Clarence River fishing slows
By DICK RICHARDS
FISHING activity during the past week has been on the slow side, although estuary catches have been about par.
Offshore fishing was good until the weekend, when a strong northerly current swept in close to the coast making it very difficult to hold bait near the bottom. Surface fish were also quiet and the schools of bait fish tended to scatter.
However, although it is getting close to the end of the summer fishing pattern, large flathead are continuing to lurk along the Middle Wall.
Tom Bushell of Palmers Island, who did well a week or so ago, improved on that catch with a fish of 5.500kg taken on a herring bait.
However he was pipped by Eileen Lipscombe from Coffs Harbour who fished on the opposite side of the river for a flathead of 6.215kg ? which was returned to the water after weigh-in.
The Kenny family from Yamba also did well along the Middle Wall. Peter weighed in a fish of 2.580kg and Jolene one of 1.780kg.
The kids also got into the act, with five-year-old Ashley landing a bream of 410g and sister Layla (4) one of 320g.
Guy Hamilton of Waterview Heights also tried the wall for a fish of 5.310kg.
Anglers at Browns Rocks did not want to be left out of the action, and Rich Want of Grafton brought in a fish of 3.340kg. The best weighed in from other grounds was the 1.100kg fish landed by Timothy Hassall of Red Rock.
Whiting continue to satisfy many anglers around the lower reaches, although there are plenty of small ones which need to be put back. The sand patch halfway down the Middle Wall fished well on the runout tide, but it was Allan Farlow who worked his 'secret spot' in the Oyster Channel for a good run of fish, the best going 530g.
Bream have gone quiet again with the best for the week coming from the beach at Wooli where Allan Johnson of Grafton landed one of 916g. The beach at Minnie Water proved rewarding for Brian McLennan of South Grafton where his best tailor was 1.29kg, while the rocks at the Iluka Bluff saw John King of Iluka equal his previous best this year withe a blackfish of 1.350kg.
Although there were hopes of a good run of jewfish after the full moon, the best weighed in this week was a fish of 3.478kg taken by Nick Laurie of Townsend who fished Palmers Island. Offshore, the southern grounds continued to show the best results. Andrew Nott of Maclean landed a snapper of 3.300kg on squid off Angourie and Jack Wiggett fished off Red Cliff for one of 1.438kg, but the grounds further offshore were difficult to fish.
Paul Eichmann of Grafton fished off Minnie for a pearlie of 3.500kg and Trent Carr had a parrotfish of 1.600kg from the same area.
David Bowling of Tucabia also fished at Minnie where he was able to latch onto a groper of 7.150kg taken on a crab bait.
Browns Rocks continued to display the wide range of species landed in the area, with All Law of Woombah hooking a mangrove jack of 1.902kg taken on a lure.