Holiday season begins with a bang on the Clarence
THE summer holiday fishing pattern has arrived with a bang, with big flathead on the bite and spanish mackerel appearing at last in good numbers off Woody Head.
Most fishing offshore has been restricted to early morning as winds have been coming up in the afternoon.
However on the south side, slime in the water is still slowing activity, although anglers prepared to scout around are finding good snapper.
Spaniards should have appeared several weeks ago, but a delay in the change of the currents slowed their appearance.
Biggest weighed in this week was the 20kg catch by Myles Holmes, of Iluka, who used a live bait.
Dan Painter, of Woombah, also fished the same area and returned with a spotted mackerel of 4.5kg
This was one of several brought in.
Max Hamlin, of Toowoomba, also fished at Woody this time off the rocks and landed a 4.25 kg snapper on a mullet bait.
Woody has a reputation for producing snapper taken off the rocks.
With the calmer seas, more tailor are being taken around the headlands and the breakwalls, with "Paul'', a visitor from Coledale, landing one of 2.25 kg.
Inside the entrance, the Middle Wall has been the scene of much activity.
Best school jewfish, weighing 9.75 kg and taken on a herring bait, was weighed in by Jamie Ward, of Coutts Crossing.
The river is alive with bream, many just under size.
However the best keeper was the 1.26 kg catch by Allan Hepper, of Iluka
But as expected at this time of the year, flathead was the species that filled most creels.
And the majority of the big ones were taken close to the entrance.
Top catch was 4.2kg taken by Ron Waterson, of Grafton, from the Middle Wall, while the best Tom Bushell, of Palmers Island, who targets this variety, could do was 3.81kg on the Middle Wall.
Young Ben Price, of Fig Tree Pocket, will remember his holiday on the Clarence after landing a 2.24kg "lizard" at Harwood.
The drift from the Harwood bridge to the slipway is one of the better spots away from the entrance. Darren Varley, of Ferndale, tried his luck among the trawlers in Yamba Bay and scored a flathead of 1.05kg.
And at least once a year, there is always one of those fishermen's stories about the big one that got away.
The latest doing the rounds is the "big" flathead, with a head like a shovel which is ripping into smaller flathead being landed on Whiting Beach near the T-Piece.
Several anglers have claimed they thought they had the big one on the hook after it bit into their catch, but all that was recovered was the head of the catch. Perhaps this one will enter the realm of "Jock the Crock" at Angourie, and Tim the Bream who still has not been caught.