Bruce at Dave’s Bait Shop in Ballina says things are looking up, especially offshore and from the headlands and beaches.

Tailor have been excellent movers this week, with a quite decent run of good fish of 2-3kg, mainly around the northern headlands. Whiting and flathead going well along most beaches.

Hooray and at last, Black Head (that’s the headland at the northern end of Shelly beach) this morning (Fri) produced good numbers of Spanish mackerel to 25kg, or you could try around the 32-fathom reefs for snapper and pearlies.

In the river, the whiting should improve around Pimlico Island on the bigger tides this week, with some promising catches in the lower river along the Town Reach and in North Creek.

Flathead going reasonably well along the Porpoise Wall and upstream of the Burns Point ferry, with small school jew from ferry to Pimlico and Wardell.

A murky onshore slop at Evans Head and the bar is filthy and shallow, even at high tide.

It won’t change until we get a decent southerly and although there’s a change forecast for Monday, it mightn’t be enough to shift the sand.

Only a handful of boats have braved the bar for a week with not a great deal to show for it but the news of mackerel off Ballina might spark a few more skippers to risk it.

Plenty of whiting and dart on the beaches, with good numbers of hard-gut mullet starting to show in the shorebreak, so there’s the chance of a jewie or a noah in the gutters after dark.

The odd school jew and bream around the headlands with very patchy tailor.

Tony Zann