Heat slows down fishing weigh-ins
FISHING: Another slow start to the new year fishing competition, with many anglers showing reluctance to go on the water during the heat of the day.
As well as the heat, the reflection of the sun off the surface can be hard to handle, and fish show a reluctance to bite during sunny weather.
Offshore activity has been limited, although anglers prepared to travel wide offshore are finding big schools of mahi mahi and quite a few cobia.
But mackerel, usually in large numbers at this time of the year, are hard to find.
Those anglers who travel wide are finding a build-up in current which is also limiting activity.
Closer inshore, the anglers trying the northern grounds are finding jewfish and spotted flathead while to the south there is more prospect for a snapper or teraglin.
Although sharks are not usually recorded in these columns, two catches reported this week remind everyone who is on, in or near the water in the estuary they are always present.
Greg Dickinson, a regular in these columns, landed a 48kg bull shark from the vicinity of Browns Rocks.
This area has a reputation as the home of big sharks in this stretch of the river.
One of the old residents on Palmers Island, Popeye Law, who lived right on the river bank, was renowned for the big sharks he caught in front of his house on a line set under a 20-litre drum.
The wall of his house was decorated with several sets of giant teeth taken from his catches, some from sharks capable of swallowing a dog with ease of take a large bite from a human.
Greg does not give a clear indication of the area where he made his catch, but the narrow channels of the Serpentine and North Arm are likely spots.
And it was some years ago, that I reported and photographed as a news story a shark taken in the Serpentine on a set bait which had to be lashed to a boat trailer to be taken to the co-op.
And on the smaller side, John Wallace of South Grafton landed a shovel-nose shark of 9.54kg on Iluka Beach.
But on the more "traditional" side, bream are still around in good numbers, although shy in the bright light, but Kurt Jaques of Yamba managed to entice one of 820g on a prawn in the Oyster Channel.
Although there are still blackfish on the Middle Wall, this week most of the activity is near Sleeper Creek - just downstream from the Witonga launching ramp in Oyster Channel.
Tony Hendersen of Glen Innes landed one of 1.020kg, and Colleen of the same address, one of 910g, both fish taken on cabbage weed.
And Rada Babic continues to catch them at Browns Rocks, with one weighing 980g.
Browns has also come good with the best flathead for the week - a 4kg fish taken by Dan Smith with a prawn bait.