ESTUARY EXCITEMENT: Local angler Warren Howard waits for bite while fishing the Clarence River at Maclean recently.
ESTUARY EXCITEMENT: Local angler Warren Howard waits for bite while fishing the Clarence River at Maclean recently. Debrah Novak

FISHING: Black Rock tailor-made for Woombah angler

LIFE for the offshore angler has been quite hectic, when they have been able to get over the bar, with lots of surface fish on the go.

And many of the fish are also entering the estuaries chasing big schools of bait fish.

Reports from Wooli were that there are plenty of pelagics but the majority of anglers were chasing snapper and also landing plenty of teraglin and parrot fish.

On the Yamba and Ilukas breakwalls, tuna have been coming right into the estuary chasing the bait fish.

Sealand Huett of Yamba scored a long-tail tuna of 12.000kg from the Yamba wall with a live bait, while Travis O'Meally of South Grafton fished off Wooli and landed a 10.500kg tuna on a floating bait.

At this time of the year schools of mullet should be grouping up close to the entrance ready for a spawning run but reports suggest that the opposite is the case at the moment.

Schools of dolphins, already feeding on the bait fish, are chasing the mullet upstream and have been reported as far as the ferry wires at Lawrence.

Back on the breakwalls, there are a lot of bream and tailor on the bite but many anglers are retrieving only half of their catch because of the presence of sharks - mostly blacktip but some larger.

Tailor have been quiet until recently but Des Hannah of Woombah and Ian McKenzie of Iluka had an interesting tussle for biggest weigh-in this week.

Des came out on top but only by a mere six grams. His tailor weighed in at 1.366kg while Ian's was 1.360kg.

And perhaps bream are getting ready for their spawning run, which usually begins in May.

Cameron O'Meally of South Grafton landed a 1.440kg bream while fishing at Minnie Water.

Ian McKenzie, as well as hooking his tailor, landed a 1.234kg bream while teenager Alec Atkinson, a regular visitor from Moonee Beach, scored one of 1.052kg at Browns Rocks.

For those chasing the reddies offshore, there have been plenty to report.

Allan Hepper of Iluka scored the best, a 5.420kg fish taken on a blue pilchard at Black Rock while Mark Dries of Brooms Head landed one of 3.750kg in local waters.

Stewart Connell of Grafton also did well with a catch of 4.800kg off Angourie Point.

Flathead have been a bit quieter of late but the female anglers have done quite well.

Linden Harris of South Grafton brought in one of 1.580kg taken at Lawrence, while Carrol Bastian of Harwood fished close to the sugar mill and returned with one of 1.556kg.

And those sweetlip, normally a northern water species, are still being taken off Lovers Point.

Tom Grantham of South Grafton earlier this week scored a gold-spotted sweetlip on a prawn bait.

There have been reports of some larger jewfish taken from the breakwalls but this week's best weigh-in was the 12.300kg fish taken by John Causley of Palmers Island from his favourite spot at Angourie.

Well up river bass are still active with Beau Bickmann of Junction Hill fishing in local waters for a catch of 1.100kg.



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