THE Fish of the Year competition is off to a good start for 2005 with a number of good fish being weighed in.
Naturally all the winners this week are the new species leaders for the year, well until something bigger comes along.
Also keep those entries coming in. The Fish of the Year competition will be revamped for 2005. More news on that later.
The biggest fish of the week was a jewfish that was caught by Trevor Carter of Urunga. The fish was landed down at the Third Headland and weighed in at 11.7kg.
Ron Finch of Mullaway landed the week's winning snapper with the big nobbie pulling the scales down to a very credible 8.135kg which will have a few anglers setting out to beat.
The week's best whiting went to C. Wynne, a visitor from Sydney.
The Moonee Creek fish weighed in at 2.8kg and would have made for a couple of nice fish fingers on the barbie.
Ross Lavender of Arrawarra came up with the biggest bream of the week. The 1.176kg fish was caught in a gutter on Mullaway Beach while Ross was using worms for bait.
A good run of whiting around at the moment with the week's biggest going to Stephen Johnson of Coffs. The fish came from Coffs Creek and weighed in at 660g.
Any whiting now claiming to be bigger than that will have to be presented for verification.
The fish must be presented, with a weigh-in certificate, to either myself at Fishing Tackle Australia or Brian Budd at The Advocate. Any fish not verified will be disqualified.
Speaking of verification, the week's heaviest luderick at 1.27kg now means that any further fish in that section will also have to be presented for verification. The luderick was caught by Joel Innes up at Mulloway after it fell foul of a worm bait.
It is very interesting to note that since we introduced the verification system a few of years ago we have not see any 1kg whiting or 3kg luderick, funny thing about that.
That's it for the Fish of the Year competition. Time now for news from the clubs ?
Urunga Anglers Club and Bellinger Valley Fishing news
CONGRATULATIONS to the organisers of the annual Putt Benet Family Fishing Festival on another very successful tournament, with some 470 competitors, a great event.
In the river locally Guy Hall and grandsons Nicholas and Jacob Wilson took flathead and whiting. 'Chassa' and 'Rip' Taylor had blackfish. Steve Ttoolou and grandson Zane Elphick took blackfish and flathead. Paul Alexander and grandsons, Daniel and Michael Smith, had blackfish.
Jack Raymond took whiting, sand mullet and tarwhine. And last week I received information on Guy Vidler's flathead at 6.2kg, however I later learned that this great flathead weighed-in at 7kg (15lb), a top fish, well done.
At sea Nell Simpson, Darren Bransby and Bob Alexander had snapper, pearl perch of 3kg and a rare red throat sweetlip (a tropical species).
Don Brook and Ray Warwick had snapper and morwong. Pat Connor, snapper, venus tuskfish and flathead. Shane Young, snapper and flathead.
Andrew McCabe, up on holiday from the Central Coast, took Roger Adams and visitor Artie Alibrandi out to sea over the bar. This was Artie's first trip to sea and terror took hold of him during the bar crossing and he 'jumped ship'.
However, as required, he was wearing a life jacket and made it safely to shore. Had a sleep on the sand and then walked the south wall and footbridge back to home with the lifejacket under his arm, much to the puzzlement of early morning walkers. It certainly takes all types to make a story.
The club jackpot was shared with Craig Simpson and Dave Osmond.
Best wishes for a happy week and good fishing.
? WATERHOLE WAL
Coffs Harbour Beach Rock and Estuary Fishing Club news
LAST weekend's weather wasn't looking good to say the least but that didn't deter some anglers from braving the conditions and it paid off quite handsomely for some.
I actually went fishing with Rob Taylor and we got some good fish with whiting, tailor, jew, bream and tarwhine, with a couple of drummer thrown in, and it sure was good to wet a line after two months house-bound.
I don't know what has happened to the luderick but they are sure avoiding the spots I have been checking out, although one guy told me a few anglers were taking them in the mouth of Boambee Creek whilst standing on the sand.
The estuaries have lifted a notch for the whiting chasers and some good elbow slappers are mixed in, so fish light and you will have better success as these fish are fairly spooky and will drop a bait as soon as it feels the weight of your gear.
The big flathead have got anglers talking also but we have to remember these are the breeders and remember a saying I was told years ago, 'Limit your catch not catch your limit'.
The summer family comp for 2005 is on next weekend and we would love to see you and all the family sign-on. There are specie prizes for the adults, but the main focus for this competition is for the children, as they are our fishing future.
Anyhow, folks, that's it for this week. Enjoy your fishing.
Just a word of warning to watch out for the sharp barbs on those trebles on your lures, as Wayne Newell found out. Wayne spent four hours up at casualty waiting to get the hooks removed from his hand.
? HALF HITCH