Dusk and dawn high tides make for good fishing

THERE ARE better times ahead over the weekend, with high tides coinciding with dawn and dusk and still a great mix of supper species and a few autumn ones.

Spotted mackerel and the odd Spanish remain active over the close reefs, with cricket-score catches one day and soccer scores the next. Live bait helps, especially slimy mackerel if you can find them.

You could also try ripping small lead slugs up through the water column, especially if you're around the schools of anchovies that have been prolific inshore lately.

Don't be surprised if that lure is grabbed by a tuna, there have been plenty about including mack tuna, longtails, stripies, Watson's leaping bonito and even peanut yellowfin.

And if you fight them for too long they're likely to become shark food.

Fortunately the bottom fish like snapper, flathead, tuskfish and pearl perch remain in good numbers and there are still mahimahi around the FADs.

There has been a reasonable run of tailor from most beaches and headlands and they should come back in as the current southerly change subsides.

The heavy showers could discolour the Richmond further but the rising tide, even though it's a pretty small high, should add some cleaner water.

Bream are active in the lower river with flathead from Pimlico to Wardell.

Tournament winners

TAREE gun angler Kris Hickson pocketed more than $2000 when he won the Spotters Richmond River BASS Pro tournament, held at Coraki last weekend.

Adrian Melchior, of Ballina, took home $1200 for second and Joey Urquhart, formerly of Casino, was third. Tony Neal won the non-boater section.

Having run tournaments on dams for the past 15 years, this event was the first run by Australian Bass Tournaments on a tidal river.

A total of 26 boats from NSW and Queensland fished the event.

Brett Hyde of Ballina was ninth in the non-boater, enough to put him 16th in the angler of the year rankings and rate him No 1 non-boater in the ABT.

There's more competitive bassing when the Bass Nation Tackle Tactics Wilson River Rumble kicks off on April 23 with prefishing from the Thursday. HQ will be at the boat ramp in Lismore.

OzFish meeting

THE RICHMOND River chapter of OzFish Australia will meet at 5pm on Tuesday in the meeting room at the Lakeside Caravan Park, East Ballina.

Everyone with an interest in reversing the decline of the Richmond River is welcome. For more information email ozfish.rich.chap@gmail.com. View the national website at www.ozfish.org.au.

Ciguatera alert

FISHERIES has renewed its alert on eating large mackerel following new cases of ciguatera poisoning down the coast.

The NSW Food Authority advises fishers to avoid eating Spanish mackerel above 10kg because they could contain toxic levels of the microorganism.

The authority says three people were poisoned after eating a large Spanish mackerel caught by rec fishers off Crowdy Head last month and another was affected after eating mackerel caught off Crescent Head a week ago.

The fish involved were 20kg and a whopping 40kg.

Fisheries also recently busted two seafood business owners and a commercial fisher around South West Rocks for selling illegal Spanish mackerel.

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