DEDICATED: An angler puts in some hard yakka in the rain for the 2010 North Coast Fishing Bonanza at Ballina.
DEDICATED: An angler puts in some hard yakka in the rain for the 2010 North Coast Fishing Bonanza at Ballina. Jerad Williams

Fishos wait in hope on wind

WIND could be a game-changer for those fishing the Ballina Bonanza this weekend.

The best conditions are likely tomorrow before another southerly blows through on Sunday.

Those fishing offshore will have to pick their conditions and anyone contemplating heading wide will find a small window tomorrow to get out there. Latest indications are that the current isn't very strong

Squidgy at Ballina Bait and Tackle says there are snapper on the 32-fathom line with squire and the odd big red around 8kg. Kings and amberjack are out wider, along with pearl perch.

On the closer reefs there have been snapper and jew, but neither in great numbers. Bream in the lower reaches of the Richmond are mostly just over or under the legal 25cm and they're all the way to Broadwater.

There are school flathead from Ballina to Wardell, where there are also school jew up to about 85cm being taken on live herring.

The big female flathead (over 55cm) are yet to head downstream for spawning but if you do encounter one, you should resist the urge to kill it for glory and just measure, photograph and release it so it can get on with making more baby flatties.

Blackfish are hanging on, taking weed at the usual spots like Prospect Bridge and the Burns Point ferry approach but the numbers are well down on their peak.

Whiting are in the North Creek with a few good flat

head from the airport upstream but it could get crowded in there this weekend, Squidgy says.

Emigrant Creek has estuary perch and school jew, mostly under the legal 45cm.

Dart are turning up on the beaches, moving in with the whiting, bream and chopper tailor.


IF you're going to be fishing all day at this time of year it's essential to cover up.

Most fishos are getting the message, with plenty of good sun-wise shirts, long pants and hats getting around.

But it's still vital to slap sunscreen on your exposed bits, like face, hands and feet. But forget to reapply at least every two hours and you end up singed red.

A few years ago I got pretty keen on the Buff multi-functional headwear and it certainly offers full protection.

But the fabric can be uncomfortably tight over the face - and you tend to look like a bank robber!

Enter the latest incarnation of the Adapt-a-Cap, from Byron Bay company Sun Protection Australia.

It fits loosely over the face and neck and has a long, shady peak.

A drawstring tightens to raise the cool, light UPF 50 fabric so that once you're wearing sunglasses, your whole head has full sun protection, yet the slightest breeze blows through.

It's adjustable enough to suit any situation and could be the best $33 you spend this summer. Cool!

Grants close today

Applications for the Habitat Action Grant Program close today at 5pm. Grants of up to $40,000 are available for individuals and community groups to fund projects which rehabilitate fish habitat.

If you've timed your run too late, there'll likely be a further round available next year so visit to get an idea of what is involved and start thinking about your project.

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