River fishing successful

By DICK RICHARDS

GOOD catches from the lower reaches of most of the estuaries continue to bring smiles to the faces of most anglers.

Flathead and school jewfish continue to be the fish of the moment in the Clarence, while whiting are bringing joy to many fishing the Wooli and Sandon Rivers.

Although the winds have been a problem late in the day around the headlands, there has still been plenty of drummer, groper and bream taking the baits.

Upstream around Grafton there are enough bass around to provide fun for those prepared to spend a little time seeking out their haunts. Actually one of the best weighed in this week was taken close to the Grafton bridge, a 1.200kg fish landed by John Moss ? not a big fish by bass standards, but a good eating quality size and one which gave plenty of fight.

There has been no marked improvement in the size of bream, with most of those in the estuary still below the one kilo size. Biggest for the week was taken from Shark Bay, where Brian Iveli of Lawrence hooked one of 1.220kg in the Wooli area, Brett Williamson and Steve Bartlett, both of South Grafton, landed fish around the 600g, while at Minnie Water, Ian Hillery and L Creighton had fish about the same general size.

Red Rock did a little better, where Dion Jones weighed in one of 765g Although there were plenty of throw-backs in the Clarence, Michelle Edwards landed one of 1.080kg near the Yamba Tavern, while in Palmers Channel Cliff Lee hooked one of 732g.

Whiting have been a better prospect for those fishing the Wooli and Red Rock rivers. Six-year-old Thomas Graham of Grafton got one of 470g early in the week and several days later landed a bigger fish of 504g.

However this was not quite big enough to beat the 540g whiting landed by Kieren Stewart who fished at Minnie Water.

In the Clarence, young Georgie Farlow of Port Macquarie, holidaying with his uncle, Allan, of Yamba, tried several of Allan's 'secret spots' in Oyster Channel and landed a fish of 410g.

However it was flathead which featured this week, especially in the Oyster Channel area. Biggest fish was taken (weighed in at 5.300kg, and released alive) by Allan Willis of Toowoomba, but was one of a number caught in the vicinity of the Oyster Channel bridge. R Waterson had one of 3.070kg, Aleisha Brown one of 2.150kg, and Bob Buist one of 3.400kg, while the vicinity of the Tavern was the pick of the spots for Scott Willis with a fish of 2.640kg.

The large number of flathead and school jewfish taken in the vicinity of the bridge even during the day, has caused speculation among anglers because of the volume of noise from the pile driving in the bridge reconstruction.

However a possible explanation appears to be a flush of small prawns coming out of the lake near the bottom of the tide.

The Middle Wall continued to produce some good fish with Jessica Clarke and R Waterson, both landing fish around the 3.800kg mark, and Jake Thompson one of 4.330kg at the entrance to Crystal Waters.

Blackfish are still as hard to find as ever in the estuary, with the occasional one coming from the vicinity of Ilarwell, but the Iluka Bluff proved the pick of the spots for Wayne Franklin of Iluka with a fish of 1.056kg, just beating John King whose best was 1.038kg.



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