Little legend Elijah hooks award winning bream
FISHING: Young Harwood angler Elijah Pateman has been fishing from the moment he could take his first steps.
The Harwood Island three-year-old is the son of professional fisherman Steve Pateman, who has bred a love of tight lines into Elijah.
Those feelings are set to only grow stronger after Elijah was announced as the winner of the Daily Examiner Fish of the Year competition.
"He has been fishing for a long time, he is just mad with it,” Steve said.
"His grandfather (on his mother's side) is also a fishing fanatic so Elijah has it on both sides of his family. Fishing runs in his blood.”
Elijah's pop is none other than Gary Rooks, who is a past rock and beach fishing state champion.
Steve said the pair research posters of fish species often as he teaches the young angler about what is on the other end of his lines.
Elijah's name was drawn in a random pick from all the anglers who weighed in a fish during the year.
His catch was a bream of 894 g taken in early August at Harwood using mullet gut for bait.
For his efforts he collects $500 worth of Alvey Fishing gear including a rod and reel and other accessories supplied through Marina Boat and Tackle at Yamba.
Entry in the competition is free, and merely requires weighing in a legal size
fish at one of the weigh-in stations providing name
and an address and information of gear and tackle used and a general description of where the fish was taken.
And just as a sideline to Elijah's success, the winner of the first Fish of the Year, which I reported some 30 years ago, was also a bream taken by a local Maclean angler.
NEW YEAR, NEW START FOR CLARENCE ANGLERS
The new Daily Examiner Fish of the Year competition for 2017/18 has started with a bang.
Already there are some sizeable catches of flathead, pelagics, jewfish, snapper and bream on the list.
And in addition there are reports of other sizeable catches that have not been reported.
Offshore reports have been very good with plenty of pelagics showing up around Woody Head and in front of Yamba.
And they are expected to hit the southern grounds off Wooli in the next week or two.
In addition, reports from both the northern and southern grounds report good catches of snapper.
Biggest weighed in this week was the 3.530kg catch by P Brookes who fished off Red Rock.
And this was only one of similar sizes taken by other anglers in the same area.
While further south the reports were for even better size fish including good teraglin.
Best spanish mackerel weighed in from the Woody Head area was the catch by Cody Rheinberger of Yamba whose fish tipped the scales at 9.600 kg
However the real tackle buster was the 28.940 kg cobia landed by Mat Cameron of Grafton who fished off Wooli.
The Shelley area also produced good pearl perch including the 3.104 kg catch by Brian Robbins of Lawrence.
Best bream are being taken from the back channels where Scott Barlow of Grafton landed his 1.048 kg in Palmers Channel.
However all the beaches and headlands are also fishing well, with some big tailor coming from the Shark Bay area.
But it is the big flathead that continue to be a feature of fishing activity.
Biggest was the 5.400kg catch by Jason Green of Yamba who fished the Middle Wall using a herring bait.
And close behind was Ben Child with two fish to 4.710kg.
Schools of bait fish around the entrance to the river have attracted the big jewfish, with Ash Churchland of Collie scoring one of 17.650kg off the Yamba wall.
Further in the river off Palmers Island, local angler Peter Burnett scored a good school jewfish of 3.675kg.
And for anglers looking for something extra, there are plenty of blue swimmer and mudcrabs around the back channels.