Neville Poynting loves fishing off Flat Rock in Ballina.
Neville Poynting loves fishing off Flat Rock in Ballina.

Fisherman shares tales of wetting a line over 40 years

NEVILLE Poynting got his start in fishing after his father, a professional fisherman, had him jump on board a river boat at the age of six.

After returning from Sydney at the age of 40, he almost exclusively fished Flat Rock just north of Ballina.

And over 40 years of fishing Flat Rock, he said he has seen some incredible sights, including arriving one morning to a trawler washed up on the rocks.

He said he had seen grown men walk off Flat Rock with tears in their eyes after losing all their lures.

For Neville, the journey to snagging something at Flat Rock had not been straight forward, although he estimated he had caught hundreds of fish there in his time perfecting his art.

"When I first started to fish Flat Rock, there were a group of adult men who used to fish there most of the time and I always saw them catching big Jew fish (now called mulloway) all the time, but I could not catch one for love money," he said.

"I used to lose them all the time because I was fishing too light - a light line and fishing for smaller fish mostly, tailor and bream.

"But every now and then, you would hook a good (mulloway) but the line would break.

"After I came back from Sydney, I went back there fishing on Flat Rock.

"I started making lures at that stage and worked with them until I perfected them and then it was me who was catching all the fish, and the others couldn't do it.

"Maybe they (the fish) liked my lures better.

"I made some pretty good lures which worked really well and especially for that area where they had to be shallow swimmers because you're only fishing in a metre of water sometimes."

He said his best catch was on the north side of Flat Rock.

Neville Poynting loves fishing off Flat Rock in Ballina.
Neville Poynting loves fishing off Flat Rock in Ballina.

"One morning I went down there before daylight, had two throws and the first one was a 33-and-a-half kilogram (mulloway), and the second one was 26-and-a-half kilo (mulloway) so I came home - one in each arm up the beach and the rod tucked under the arm," he said.

He suggested if a north-easterly wind or northerly was blowing, fishing the southside of Flat Rock so as to have the wind behind you and the reverse for when the southerly blows.

He uses a 3.5 metre spinning rod.

Neville Poynting loves fishing off Flat Rock in Ballina.
Neville Poynting loves fishing off Flat Rock in Ballina.
Neville Poynting loves fishing off Flat Rock in Ballina.
Neville Poynting loves fishing off Flat Rock in Ballina.

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