A double hookup for Grafton fishing legend Wayne Jackson who was very happy with one kingfish on the line but couldn't believe he had two. Photo: Yamba Fishing and Charters.
A double hookup for Grafton fishing legend Wayne Jackson who was very happy with one kingfish on the line but couldn't believe he had two. Photo: Yamba Fishing and Charters.

GONE FISHIN’: Anglers brave arctic winds to wet a line

COLD, almost arctic winds, slowed fishing activity a little during the week, but as conditions eased activity increased.

In the early days of the week before the strong winds, catches offshore were more than satisfactory on both the northern and southern grounds.

Venus tusk-fish, teraglin, pearl perch and even the occasional leatherjacket brought smiles to the faces of many anglers.

Graeme Lockyer of Iluka had another run at the snapper on the northern grounds and this week returned with his best of 4.8kg.

This was only slightly smaller than the 5kg fish taken on the previous week.

Tom Morran, a “refugee” from Sydney, landed a 6.8kg jewfish from the southern grounds.

Steve Hase tried the northern grounds and landed a teraglin of 2.2kg.

A few pelagics are still on the move, with Beau Hayne landing a long tail tuna of 4.8kg to the north.

A double hookup for Grafton fishing legend Wayne Jackson who was very happy with one kingfish on the line but couldn't believe he had two. Photo: Yamba Fishing and Charters.
A double hookup for Grafton fishing legend Wayne Jackson who was very happy with one kingfish on the line but couldn't believe he had two. Photo: Yamba Fishing and Charters.

The trick for fishing the estuary this week was to find a reasonably sheltered spot. My experience from fishing in the Avoca area is to find one of the tall cliff faces on the southern side of the headlands where the cushion of still air builds up it when comes from the south.

One of the local places which fit this description in the area of the caves at Angourie, which has produced some monster drummer and groper in the past.

However, this week two groper were weighed in from the Woody Head area.

Luke Rooks of Maclean scored the best, 7.5kg, with Steve Patemen of Iluka not far behind with one of 6kg, both taken on crab.

Best bream weighed in was the 1.12kg catch by Kevin Jaques who fished Oyster Channel.

The approaches to the southern side of the Oyster Channel bridge offers some protection from the wind in current conditions.

Jacob Bron scored his bream of 660g on the Iluka Wall (with some sheltered areas on the northern side).

A good size flathead – 3.7kg – was weighed in by Ven Child who fished the drift near the Harwood Bridge.

On a run-out tide, the drift from the Harwood Hall past the Mill to the slipway has always been productive, although a bit sloppy in strong southerlies.

FISH OF THE YEAR 2020

SpeciesWeightAnglerSpeciesWeightAngler
Bream

2.146

2/4/20

Kevin Cook

Yamba

Jewfish29.1400 5/3/20

Timmy Turtle

Currumbin (Qld)

Whiting

1.490

12/3/20

Zia Jordan

Wooli

Snapper

10.875

11/6/20

Dayne Bishop

Wooli

Flathead

7.200

5/3/20

Brett Lentfer

South Grafton

Pelagic

Spanish mackerel

27.500 7/5/20

Jasper Wearne

Minnie Water

Tailor

7.000

6/8/20

Mark Billen IlukaBass

1.378

9/4/20

Gordon Burton

Lawrence

Blackfish1.700 27/2/20Jim Gardener IlukaOther edible species

Groper

8.600

30/4/20

Steve Pateman

Iluka

FISH OF THE WEEK

SpeciesWt (kg)LocationGearAngler
Bream1.120Oyster ChannelRod/reel MulleyKevin Jaques Yamba
Whiting
Flathead3.700HarwoodRod/reel LureBen Child Yamba
Tailor
Blackfish
Jewfish6.000Northern GroundsRod/reel PlasticTom Morrow Sydney
Snapper4.800Northern GroundsRod/reel PilchardGraeme Lockyer Iluka
PelagicLong-tail tuna 4.800Northern GroundsRod/reelBeau Hayne Iluka
Bass
Other edible speciesGroper 6.000Off WoodyRod/reel CrabSteve Pateman Iluka


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