It has been a wet and windy spring as far as the Manning River is concerned. The winds have varied from west to southeast and have been very strong at times.
However the sudden storms in the headwaters of the Manning have had the greatest effect on the river.
These storms have not covered a great area of the headwaters of the Manning and have only affected one tributary at a time but they have kept a stream of dirty water flowing down the river.
The Manning has not completely cleared since the opening of the bass season.
This water has helped to stir up the flathead in the lower reaches of the river and it is the earliest that they have come on the bite that I can remember.
No doubt this summer will be a beauty for the flathead anglers of the district.
With the consistent surges of fresh water coming down the river the bream have been mostly kept in the lower parts of the river.
Consequently, good catches are being made from the retaining walls at the mouth of the river.
Yabbies and cut baits have been getting the best results with fish to 800g the average catch. Occasional fish to 1kg have been caught.
Flathead are being caught on plastics and hardbodied lures as well as yabbies, prawns and fish baits.
Luderick are plentiful in the river at present with the best catches being made at night on live yabbies fished on an unweighted hook.
There are quite a few school jew in the river along the sea wall. These fish range from 2kg to 3.5kg with the occasional fish going 10kg.
The fishing has got better and better since the middle of spring and all bodes well for an exciting summer on the water.
Tailor and salmon can be caught on bait and lures from Harrington and Crowdy beaches.
The salmon are up to 3.5kg and the best tailor go just over 1kg whole.
Some bream have turned up on the southern end of Harrington beach and are taking baits of beach worms.
School jew are also taking beach worms from the southern end of the beach.
Drummer catches are improving from the rocks at Crowdy Head but care must be taken as the seas have been fairly rough.
Fishing has been a little quiet for the last couple of weeks but a few quality catches have been made.
Snapper to 3kg have been weighed and pearl perch have been caught from the northern grounds.
Some good kings have been jigged in 60 fathoms of water east of Crowdy Head and flathead are still to be caught on the drift.
Thankfully the leather jackets have just about deserted the area and boaties will be spared the onerous task of re-rigging after every attack by the jackets.
November will be a time of great promise for the estuary angler.
The flathead seem to be early this year and if the other species that call the river home over December, January and February follow the trend set by the flathead then all estuary anglers can rejoice.Reads: 1321