The fishing has been surprisingly good for this time of the year and can only get better the closer we get to Christmas.
This month we usually catch more big jew than earlier in the year, with fish over 25kg likely. In past years it was nothing to weigh three or four big fish in a week but now if you score a couple in a solid week’s fishing then you have done very well.
The rocks and the beaches on the southern sides of the headlands seem to be the most productive spots, with three days before the full moon and two days after the full the most productive.
The dark of the moon is the next-best time to fish.
Having said that, any high slack water or low slack water can produce fish.
It is best to fish from the headlands where you can put a bait in the path of the fish coming away from the beach and going back to the cave on the headland where they congregate between tides.
There is one cave in our area that sometimes houses 150 jew at a time. They are not there all the time but when they are, it is easy to hook a big fish by timing your outing just before high tide to two hours after the tide.
The jew usually hunt along the beaches south of the headland and come back to their cave after the high tide.
Fresh squid, squid heads, tailor fillets, the front half of a tailor, a mullet or any fish that is around the beaches in numbers will make a good bait. Use a 10/0 or a 12/0 hook. Jewfish have big mouths.
The Manning River has fished much better than expected in recent weeks. Big schools of luderick are moving up the river and can be seen on high tide when the clear sea water moves in.
Flathead are taking soft plastics further up the river around the various bridges and some bream have also been caught.
On the walls at the mouth some nice bream have been taken on bait, with fish to 1.5kg possible.
Small school jew to 3kg have been caught from the walls on beach worms and cut baits.
Tailor and salmon have been caught from Harrington and Crowdy beaches. Sometimes lures will produce a bag of fish, other times it is pilchard baits that fill the creel.
School jew are being caught on beach worms.
The headlands are starting to fish well for rock blackfish (black drummer). These fish have not yet spawned and it could be a couple of months before it happens.
Offshore, snapper have been rather quiet although the occasional decent catch has been made.
Flathead are plentiful and there are heaps of leatherjackets to make you look for new ground.
Bonito can be taken on trolled lures and a few kings have been jigged wide of Crowdy Head.
This month fishing is changing from Winter mode to Spring. The tailor are increasing in numbers and the occasional big lizard is appearing towards the mouth of the estuary.
Luderick are plentiful in the estuary and pigs and groper can be caught from the rocks.Reads: 5738