Lifejackets will be compulsory in some parts of the Northern Rivers.
Lifejackets will be compulsory in some parts of the Northern Rivers. Susanna Freymark

The fishing spots where you must now wear a lifejacket

RICHMOND VALLEY Council has become the first local government body outside Sydney to implement the Rock Fishing Safety Act, requiring Evans Head rock fishers to wear lifejackets when fishing or helping others fish off rocks.

Information at this stage is scarce, but it appears those who fish off rocks at Evans Head will now be required to wear appropriate lifejackets, in particular AS4758-approved models.

Nor is it clear at this stage just what rocks are classified under this Act, such as the north and south Evans breakwalls and the coffee rocks at Broadwater Beach.

The Government has implemented the Act, on trial in Sydney's Randwick area for two years, and Northern Beaches Council in Sydney and Richmond Valley have opted in to the Act.

Police, with support from council rangers, DPI Fisheries officers and National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers are authorised to enforce the Act and will provide information on safe rock fishing.

Fines for not wearing a lifejacket will apply in both new locations following a six-month advisory period.

DPI is working with a number of other councils to participate.

More than 70 rock fishers have died in Australia in the past five years, none of them at Evans Head. It is doubtful if there has been a rock fishing fatality at Evans Head this century.


Current draws closer

STILL the north-easters roll on and the big dry continues, although a feeble weekend change could push the wind around to the east and over 10 knots.

The big news this week is a huge push from the East Australia Current, which would have almost reached the shore in a couple of places were it not for the afternoon north-easters turning over cool water.

Out beyond the continental shelf, the water is hitting 28° and black marlin action off the Gold Coast has gone ballistic, with Ross McCubbin's Lucky Strike Charters tagging 17 in a couple of days.

Off Evans Head, there was clean blue water racing south only a mile or two from shore and abundant baitfish mid-week but, try as we might, we couldn't raise any pelagic predators.

They can't be far away, with reports of good Spanish mackerel and mega-cobia off the Tweed.

With new moon on Monday, it would be worth a shot for baby black marlin from about the 36-fathom line, especially if you can find some bait schools.

Otherwise try the FADs for mahimahi.

Nothing much has changed in the estuaries although the crabs seem to have improved somewhat in the Richmond and its tributary creeks, and in the upper reaches of the Brunswick and Evans rivers.

More run in the tides should also suit the whiting fishers.


Savage fibreglass recall

IF you own one of the 80 Savage 645C, 655C and 655C Hardtop boats sold between June 2012 and April 2017, don't use it and contact your nearest Savage dealer immediately.

According to the voluntary recall notice issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the bow area of these fibreglass hulls could show gelcoat crazing below the cabin area which "may weaken over time to a point where the fibreglass structure could crack", allowing water into the boat and perhaps sinking it.

Owners should immediately stop using their boats and email or phone 07 5585 9898 during office hours to find the location of the nearest Savage dealer.

"If the defect relating to hull structure is identified the hull will be returned to Telwater for further evaluation," the recall notice says. "The defect will be rectified or a replacement product offered if rectification is not possible."

A list of hull identification numbers is at or the ACCC website.