Unique species hooked as activity returns on Clarence
FISHING results are hotting up this month, although not perhaps as much as the weather.
Nevertheless, the warmer conditions appear to have got the bass on the bite, everywhere from around the Gorge above Copmanhurst to Ulmarra, with a few showing as far downriver as Palmers Island.
Best weighed in this week was the 1.380kg catch taken by Brent Lentfer of South Grafton who scored at Ulmarra.
Harry Willett of Palmers island, who normally fishes local waters, landed one of 440g near the Grafton bridge, but Nathan Bowles of South Grafton topped this with one of 900g in the same area.
Small bream are in almost plague proportion throughout the river, although the majority are throwbacks
Best weighed in was the 900 g catch by Rada Babic who has returned again from Lightning Ridge to the cooler area around Browns Rocks
A new name in these lists was Laura Verstappen, of Yamba, with a fish of 385g , taken in the Oyster Channel.
Oyster is still fishing well for whiting, with reports of schools of sizeable fish on most of the sandflats. Bevan Soper of Wooloweyah followed this advice and scored a whiting of 412 g from the sandflats off the Yamba Tavern.
On the northern side, Ben Geide of Iluka landed one of 270g.
Flathead are appearing in better numbers and size as their spawning run speeds up.
Again the Oyster Channel area is fishing well near the top of the tide with one good catch close to bag limit all around the 1.850 kg mark.
However best was the 1.865 kg catch taken by Jason Burness of Yamba who fished Moriaty's.
But the happiest angler was two-years old Mackenzie Croft of Yamba who caught a 700g fish at the Peninsula.
With the conditions around the headlands a bit calmer, tailor are being weighed in again after several weeks of no results.
Biggest was 3.000 kg taken by Tam O'Meally of South Grafton who fished at Diggers,while on the north side Brian Debar of Iluka found one of 1.330 kg at the Bluff.
As usual at this time of the year, the blackfish are well scattered but there are good fish among them.
My neighbour, Greg Biffen landed one of 1.040 kg near Freeburn Island, but this was beaten by the 1.130 kg catch by Robert Cardswell of Grafton who scored at Wooli.
Terry Daly of Yamba seems to know most of the blackfish by name having chased them so often, and this week his best catch as 628 g from Learners Corner.
There are still plenty of school jewfish in the river, with quite a few above the Harwood bridge to Maclean.
Tam O'Meally as well as the large tailor also scored a schoolie of 4.100 kg at Diggers, but the best was taken off Minnie Water, a fish of 18.500 kg, by Nathan Reilly of Grafton.
Although waters off the southern ground as still affected by the remnants of the red algae, anglers who were prepared to hunt around found it worthwhile.
Joel Walters of Wooli found a snapper of 6.030 kg off Wooli, while Cale Callaghan of Minnie found one of 6.300 kg in local waters.
And as usual, one is never sure what will take the bait when the line goes over the side.
This week, Peter Burnett of Palmers Island scored a javelin fish of 1.295 kg along the shores of Palmers Island.
It is not a rare fish, but odd ones are taken in this area from time to time.