TRYING HIS LUCK: Pete Leonard of Ipswich fishing on the banks of the Clarence River at Maclean on Saturday.
TRYING HIS LUCK: Pete Leonard of Ipswich fishing on the banks of the Clarence River at Maclean on Saturday. Debrah Novak

Monster flathead sets the standard

ALTHOUGH it is only very early days for the 2016/17 Fish of the Year competition, some very good benchmarks are already being set.

Grub Brotherson of Grafton held his place on top of the pole for the best flathead for only one week, and was then well and truly beaten.

Taigan Heath of Grafton pulled in a monster fish of 6.100kg taken on a plastic lure at Sleeper Island at the eastern end of Freeburn.

This site is one of the hot spots for whiting and blackfish on a run-out tide, but it will be interesting to see how long Taigan keeps the position, especially as there was a report of a fish tipping the scale at about eight kilo taken at night in Lake Wooloweyah and not weighed in, but returned to the water alive.

There is as problem where good fish are taken at night when the weigh-in stations are closed, but we accept a weight taken on registered scales at another site and submitted on a docket with an identifiable phone number.

Taigan actually took another flathead, 5.450kg, also at Sleeper, but several days earlier.

Big bream are also being taken right throughout the estuaries, with quite a few also coming from the beaches and headlands.

Biggest weighed in was the 1.066kg catch by Bruce Gosper who fished the Middle Wall with a herring bait.

Luke Rooks of Maclean scored one of 1.000kg, while Jason Burgess of Yamba landed his catch of 952g in Lake Wooloweyah

And again there was talk around the traps of a fish weighing just on two kilo taken on Back Beach at Angourie.

Whiting are still being taken in some numbers, but with the best catches on a run-out tide.

Wooli Beach fished particularly well with Dean Niland of Grafton scoring several between 444g and 434g on worm baits.

Browns Rocks also continued to produce some good fish with Wade McConnell of Mororo coming in with one of 420g

And Rada Babic continued to make the lists, this time with a blackfish of 680g take at Browns near the wharf.

Reports from Browns are that small blue swimmer crabs have returned in some numbers and there are still some good mudcrabs available.

Quite a few mangrove jack are also being landed, especially from the Oyster Channel area.

John Ryan of Palmers Island weighed in the best, 3.390kg taken in Oyster Channel, while Luke Rook of Maclean scored one of 3.959kg at Palmers Island.

The charter boats who got out during the week fared particularly well with good catches of spotted mackerel, plate-size snapper, teraglin and other surface fish

Rick Kolak of Iluka tried his luck at Black Rock with a cobia of 9.800kg but these were well matched with surface and reef fish taken off Wooli.

And the hot ,steamy weather bringing on the bugs along the river banks has also activated bass.

Quite a few have been taken upstream from the Grafton Bridge where Carlson Galloway scored one of 1.120kg

Biggest weighed in was the 1.900kg catch by Ron Cleary of South Grafton who fished at Jackadgery, while Brett Lenfer of South fished Rogans Bridge for a fish of 1.350kg.



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