Long weekend looking good on weather and fishing. Enjoy!

IT LOOKS like the planets are aligning and, for a change, the weather gods will smile on our holiday long weekend.

Sunburn seems to be the major threat to a good time, so take precautions.

If you're after flathead this weekend, go easy on the big mummas that are likely to be spawning right now.

There were some monsters caught and photographed (and mostly released) during the Ballina Bonanza last weekend and we need every last one of these big egg-laying females to do their job of making plenty of little flathead in the future.

Plenty of people are shaking their heads about the lack of a flathead slot limit in the revised rec fishing laws to come in next month.

Queensland has one to protect the breeding female flatties and NSW just saw fit to introduce one for Murray cod, so the bureaucrats must think it is a working theory.

I've also heard from some fishos seeking a slot limit for snapper - remember them? Actually there are a few about lately, along with cobia and teraglin, and with the latest cold flush of water inshore the results over the reefs could be promising this weekend if the bars are OK.

Mick Endres in his boat, Julie.
Mick Endres in his boat, Julie. Jamie Brown

Solo boating

BIG Mick Endres had a touching farewell at the Evans Head boat harbour last weekend after his disappearance offshore three weeks ago.

On occasions the air could turn a comic shade of blue over his blue boat out on the reefs but he always had a kind word for everyone back on terra firma.

While not in any way pre-empting an investigation into his disappearance, there are a number of ways to limit the dangers of solo recreational boating.

Wearing a lifejacket is one, and it is compulsory when boating solo in vessels under 4.8 metres.

Get one that's comfortable enough to wear and you'll soon get used to it.

'Solo' can also mean when accompanied by people under 18 who don't hold a boating licence.

If you happen to fall in and you're alone, it's a good plan to have an easy way of getting back aboard, such as a ladder or step system.

And under way, it's worth being connected to the kill switch lanyard - the red coily thing connected to the engine.

You part company with the boat while wearing this and the engine stops.

Maybe it's not the safest thing to be tied to while crossing a rough bar with others aboard who can operate the boat should you be thrown out, but in most other circumstances, especially when alone, it's a real failsafe item.


APOLOGIES for foul-ups with the 'todays and tomorrows' in my report last week on the Ballina Bonanza. The dates were accurate when they left my computer but changed by a remorseful sub-editor.

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