Small rivers hot up in summer pattern
THE fishing scene is already showing signs of switching to the traditional summer pattern with the smaller rivers of Wooli and Sandon leading the charge.
Offshore activity is still being affected by blustery winds and reports of cool water, while most of the activity around the headlands has been on the northern sheltered sides, with mostly unpleasant conditions along the open beaches.
Even in the main reaches of the Clarence, much of the activity has been limited due to the winds and clearer water, but the smaller rivers are running hot.
Whiting have come in a spurt in the Wooli River, where Aaron Larkin, of Grafton, pulled in the largest for the week, a 544g fish taken on a yabbie.
Young Jackson Blacksell was given some time off from his parents' store and landed a 400g specimen also in the Wooli River.
On the northside, Cooper Harris, still on holidays from Victoria, scored at Shark Bay with a pipi bait helping him land a 460g fish, while Mischa Porter swapped from his usual target species of jewfish to land a 412g whiting at Iluka main beach. My old fishing mate of many years, Gordon Williams, of Yamba, showed there was still life in the old seadog, and fished Oyster Channel for fish of 498g and 414g on yabbies.
There are still plenty of good-size bream about, but most are coming in under the 1kg mark. The only one exceeding that mark this week was the 1.260kg catch by Eric Knox, of Southgate, who fished at Sandon using cunjevoi as bait. Ron Smith, from Luddenham, fished Turners Beach with white pilchards for a 760g bream.
The Yamba wall is one of the more productive spots and Oliver James of Lismore scored the best from the area; a 930g fish on a mullet bait.
Not far behind was Jesse Schaeffer, of Yamba, with an 890g bream taken on a prawn.
Zac Brotherson, of Grafton, landed an 842g fish on a prawn and Stephen Bennett, of Gulmarrad, was using a pilchard when he bagged an 800g fish.
The smaller rivers are following the pattern of previous years with larger flathead moving early on their spawning run.
Joss Jesser fished at Sandon with mullet for the best of the week, a 5kg flathead, while Marshall Chalmers, of Grafton, used the same bait at Wooli for his 3.150kg catch.
Conditions around the head-lands and along the beaches were far from ideal and no tailor were reported while the salmon also seem to have gone quiet.
The odd blackfish is being taken from places such as the T-Piece, Sleeper Creek and a number of anglers have tried Oyster Channel with only small returns.
Activity offshore has been quiet, with any boats having to move about to find any fish on the bite.
The only cobia weighed in this week was taken on Moriarty's Wall just inside the entrance to the Clarence. Rodney Hills, from Queensland, landed an 8kg fish on a pilchard bait.
A few more groper are being found by the rock hoppers with Steven Shannon, of Palmers Channel, travelling to the Iluka Bluff for his 8.825kg catch on crab.
Graeme Danvers, of South Grafton, also used crab for his 4.750kg groper and a bream of 750g while fishing at Minnie Water.