Estuary primed for action
  |  First Published: November 2008

The Manning has experienced a marvellous build-up: A nice fresh has coloured the river and has brought the bream down to the mouth of the estuary.

The prawns have also shifted downstream and good quantities of small green prawns have been netted.

Flathead are taking baits and plastics in the upstream areas and luderick are in numbers along the retaining walls. November should be the right time to catch a bag of fish in the estuary.

There are also some nice school jewfish from a couple of kilos to 10kg to be caught from the sea wall on soft plastics, especially around the change of the tide. At these times the water is not moving very fast and it is easier to control your lure.

The big flathead move down the river to the mouth to spawn in December and January and by the middle of November they should be appearing along the weed beds near Chinamens Point and the up-river parts of the retaining wall. Live bait fished on a bobby cork rig is the best way to ensure a hook-up on a big flathead.

If you take your time once you hook a big flattie, it is possible to get it into shallow water and release it without any damage. The big flathead are the females and can hold up to a million eggs – a good reason to release them so there will be more little flathead next year.


The beaches are slowly regaining their formations after being flattened by the many southerlies during the Winter. Tailor have moved north and only the occasional fish has been caught lately.

Salmon are plentiful and easy to catch. They are not good eating fish except when used in fish cakes, so it is much better to release them to fight another day rather than leave them in a pile on the beach.

There are some nice bream to be caught in the washes on Harrington and Crowdy beaches. Beach worms and pipis will take fish.


Bonito have turned up around the close reefs and are easy to catch on trolled lures. They make great bait for snapper, jew and all bottom species.

Snapper, trag, flathead and pearl perch have been showing up in the catches of boat anglers. By November, slimies and yakkas should be around in numbers and these fish make great live bait.

The prospects for November look great with river and outside fishing being the best options for the keen angler.

Jonah Gagnuss with a shore-based jewie taken on a soft plastic.

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