SUNNY DAYS: Will Casey, 6 of Woodford Island is fishing on the banks of the Clarence River at Ilarwill.
SUNNY DAYS: Will Casey, 6 of Woodford Island is fishing on the banks of the Clarence River at Ilarwill. Debrah Novak

Paradise weather has fishers firing

ONCE again ideal fishing conditions have been the order of the day during the past week.

This has marked more than a month of top line weather except on a few days when strong winds off-shore limited activity off the coast.

However this did not stop surface fish, the pelagics, moving closer to the coast with tuna being taken from the breakwalls at the entrance to the Clarence

And during the week there was the report of a long-tail tuna, estimated at about 20kg taken off the beach at Wooli.

Fish are in large numbers in most of the gutters close to the edge of most of the beaches, with small snapper being taken from around the headlands.

And this week there was a confirmed report of a snapper, estimated to be a couple of kilo taken close to the slipway at Harwood.

Some 30 years ago when I began contributing this column, I was motivated to offer my services to the then editor because I was reading of big snapper being taken at Lawrence - which to me at that time meant the reporter knew very little about fishing conditions.

But perhaps I was wrong - for with the saltiness of the river at the moment and the need for rain, this could well have been the case.

One must fear though, then when the rain starts to fall, we may well be looking for it to stop.

Nevertheless, fishing continues, with good catches being taken by the boats able to go offshore

With the full moon over the weekend, as expected, big jewfish came on the bite - both in the estuary and off-shore.

Biggest weighed in was the 22.800kg catch by Andrew Collen of Yamba who fished off Lovers Point.

But Tahlia Causley of Gulmarrad who fished off the charter boat off the northern grounds returned with a fish of 15.500kg.

And in the estuary, Nick Campbell of Lawrence scored on the middle wall with a catch of 12.500kg.

Flathead are still being taken right throughout the system, with the best being taken from the sandflats in the vicinity of Freeburn Island, by Jason Burgess of Yamba - a fish of 2.850kg.

Fish swimming in the waters off of Iluka Bluff Beach.
Fish swimming in the waters off of Iluka Bluff Beach. Skye Matthaei
 

Geoff Clark of Grafton scored a mackerel tuna of 17.500kg on a live bait off Wooli, and there were also a lot of pearl perch on the bite as well.

On the north side, Geoff Head of Iluka fished in Shark Bay and scored a snapper of 3.068kg.

Still a little early in the season for the main run of blackfish, but Terry Daly of Yamba was able to suss some out and returned with a fish of 872g taken on cabbage weed on the Middle Wall.