Luck playing a part
WITH the rapid changes in weather conditions at the moment, picking the right time for a fishing outing is almost a matter of luck.
Offshore fishing conditions can change in a matter of hours, while a crisp autumn morning can turn into gusty windy rain in the afternoon.
However, conditions still favour the brave and good fish are still being caught.
The big bream competition in the Clarence continues to show that even the bream experts are finding it hard to find any location of schools of big fish , although there are plenty around, just under the one kilo mark.
Even around the headlands and along the beaches there are no large concentrations.
Nevertheless, biggest bream this week was the 968g fish landed by Spud Murphy, of Iluka, fishing at Frasers Reef.
But biggest for the week was the 1.154kg catch of Radomie Babic, from Lightning Ridge, at Browns.
M Edmunds, of Grafton, was only a whisker behind with one of 960g from Palmers Island on a herring bait, and South West Rocks visitor D Thomas landed one of 930g from the same area.
Browns Rocks continues to produce some good bream, while at Harwood, Jack Cannon of Chatsworth had a fish of 850g and Carol Bastian one of 724g.
Luke House, of Grafton, landed one of 610g also at Harwood, while little brother Callem beat him on aggregate with two - 330g and 320g.
Warren Toy fished the Yamba wall for his best of 650g, while Lachlan De Bomford, of Glenreagh, fished among the trawlers at Yamba for a fish of 550g.
The odd whiting continues to appear, with Michael Henwood, of Robina, hauling in one of 365g from Red Rock.
There are no more big flathead like last week's 9.100kg, but nevertheless there are still some large ones around.
Browns Rocks once again has topped the list with a fish of 3.500kg landed by Radomie Babic, with Nev Fergusson not far behind with 3.290 kg on a tailor bait.
Terry Munro, of Grafton, fished the Skids at Freeburn Island for one of 2.486kg on a handline and mullet bait.
Luke Rawson, of Iluka, pulled in one of 1.962kg from Woody Head, while around Grafton several anglers are managing to come close to bag limits on fish around the kilo mark.
No blackfish was weighed-in this week, but they are still being caught in some numbers on the Middle Wall and around the headlands, although the big seas limited activity on the ocean front.
At last, big jewfish are starting to appear in better numbers, attracted by the mullet school for their spawning run.
Biggest this week was 22.000 caught by Vic Funnell, of Yamba, who fished the Iluka Wall, but there have been quite a few around the 10.000kg taken from the Yamba Wall.
Snapper have been a bit quiet, with offshore fishing limited, but Ben Bushell, of Yamba, weighed in a pearl perch of 4.600kg taken on a squid bait off Angourie.
A few experienced anglers were able to handle the sea conditions on the headlands, with Rob Knight, of Yamba, landing a drummer of 1.520kg on cabbage weed bait fishing at Yamba Point.
However, the story of the week is the 32.000kg bar mackerel caught by Russell Wall, of Iluka, fishing off the rocks at Frasers.
Landing a fish of that size from the rocks takes plenty of school, but Russell has had plenty of practice with big jewfish and the odd snapper from the same area.
There are 'stacks and stacks' of bass around Grafton and upstream , with the anglers in last weekend's bream competition landing quite a few - and returning them to the water.
But Geoff Germany, of South Grafton, fished at Corcoran Park and weighed in a fish, gilled and gutted, of 1.350 kg.
And with the schooling up of the mullet around the entrance of the Clarence, Fisheries officers have been busy booking several anglers caught jagging the fish - a practice which has been banned for a number of years - so be warned.