finally surrendered and let Michael return to the bank.
Jen says Michael did a sterling job in cooking the fish in breadcrumbs for the meal that night, an effort she greatly appreciated.
However on a more serious note, fishing offshore has been more rewarding because of the calmer seas.
Snapper are still biting well on the southern grounds around Minnie Water, where Nathan Winkler scored one of 3.345kg on a pilchard bait.
But on top of that he also landed a jewfish of 18.400kg on the same outing.
Further up the coast off Angourie, Eddie Kell of Ulmarra landed one of 4.115kg, but biggest of the week was the 7.350kg catch by Peter Connolly of Grafton who scored at Black Rock in the north.
Calmer seas around the headlands saw more activity by rock-hoppers, with Sol Forest of Yamba landing a drummer of 3.170kg on a prawn bait at Green Point.
Tailor are also still being taken in the white washes around the headlands, although none was weighed in this week.