DOWN BY THE RIVER: Lisa Linnertson fishes from the banks of the Clarence River at Grafton.
DOWN BY THE RIVER: Lisa Linnertson fishes from the banks of the Clarence River at Grafton. Debrah Novak

Have you entered the Fish of the Year competition?

MOST of the fishing activity during the past week has been in enclosed waters or on the beaches. Local charter boats report strong currents offshore which has restricted activity, although both returned with satisfied customers.

In the estuaries, it has been lots of flathead closely followed by a run of excellent whiting. Bream have been in large numbers, but a substantial number have been throwbacks.

Biggest whiting weighed in this week was the 595g catch taken by Jody Summers, of South Grafton, who scored in the Wooli River using yabbies for bait. But the hottest area for whiting in the Clarence appears to be from Rabbit Island opposite the Yamba Tavern at the entrance to Oyster Channel and then well up past the bridge to the lake.

Two of my grandsons did well using little popper lures for whiting on the sandflats just downstream the Oyster Channel Bridge, with Barry producing the best - 370g.

Browns Rocks also continues to produce a good variety of fish with the best whiting from this area weighed in by Donald Pearce with a fish of 416 g., while Ben Geide, of Iluka, fishing further downstream for his best of 410g.

But it is flathead which most anglers are taking. Nick Haynes, of South Grafton, and Bruce Jobson, of Wyrallah, both weighed in fish of the same weight - 4.350kg. Nick made his catch on live bait on the Middle Wall, while Bruce made his catch in the vicinity of Rabbit Island opposite the Tavern.

Browns Rocks also produced several good flathead. Tim Foster, of Goodwood, landed one of 1.760 kg and Tim Forrest, of Iluka, one of 3.850kg.

Best bream weighed in was the 1.074kg catch by Tom Morrow, of Yamba, who fished at Green Point near Angourie.

After showing his grandson how to fish for blackfish last week, Terry Daley, of Yamba, went back to the Middle Wall and returned with a fish of 896g.

Because of the lack of rain, the river is salty well up past Grafton. Sizeable jewfish have been located near the quarry at Maclean chasing schools of mullet, while Ehli Brooks landed one of 5.600 kg at Ulmarra.

There have also been good size tailor on the bite in the same area. A few anglers were able to make it offshore, although were home by late morning as the winds came up.

Rheas Franklin, of Iluka, managed to get offshore at Minnie Water and returned with a jewfish of 10,000kg, while Ross Dean, of Iluka, returned to his secret spot of Woody Head for another snapper, this time 6.500kg.

Visitors are reminded that by weighing in a legal size fish they are automatically entered in the random draw for $500 worth of top line Alvey fishing gear through Marian Boat and Tackle

The draw is made in the week after the Australia Day weekend.

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