NUMBERING UP: Dozens of juvenile great white sharks like this one have been taking smart drumlines from Lennox Head to Evans Head this month.
NUMBERING UP: Dozens of juvenile great white sharks like this one have been taking smart drumlines from Lennox Head to Evans Head this month.

Dozens of baby white sharks caught on drumlines

White frights

THIS area has to be baby white shark central at the moment, with dozens of juvenile great whites taking smart drumlines from Lennox Head to Evans Head this month.

May-June was relatively quiet for the contractors but they're earning their money now, measuring, tagging and unhooking what seems to be a new cohort of baby whites, from 1.7m to 2.7m long.

Remember that when you're about to land that snapper or when you're leaning over the gunwale reviving that big red you're about to release.

I guess we can expect some bigger whites as well as they follow the whales back south over the next couple of months.

Get out before the swell

TOMORROW provides the pick of the weather because, for the first time in a while, we're expecting 4.5-metre southerly swells by Monday.

The beaches, offshore reefs and the estuaries are all fishing well so get out there for a feed while you can.

Offshore, the snapper have been doing their thing from the shallows to out wide, although the leatherjacket scourge continues unabated from about 32 fathoms.

The beaches are producing quality bream and patches of tailor, along with the odd flathead.

The tailor have varied in size from throwback choppers (under 30cm) to some hefty greenbacks of 3kg and more, with the bigger fish grabbing salted bonito strips after dark.

The drought is doing the fish in the Richmond plenty of favours, with water of a clarity not seen for years allowing fish to move at will.

Leigh at Ballina Bait and Tackle says flathead have been the major stars, with Wardell to Pimlico the hot stretch of river.

I can attest to finding a few right up to Woodburn this week and have rarely seen them fatter. Their fillets had an almost opalescent sheen and were almost creamy inside their crispy tempura batter.

Leigh says the bream have their appetites back after spawning and are feeding along the rock walls and out on the breakwalls and ocean rocks.

Blackfish numbers have picked up around their usual haunts but good weed bait remains hard to get. Luckily, cabbage is going OK.

Some decent-sized school mulloway have been taken from the RSL down to the Bream Hole, with quality fish of 15kg very welcome.

The one-fish bag limit comes in at the end of the month.

An early run of whiting is moving in around the river mouth, too.

Estuary perch are still on the bite in the creeks and the main river, with bass up above them.

The closed season applies to both species until September 1.

And if the drought persists, Leigh says, there might be a return to the good old days when blue swimmer crabs moved into the clear waters of the Richmond in spring.

Dress up, bob up

THESE icy mornings we tend to dress in plenty of layers to keep warm, although there's still the odd - and I mean odd - hero wandering around in shorts and a T-shirt when it's 3° - you know who you are!

It's worth thinking about what would happen if you fell in. With so many layers, there's a good chance you would take some time to surface and if you were wearing waders, you'd go straight to the bottom.

If you have a comfortable lifejacket, it's worth putting it on over the top of everything you're wearing, meaning you'd bob straight up if you did go in.

And that lifejacket also provides an extra layer of warmth.

While we're on the subject of safety, that red coily length of plastic on your outboard tiller or remote control is also a worthy item to consider attaching to your lifejacket, belt or wrist, particularly if you're boating alone.

It's as good as a lifeline if you happen to get thrown overboard. It stops the engine, you climb back in, re-attach it and you're away. Beats floating there while your boat drives away from you or, worse still, circles back at speed and runs you over.



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