Quality bream being caught using 'smelly' baits
THE RICHMOND is gradually clearing from the most recent fresh but most of the estuary action is still close to the ocean.
Moderate to fresh winds and a closely-spaced easterly swell of around two metres this weekend won't win many friends among offshore fishers and all local bars will require plenty of caution.
Add some heavy showers into the Saturday mix and you could be forgiven for wanting to stay home all weekend but there's still the chance of better weather and hungry fish on Sunday.
Squidgy at Ballina Bait and Tackle says the shakers and movers this week have been the quality bream working in the dirty water along the rock walls from the Ballina RSL downstream.
Fishos from the shore and afloat have been scoring good numbers of sizeable bream on smelly baits like mullet gut and flesh but the fish have also been taking soft plastics, blades and crankbaits so the lure casters have come out to play.
In the clear shallows of North Creek, bream, flathead and whiting have been taken on surface lures and you can expect the same sort of estuary action in the Brunswick and Evans rivers, too.
Out on the beaches, tailor, bream and flathead have been the main performers, along with increasing numbers of whiting and a few dart for those who have been able to secure a supply of beach worms.
Squidgy says those who ventured offshore during the week found snapper on the closer reefs and the 32 fathom line with amberjack, kings and big snapper, with bar cod and associated deep-water ooglies still accessible out wider before the current kicks in for the season.
Given the offshore forecast, perhaps it's better to go chasing bass.
Last weekend didn't provide the best conditions but there were still quite a few fish caught and released to kick off the new season.
Coraki to Woodburn provided most of the action with the major hot spots around the mouths of the drains. In the dirty water, spinner baits and spinner harnesses like the Beetle Spin with gold blades did the best, although surface lures accounted for some good action.
Hunter district farmer Mitchell Cone (six fish totalling 7.26kg) will now head to Lake Conroe, Texas, in November to represent Australia in the BASS Nation Championship with Garry Harman, the non-boater winner of the BASS Nation Australia grand final at Glenbawn Dam last weekend.
Adrian Melchior, of Ballina, was eighth in the boater's section with six fish for 6.13kg and Brett Hyde finished 21st in the non-boaters with two fish totalling 2.16kg.
Both Ballina fishos are now at Australian Bass Tournaments grand final this weekend.