Shaws Bay, Ballina.
Shaws Bay, Ballina.

Enforce laws and leave Shaws Bay open to responsible anglers

SHOULD Shaws Bay be a marine sanctuary?

There's certainly been some interesting marine life in there over the years, swimming in waters filtered by hundreds of tonnes of breakwall boulders.

Mighty mulloway and trevally of 20kg and more, 10kg-plus mangrove jacks and tremendous tailor of 8kg and more have been caught - and often released again.

These monsters must have swum through the rocks as babies and prospered, along with a few more exotic species from the tropics such as coral-dwelling chaetodons, coral fish, wrasses and the like.

But it's doubtful whether declaring the place a sanctuary would stop morons from breaking the law. They need to be caught and punished.

The idiots who recently killed the estuary cod would have suffered if caught, regardless of the protection status of Shaws Bay. It is illegal to possess an estuary cod in New South Wales.

Enforce the fisheries regulations and there's really little need to tie up these areas as sanctuaries.

Halve bag limits if it looks like overfishing is a problem, but don't slap a ban on the whole place for the actions of a few dickheads.

Do-gooders would do better by addressing stormwater runoff, which increases the bay's sedimentation and reduces water quality after heavy rain.

WITH THE wind dropping away nicely, tomorrow looks like being the pick of the weekend to wet a line, although a rising easterly swell spells caution on the bars.

The high tide could play two important roles this weekend. The morning high should help conditions on the river entrances but once the ebb gets going and the pressure waves form up, the run back through the bar could become hairy.

There's been a fair amount of dirty water coming from the rivers but at high tide the close-in water is clear enough to bring on the mackerel.

Mackerel remain common on closer reefs, with spotties starting to pick up.

Mahi mahi have been common on the FADs and on some days they have been in very close indeed - less than a kilometre from shore.

Brett at Ballina Bait and Tackle says there have been some decent tailor at Seven Mile Beach, with tarwhine, bream and dart regular captures on most beaches.

The whiting have gone quiet in the river but should pick up as the moon grows and increases the tidal run.

There have been plenty of mudcrabs most places and a few blue swimmers in the clear water.

Flathead are popular from Burns Point to Broadwater.

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