Rivers now full of life

WE mightn’t have had much rain for the past couple of months but from the headwaters to the mouth, the rivers are in excellent condition and full of life.

With so much rain in the first six months of the year, it’s no surprise that the water table is still quite high and the rivers are still maintaining a good flow.

That’s been good news for the bass, which have been able to negotiate sections of the rivers where in drier seasons they’ve had trouble with water depth and quality.

With the river bass season now well and truly open, there have been some reasonable catch-and-release sessions in the lower reaches and probably more fun up around the tidal limit, with the fish using the excellent conditions to move quickly upstream.

All the usual lure types have been working, from crankbaits to spinnerbaits, vibes and topwaters – find a patch of fish and they’ll be hungry and co-operative.

Just remember that even though we’re now legally able to keep two per day, these fish are excellent candidates for catch-and-release.

Farther down the systems, flathead and bream seem to be the major players with some reasonable catches of both around Ballina, Brunswick Heads and Evans Head.

The warmer the days become, the more flat-head we can expect to catch and the more likely the bream will begin to disperse through the estuary system.

Jewfish seem to have been major players in the lead-up to the full moon this evening, with good catches of some quality fish to about 20kg from the inshore reefs and around the walls, beaches and headlands.

There also seem to some fair to middling school jew heading upstream in the Richmond although some might not make the 45cm legal size.

Blackfish also have been co-operating in all their usual haunts, like the Porpoise Wall and the western approach to Prospect Bridge, with green and black weed baits doing the damage.

There have been some fair to middling hauls of snapper leading up to the moon, with talk of a 10kg fish caught off Lennox Head.

However, it’s rare to catch even a handful of reds in a morning within a day or so of the full moon, with only a faint possibility of scoring any after dark, either.

Tailor, bream and dart have made up the majority of the captures from the beaches; find the schools of pilchards and you should do reasonably well.

I don’t know about the beach where you fish but on those where I wet a line, the ghost crabs have started to reappear after their winter hibernation, with fresh burrows everywhere.

And that includes on beaches where quite often there are more four-wheel-drives than walkers. Maybe the sky hasn’t fallen in on the ghosties just yet.

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