Rain welcome but fish fail
THE first rain in the area for more than a month has done little to stir up the fish but a little more, prior to the school holidays, should give the sport a boost.
Offshore anglers are still providing mixed reports; some managing to bring back a good feed of mixed reef fish while others are reporting scarcely a bump.
The water temperature is still low, although there are apparently a few warmer eddies which need to be sussed out.
A few good-size snapper are still being landed, mostly on the southern grounds.
Biggest weighed in this week was 6.550kg landed by Melbourne visitor Rob Boagey, using a fillet of mullet as bait while off Red Cliff just south of Angourie.
Bill Hodgetts of Minnie Water, who has weighed in on several occasions in recent weeks, came to the party again, this time with a 6.100kg snapper taken on a pilchard bait off Minnie.
Another who did well was Simon Boatswain of Grafton who caught a 4.210kg snapper on a lure while fishing off Wooli.
Another who had success offshore was Peter Rheinberger who usually lands most of his jewfish off Yamba Point but this time went off Angourie, using mullet fillet for bait and brought in a 20.000kg jewie.
Some good catches of reef flathead were also taken by the offshore anglers but the only flathead weighed in was by great-grandson Coadie from Goulburn. Coadie, ably assisted by both his father and grandfather, was fishing the upper reaches of Oyster Channel when he caught a 1.200kg flathead.
Offshore anglers are also landing quite a few teraglin but all reports indicate that the leatherjackets which shelter well offshore have moved further north.
There have been some excellent gutters developed along the beaches but catches from them have been patchy.
Pippie Beach was one spot which was rewarding for Timmy Egan of Alumy Creek who landed a 210g whiting.
Activity in the estuary has been mostly well away from the entrance, with flathead being taken in some numbers from the Slipway at Harwood to Lawrence.
Although there were reports of some reasonable bream taken from the beach gutters, anything inside the entrance seemed to be below 1.000kg.
Best was the 896g catch by Peter Miller of Lawrence, who fished his local water with a mullet gut bait.
A few blackfish are still on the bite along the Middle Wall, although the general run of the fish is still below the 1.000kg mark.
There has been at least one report of a bag limit but the biggest fish weighed in this week was a 930g catch by Clayton Hope of Yamba.
Best of the rest was by Terry Daley of Yamba, a regular in this column, who landed a 626g luderick from the Wall.
With the reopening of the bass season, quite a few anglers have turned their attention to this species.
Participants in a comp around Grafton last weekend had mixed results, some anglers landing several while others did not turn a scale.
The biggest, taken in the vicinity of the Grafton Bridge, was the 1.900kg bass hooked by Kyle Walters of South Grafton. The fish was good enough to move him to the top of the competition table.
Mahkai Haynes of South Grafton scored a 1.600kg fish and Jenson Haynes one of 1.300kg, both caught in the vicinity of Corcoran Park.
Further downstream in the vicinity of Lawrence, Brad Ramage landed a 1.500kg bass.
Rock hoppers have also enjoyed reasonably favourable seas and have been landing the odd tailor, salmon and bream.
Groper are also still biting well and Shane McLeay of Maclean scored one of 7.000kg off Lovers Point.