Stick to the rivers if you're fishing this weekend.
Stick to the rivers if you're fishing this weekend. Liana Turner

Fishos: Stick to the rivers - you'll be rewarded

TWENTY-KNOT winds and big southerly swells will restrict weekend fishing to the rivers, but that's not a bad thing.

Especially on the run-up tide, there's plenty to keep bait and lure fishos occupied and rewarded.

Bream are hitting their straps in the final few kilometres of the Richmond, Evans and Brunswick rivers, while you'll find flathead schooling farther upstream.

There are even still a few whiting around, basking on the sandflats in the creeks and tributaries and hitting poppers when it suits them.

School mulloway are up as far as Wardell and probably further.

White fright

TERRY Selwood's hair-raising experience with a great white in the cockpit off Evans Head last Saturday isn't as uncommon as you might think.

He's only lucky that it was a "small” one.

It could have been the 3.9m female great white caught on a smart drumline off Airforce Beach on Tuesday afternoon. That one brought to 98 the number of individual great whites tagged and released under the program in 18 months.

But Mossel Bay, near Cape Town, South Africa, seems to be ground zero for airborne attacks by whites.

In July 2011, one about 3m long jumped into an 8m marine research boat. The cockpit was quickly vacated and the shark was lifted out by crane, revived and released.

There's a clip on YouTube of a similar sized white threshing about on the fore deck of a tourist cruiser before flipping through the bow rail. That was in 2008 in the same place.

The shark that jumped into Terry Selwood's boat while he was fishing off Evans Head.
The shark that jumped into Terry Selwood's boat while he was fishing off Evans Head.

And although I couldn't find it online, I recall reading in one of the US saltwater magazines about a fisho in the 1990s who survived several hours pinned beneath a 5m-plus white that lobbed into the cockpit of a game boat off Cape Town.

They had to tow the boat back to port and use a crane to lift the dead shark off him. He had massive internal injuries and countless fractures but survived after a long stay in hospital.

The story quickly got around Narooma in the late 1970s when local "celebrity” 5m great white Lily (white - geddit?) slid between the motors of Wayne McConachy's Shark Cat.

She slid back in and shortly after, the boys broke the speed record back from Montague Island.

My own feeble effort to join this unenviable club came in the late 1980s down near the South Evans Reef.

Chris Hensley, of Monaltrie, and I were handlining kilo snapper two at a time on paternoster rigs when I felt one get off the hook half-way back to the boat.

I was a bit miffed when I lifted up just the front half of a 3kg snapper.

"Cop this,” I said, dangling the still twitching red above the gunwale.

Chris turned pale but he was looking past me, into the water.

There it was, about 2.5m of two-tone shark, its pointy head out of the water, pectoral fins fanning, mouth agape like a begging dog.

I bit through the 24kg nylon as if it were fine cotton and dropped the rest of the fish into the water.

The shark turned and chased after it and we kept catching fish without losing any to the "tax man”.

I got a look at the triangular teeth in its mouth and the pointed snout and called it for a mako at the time but it may well have been a white.

Pairing shelved

THE ABC reports that the company behind the pair-trawling operation for slimy mackerel and jack mackerel has shelved its plans - for now.

Muollo Fishing was proposing to run South Coast-based 31m Saxon Onward and the 35m Lukina II with a trawl net between them to take advantage of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority's massive quota increase.

Muollo has opted for a single-boat alternative - for now.


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