FRESH southerlies and a lumpy, rising swell put this weekend in the 'river or home' category.
The rocks and offshore grounds are out of the question except in the quiet, north-facing bays.
A lot of fish don't seem to bite too well in the few days following a full moon anyway, and the moon was full last night.
Cleaner water in the lower estuaries means there should be some bream and flathead around, along with one final flurries from the estuary whiting for the season. Along with a few school mulloway and mud crabs, these fish should provide enough reason to wet a line over the long weekend.
THE TT LURES Wilson River Rumble, part of the Bass Nation tournament circuit, is on this weekend.
Anglers have been pre-fishing since yesterday and the comp will kick off at 6am tomorrow at Riverside Park, Lismore, under the Ballina St Bridge with 2pm weigh-ins both days.
The river might be discoloured from a few showers (when is it clear these days?) but fortunately has been spared the usual flood at this time of year.
There should be a bunch of decent fish caught although these guys in the go-fast boats are sure to cover some river miles in search of them. If you happen to be on the water anywhere between Boatharbour, Bungawalbyn and Tatham, keep out of the main channel if you hear the faintest sound of an outboard.
Check out the live weigh-ins and be in with the chance of taking home an EvaKool icebox, there are five to be given away.
There's also a four-day Bjelke Petersen Dam accommodation package from the South Burnett Regional Council to be won on Sunday and a kids' casting competition from 9am each day with plenty of giveaways from the major sponsors.
There'll be plenty of other stalls and boats on display.
Yamba-based Dredging Solutions is hard at work dredging Fishery Creek at Ballina and later the trawler harbour. Already there have been a few collisions with the extended pipeline down to Mobbs Bay, where the creek spoil is being pumped.
Keep a close watch on the river anywhere from the mouth of Fishery Creek all the way down Mobbs Bay and take careful note of the channel markers and lights around the dredge and the yellow buoys and lights on the pipeline.
The ball/cone/ball marker and red over green over red lights denote a blocked channel on the side indicated.
There is a 4-knot zone within 100 metres of dredging equipment.
The harbour spoil will be dumped on dry land and taken away.
Minor delays could be experienced in Fishery Creek until the July completion date.
New ramp works
BALLINA is about to get a sudden influx of boating improvements under the NSW Boating Now program, which draws on boating licence and registration funds.
Total expenditure will be $1,325,000, of which the Ballina council will chip in $450,000.
These works are:
• Keith Hall: Ramp and pontoon, total project $300,000 (council contribution $75,000)
• Fishery Creek pontoon $100,000 (council $50,000)
• East Wardell pontoon $100,000 ($50,000)
• Faulks Reserve pontoon $175,000 ($75,000)
• Captain Cook Park wharf/pontoon $300,000 ($50,000)
• Lennox Head ramp in upper North Creek $150,000 ($75,000).
• Brunswick St ramp $200,000 ($75,000)
• Emigrant Creek access improvements $40,000.