Fishing action hot despite cold
DESPITE the continuing cold snap the fishing conditions have improved and there has been plenty of activity on the water.
Offshore has been very rewarding, the headlands are starting to produce big tailor and there are stacks of bream in the river.
The bream are now at the start of their spawning run and there are plenty of big ones to be taken along the middle wall, especially at night if you can handle the cold.
During daylight hours there are plenty of pickers taking the bait, but most of the catch has been throwbacks.
One of the youngest anglers to enjoy success was four-years-old Tara Johnson of Yamba who landed her first good bream; a fish of 636g at Harwood.
Young Will Bushell, 9, was not quite as good with his best of 385g taken on the Middle wall where adult Terry Daly of Yamba landed one of 805g.
Hayden Conley of Gulmarrad fished the culvert at Shallow Channel for a catch of 656g, but the biggest weigh-in for the week was the 1.135kg catch by Bruce Laysham of Wooli who caught his fish on the beach at Wooli.
Warren Lipscombe of Iluka might have been a bit disappointed with his 910g bream caught at Freeburn Island, but more than made up for it with a 5.014kg flathead.
The next day Warren returned to Collis' wall and pulled in a 5.510kg flathead, the biggest weighed in for the week.
Robert Farrow of Newcastle pulled in a fish of 5.05kg on the Middle Wall, and after having weighed returned it to the water still alive.
Rada Babic from Lightning Ridge continued his run of good catches at Browns Rocks and landed a flathead of 3.2kg.
Another big fish weighed and released alive was the 12.000kg snapper landed by Geoff Butler of Wooli who fished local waters using a pilchard as bait.
Gail Keep of Summerland Way landed one of 4.800kg from the same area, and another of 5.24kg.
Rodney Smith of Minnie Water fished off Brooms Head and brought in a snapper of 8.2kg taken on octopus bait.
For those who concentrated on the reefs, Ken Gilbee of Yamba showed there were plenty of other good fish on the rocks, including the pearl perch of 3.700kg off Angourie.
Big tailor are showing around most of the headlands, with the father- and-son combination of John and Greg Causley of Palmers Island having success at Angourie.
Greg landed one of 5.120kg while John's best went 4.6kg.
Blackfish have still not yet gathered in any numbers for their run but Greg Biffin of Yamba fished the quarry at Yamba, just below the lighthouse, for a fish of 1.318kg.
Big jewfish have moved into the river, and Misha Porter of Iluka had two good outings to the Skids at Freeburn Island.
Her first catch was 14.5kg, but she did better on the next outing with a fish of 19.5kg.
Warren Lipscombe of Iluka, after scoring on flathead, also landed a school jewfish of 5.454kg at Collis'.
As they moved up the river, Rada landed a schoolie of 4kg at Browns while Ken Cameron of Grafton scored one of 4.2kg at Maclean.
Mark Ellery of Yamba went back to one of his favourite spots, Flat Rock at the southern end of Pippie Beach, and landed one of 19kg.
Above Grafton, there are still bass on the bite, with Reg Robinson of Grafton landing one of 1.120kg at Junction Hill.