Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Swells a Nag to Anglers

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Swells a Nag to Anglers

Article excerpt

OFF-SHORE anglers could well be hard done by this holiday weekend.

Swells topping two metres have been the norm for more than a week and show no signs of abating.

That's a shame because the ocean water is a warm 25 degrees and the current is pushing down strongly a ideal for surface fish.

But the bars at Ballina, Evans Head and Brunswick Heads are likely to be very dodgy, with the extra flow of the spring tides over the next few days adding to the wave heights and creating strong pressure waves that make it difficult to steer an underpowered vessel.

The swell is coming from the east-south-east, meaning all local bars are open to its full force, so anyone realistically contemplating heading offshore should have a big, heavy, high-powered boat and be very experienced at crossing local bars.

Wearing a lifejacket is compulsory when negotiating bars in NSW and if you're planning on taking your five-metre tinny with the 70hp outboard offshore this weekend, good luck, you'll probably test out that lifejacket.

I'd be wearing a full foam model rather than an inflatable, too. You mightn't get time to pull the inflation cord once you're in the drink.

The open ocean rocks will also experience plenty of turbulent water so rock anglers should also be extra vigilant.

Squidgy at Ballina Bait and Tackle says there have been good catches of tailor and school jew at Boulder Beach and Flat Rock but Flat Rock is not a safe place to be in the wrong swell and the Iron Peg up the road is worse.

Luckily the breakwalls at Ballina are also turning up school jew on worms and squid, with tailor taking pilchards and lures on the surf sides of north and south wall. Legal size for tailor is 30cm and there's a bag limit of 20 but it's pointless to keep more than you can eat in the next day or so because these fish don't freeze well, especially the small ones. …

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