No explanation for the lack of anglers as ramps remain empty
IT MAY have been Jacaranda, the car show in Yamba or a change in the weather, but once again there has been a shortage of anglers.
Launching ramps have been almost empty around the bottom end of the Clarence, while there have been only a few days when boats were able to travel offshore.
The rain in the middle of last week, the best falls for more than three months, saw little in the way of run off and as a result, the salt water has moved upstream to well above Grafton.
As a result, some of the best fishing returns have come from the area from Maclean upstream to above Lawrence.
There is a report of one family group which fished in the vicinity of Brushgrove finishing up with a mixed bag of bream, flathead, a bass, a whiting and a small chopper tailor, none of which was weighed in, but indicative of the way the fish have moved upstream.
Again it was in the vicinity of Lawrence that the best jewfish was weighed in, a schoolie of 5.37kg landed by Harold Warwick of Grafton who used a lure.
Water around the headlands looked more attractive at the weekend, although there was still the need to watch for rogue waves.
The odd tailor was landed from Woody, with the odd bream on the bite.
However, the fish of this week has been blackfish, the traditionalist might say well out of usual season, but when they are biting as well as reported, who cares?
Allan Broughton of Iluka, after a quiet spell, has returned to these columns with a catch of 1.71kg taken from the shelf at Fraser's
Barry Cranitch, still on holiday from Bribie Island, landed one of 667g at Iluka and Yamba local, Terry Daly, found one of 730g in the same area.
To some extent, the anglers in the Clarence have been missing out on the best of this year's blackfish, for reports from Ballina are that it has been the best season for a number of years, with anglers bagging out within an hour or two with really good fish.
And again there have been blackfish taken on the beach at Wooli, not the usual place to expect to land them with rod and reel.
Maxine Burnett from Brisbane holidays fairly regularly at Wooli and weighed in two she caught on the beach using yabbie baits, one of 508g and the other 788g.
The same occurred last year when blackfish were taken in the surf at Wooli Beach in some numbers
And no matter what the weather has been like, Browns Rocks always seems to come good with at least one fish weighed in.
This week it was a 1.2kg flathead taken by Col Palmer of South Grafton, using a yabbie for bait.
At this time of the year, the bigger flathead should be moving towards the entrance, with the gutter off Whiting Beach being one of the likely spots, and Wooli River another area worth a try.
Kenny Cameron of South Grafton, who gives his local waters a real workover, this week weighed in a mangrove jack of 1.5kg taken lower down the river near Maclean on a soft plastic lure.
Anglers who manage to land one of these fish are asked to preserve the frames with head and gut intact , place in a plastic bag and freeze and contact Toby Piddocke at Southern Cross University on 0439796609. Tony is conducting a study of this fish ,which is be turning up in increasing numbers in local waters. The more we can learn about the species the better for all anglers.
Bass are still being taken in reasonable numbers above Grafton bridge, with Wayne Coulter of Grafton landing one of 1.1kg at Koolkhan
And if anglers are finding it difficult to find fresh bait prawns, reports are that very few are being taken from Lake Wooloweyah, from where most small ones come.
The river was opened to trawling at the beginning of the week, three weeks early, but the best catch on Monday was reported to be 1.5kg so it will be a few weeks yet before curried prawns grace the menu.