Good fishing forecast for this weekend, despite weather

THE HOLIDAY weekend weather might start out pretty ordinary but don't despair, improvement is on the way.

The 20-knot winds forecast for tomorrow should abate but the swell will stay close to two metres for the foreseeable, and is tipped to swing around to the east.

That means most of the beaches, headlands and river bars will have the kind of whitewater and waves that rock, beach and offshore anglers should be very wary of.

Although the full moon was on Wednesday, there's still plenty of movement in the tides, so take care.

Brett at Ballina Bait and Tackle says the river has been fishing quite well, with mulloway terrorising the mullet schools behind the CBD after dark and quality bream taking plastics, hardbodies and blades from the ferry down to the Porpoise Wall.

Flathead are moving upstream now, with good numbers of lizards from Pimlico to Broadwater and beyond.

Offshore, it's a case of 'you shoulda been here last weekend', when just about anything that can be caught in these waters was caught. Snapper, mulloway, mackerel, samson, amberjack, tuskfish, pearl perch, flathead, kingfish and plenty more slid over the cleaning tables.

The weather and the water this weekend are nowhere near as promising.


Rock lifejackets

THE lifejacket issue for rock fishers is a real canof worms.

Lifejackets have saved many rock fishers' lives and will save plenty more.

Should they be compulsory?

When? At all times? On all non-sand ocean-facing venues on the entire coast?

Or at specified rock fishing venues only, especially those with a record of fatalities?

At all times or only during periods when the swell is gazetted by the Weather Bureau as dangerous or powerful or deceptive?

And what kind of lifejacket?

It's not cut and dried by any means.

Suffice to say that if it's needed, any lifejacket is better than none.


Where she blows?

WHEN I was preparing last week's column, I wrote an item that there ended up being no space for.

It was about not having seen a single whale this season, despite spending a considerable number of hours out on the 'whale highway' three nautical miles offshore in 35-40 metres of water.

This time last year we were fishing amid large pods of the beasties and having to keep an eye out for them at all times.

Then last Friday off Evans Head we saw a humpback breeching, and those fishing last weekend said they encountered quite a few more.


August Snapper Classic

THE Dave Irvine Memorial Snapper Classic was a regular Queen's Birthday weekend event but has now been transferred to August 21-23, with a new host venue.

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