FISHING: Long weekend sparks bumper weigh-ins
FISHING activity over the long weekend really sparked with one of the best weigh-ins for several months. There were plenty of bream and blackfish on the bite with flathead backing up.
Offshore early in the period was affected by strong wind warnings and big seas, but a few boats were able to get out and returned with some good reef fish. Most of the activity was on the southern grounds with the Minnie Water area really firing.
Wayne Oxenbridge of Minnie used a handline and blue pilchards to land a snapper of 6.700kg. On the same outing, his mate Nick Hayes of Minnie scored a snapper of 6.740kg - 40 g bigger than Wayne's. I wonder if they are still fishing mates.
Linden Harris of South Grafton also fished in the same area and scored a parrot fish of 1.655kg and a pearl perch of 1.380kg, both on pilchards. However best parrot fish - 2.030kg - was taken by Harry Willett who fished off Angourie. Harry also scored a snapper of 1.830kg on the same outing.
Good size bream brought pleasure to many anglers. Although the best was 1.110kg taken by Dave Corbert of Grafton who fished at Wooli, most catches were taken from the breakwalls into Oyster Channel.
Mike Mason of Iluka scored a bream of 1.092kg at the Turkeys Nest off the Iluka Marina and the rest were taken on the southern side of the estuary, where shelter could be obtained from the southerly winds. Martin Bull of Yamba landed a bream of 964g near the Witonga Drive launching ramp while Vicki James caught one of 964g near the Peninsula and Moran Coxell 740g close to the Tavern.
The Yamba breakwall fished well with Neville Beck of Yamba landing one of 994g on weed while fishing for blackfish and Brisbane visitor Geoff Zane had one of 810g.
The Middle Wall, as expected at this time of the year, fished well for blackfish with Neville Palmer of Grafton landing one of 964g on green weed.
Although care had to be taken because of big seas on the Yamba breakwall, Brisbane visitor Luke Houghton scored one of 1.110kg, just beaten by local Bill Bakon with one of 1.210kg
Two other locals also did well on the wall - Peter Pryor with a fish of 1.082kg and my neighbour Greg Biffin one of 1.175kg. And the neverfail spot of Browns Rocks came good with a fish of 820g for Ashley.
The Middle Wall also produced a flathead of 1.080kg for Jason Green of Grafton, while Tim Menzies of Yamba used local knowledge to fish Turners Beach on the southern side of the breakwall for a flathead of 2.850kg.
Young 13-year-old Jayden Glacken of Gulmarrad has broken his duck with a flathead of 1.846kg taken on a light line at Maclean. He baited his hook with prawn and played the fish successfully for several minutes all by himself.
Shane Hawker of Gulmarrad was another who fished Maclean for a flathead of 840g, while Bob Gutteridge scored his 1.905kg fish at Browns Rocks.
School jewfish are also reported to be biting well, especially around Maclean, although the best of 4.000kg was taken by Michelle Green of Grafton at the Middle Wall.
And with such success by the anglers is it any wonder that at least one of the bait places was all smalls after selling out of all their fresh bait over the weekend despite having bought in extra for the holiday.