Fisher lands a nice snapper at the bluff
WEATHER conditions were far from perfect at the weekend, and the amount of mud in the river would have deterred some anglers, but those who ventured out brought in some very good catches.
And Fisher Ellis, of Pottsville, showed one does not have to put to sea to get stuck into big snapper.
Fisher tried the rocks at the Iluka Bluff with blue pilchard bait and landed two snapper - one 7.140kg and the other 6.890kg.
Certainly conditions around the headlands were not ideal, but experienced anglers with the right type of safety gear did quite well.
Terry Sampson, of Grafton, who tried the rocks at the Iluka Bluff, scored with a tailor of 2.260kg taken on a lure.
And in conditions such as occurred at the weekend, fishing in the white water in the corner of the beaches also pays off, especially for blackfish.
Alan Broughton, of Iluka, tried Woody and collected a fish of 1.340kg.
But elsewhere in the system, blackfish generally were looking much better.
Terry Daly, of Yamba, fished the middle wall with weed for a fish of 750g.
In the Wooli River, where the water was a bit dirtier, Bruce Langham, of Wooli, landed a blackfish of 828g on a yabbie bait, while Glen Collier landed one of 865g on a prawn.
Glen had a particularly good outing, for as well as the blackfish, he also had a bream of 772g and collects a certificate for his whiting of 586g.
Bruce Langham also got his fish on the bite and as well as the blackfish, scored with a whiting of 528g.
Bruce took both of his fish on yabbie bait, which appears to be a much better proposition when the water is dirty than the traditional weed for blackfish.
Good bream are also appearing in reasonable numbers, with Gayle Verrell, of Iluka, landing one of 1.114kg on a herring bait at Browns Rocks.
And Waylen Barrett, of Grafton, used a lure at Lawrence to land a bream of 1.032kg.
Bream were plentiful in the Wooli River, with Nick Lynch, of Port Stephens, landing one of 800g.
But for those who want to experience more relaxing fishing, in the vicinity of the trawlers in the Yamba boat harbour was the place to be this week - especially when the trawlers returned after a night at sea.
Burr McPherson, fishing in the vicinity of his trawler, landed a flathead of 7.700kg on a fish fillet, but after weighing, returned it to the water alive.
John Bennett, of Yamba, did the same with the 3.500kg fish he hooked on the Middle Wall, using a live herring as bait.
Paul Cashel, of Glen Innes, was another who tried the middle wall, also with a herring, and landed a flathead of 3.342kg.
Fishing from the trawlers was rewarding for Joel Towner, of Yamba, who landed a mangrove jack of 2.800kg on a prawn bait.
It is also encouraging to see that trawling and netting has been banned at the entrances to several of the rivers to the south, which were affected by floods.
Large numbers of fish had been flushed out of the rivers and have congregated close in along the beaches, but will return to the rivers as the waters clear.
The mullet spawning run does not normally commence until about ANZAC Day. Vast quantities were also reported from the surf along the beaches at Wooli and Minnie Water, but these fish also are expected to return to their home river until the spawning run.