Easter anglers find the estuaries full
THE Easter Bilby has certainly done the angler proud this weekend , with one of the best weigh-ins for some considerable time.
Offshore results were particularly good, while the estuaries were really firing
And with the water still warm off the coast, a few of those Queensland visitors are still on the bite, with Des Hannah, of Iluka, landing a sweetlip on cungevoi bait at Shark Bay.
In addition, Des has managed to fill the final blank space on the annual biggest fish with a tailor of 714g, also taken at Shark Bay.
That is not to say that there are few tailor around, but there have been few larger ones taken in recent months.
Almost every boat which went offshore reported lots of mackerel and other surface fish on the bite.
Biggest pelagic weighed in was a tuna of 14.800kg taken by Gordon Collins, of Woombah, who fished the northern grounds off Black Rick.
On the southern side, Fiona Verring, of Brooms Head, landed a mackerel of 5.900kg, plus a moses perch of 1.200kg
Max Kennel, of Yamba, fished out off Lovers Point for a spotted mackerel of 4.500kg
But as well as a Spanish mackerel of 12.00kg taken off Minnie Water by Jensen Haynes, there was a run of wahoo close in off the breakwall of Wooli.
Mat Dougherty scored two –11.800kg and 13.330kg , and Jock Bowing one of 9.350kg.
Good-size snapper were well and truly on the bite on both the northern and southern grounds.
Paul Schilling, of Brooms Head, weighed in the biggest, 7.000kg , but Ben Skinner, of Maclean, was not far behind with one of 6.650kg , off Sandon, and A Farrell one of 6.200kg off Minnie.
John Coverbeck, of Grafton, also fished off Minnie for one of 3.310kg, and Lachlan O’Meally one of 3.500kg, while Christine Gardiner scored one of 6.060kg off Wooli
Several large jewfish have turned up, with Alex Podbereski, of Yamba, weighing in the biggest, 18.000kg taken on a herring at Browns Rocks.
This was equaled by young Seb Cunneen, of Kyogle, despite the disability of a wheelchair on a charter boat, on the northern grounds, while father, Tony, could only manage one of 7.800kg
John Causley, of Palmers Channel, has a favourite spot at Shelley, which produced a jew of 15.000kg on a lure
And just to show that the fish are still right throughout the estuary, Adam Blanch, of South Grafton, landed one of 6.350kg near the Harwood Bridge.
Big flathead are still around in good numbers, with Jade Keenan, of Yamba, weighing in the largest, 5.400kg in Lake Wooloweyah, and Bob Gutteridge, of Woombah, keeping the flag flying at Browns Rocks with one of 4.800kg, and the catch of 2.250kg taken below the Marine Rescue tower by David Boyle.
And even well upstream at Lawrence, Isaac Mufsedd, of Grafton, managed to find fish around the 900g mark, while Jacob Amos, of South Grafton, fished adjacent to the Sth Grafton boat ramp for a fish of 1.190kg
The good run of big bream continued with quite a few over the kilo mark.
Best was the catches by the Henwood family of South Grafton – Richie with one of 1.510kg taken at the Sandon and Eden one of 1.470kg.
These were closely followed by the 1.205kg fish taken by Bruce Livett, of Yamba, who fished among the trawler moorings in Yamba Harbour, and Sonya Hayes, of Yamba, with one of 1.360kg from the Middle Wall.
Phil Stoddard, of Yamba, found one of 1.160kg on the Yamba breakwall, while Rada Babic scored again at Browns Rocks with one of 800g.
Terry Daly, of Yamba, continues to find blackfish on the Middle Wall with fish between 802g and 754g, but he says one needs to pick the spots and the tides.
Whiting are still being taken on most of the sandflats, with Allan Hippr, of Iluka, scoring one of 470g at Browns, and Bob Spowart, of South Grafton, fishing further upstream at Mororo for one of 420g.
Tyrie Chambeyron, of Yamba, fished near my front door at Shallow Channel for one of 368g on a yabbie bait.
And one unusual and ugly fish, a stargazer of 1.800kg was weighed in from Oyster Channel by Bill Egan, of Yamba, with the fish taking a lure.
It gets its name because it buries itself in the sand with only it eyes showing,until something to eat passes close by ... and wham!