There's a full moon on the rise ... and the fish are biting
A MILD southerly change tomorrow afternoon, a full moon popping above the horizon at 7pm and a tide change just after dark - it should be a recipe for some interesting fishing.
Mulloway often become active at such times and while there aren't a great number about at the moment, these conditions could give you a decent chance at one.
A moderate east-south-easterly swell should be okay for the beach or the breakwalls but the Ballina and Brunswick river bars could get quite tricky coming home in the dark, so offshore probably isn't on the cards unless the Evans River bar is okay and the wind isn't too bad.
The beach and breakwall mulloway like a live bait - if you can get one - but an extremely fresh slab of tailor, mullet or even blackfish has been the undoing of plenty, too.
A large octopus is also a great estuary/rocks jewie bait.
There should also be active mulloway in the deeper parts of the Richmond up to Wardell.
Live herring, mullet or a medium soft plastic, soft lipless or diving lure will do the trick.
Remember, the bag limit is two fish per person and the minimum size is 70cm.
The bigger tides this weekend should also get the mud crabs on the move.
Brett at Ballina Bait and Tackle says they haven't been great so far this season but their time is approaching.
The same goes for whiting, which are improving in size and numbers in the lower Richmond, Brunswick and Evans estuaries and they love the run of the bigger tides to help them dislodge tasty critters from the river bed.
THE Ballina FAD has reportedly moved about 1.5km south on the current - or on the bow of a ship.
At least let's hope it's still at its new site because not a lot of boats have been out that way this week because of the weather.
The last barrier
IT'S great that the Kyogle Council has picked up another award for its fish ladder that connects the Richmond to all of its headwaters upstream.
It's a credit to the council, the local fishing club, Fisheries and all involved, and it looks like being the baseline design for a new generation of native fishways along the coast.
But the circle of fish migration on the Richmond won't be really complete until the salmonid-style fish ladder on the Jabour Weir at Casino is replaced with one of this superior design, which is far more favourable to the passage of native species.
The existing Jabour ladder was refreshed a few years ago with new baffles and a covered top, but its dated design is more suitable to agile trout and salmon than bass, mullet and other natives.
It's a far steeper climb and migrating fish face far stronger flows to negotiate it than they do throughout the rest of their travels.
DON'T go looking for a quiet weekend at Toonumbar Dam, it's time for the Kyogle Fishing Club's Bass Classic.
The Bells Bay HQ, ramp and camp ground will be a hive of activity and there is extra camping available at the dam wall.
Don't forget, a no dogs policy is now in place.
Marine estate feedback
THE Marine Estate Management Authority wants public feedback on the draft Marine Estate Management Strategy by December 8.
The draft outlines the co-ordinated, evidence-based approach required to manage the priority threats to the marine estate over the next decade.
The draft strategy identified management priorities based on the findings of the statewide threat and risk assessment.
A monitoring program for the marine estate is also being developed.
That will address the main environmental, social, economic and cultural knowledge gaps in the NSW marine estate.
Go to www.marine.nsw.gov.au for details.