It has been a rather wet and windy few weeks on the Mid North Coast. Heavy rain in the lower parts of the Manning system saturated the ground and filled up all the swamps and creeks so when a smallish flood in the upper reaches of the river occurred, it turned into a decent flood once it hit around Taree.
The flooding was not so bad further down the river because the Lansdowne area did not experience the same rainfall.
The river was very dirty and although it has started to clear at the mouth, the upstream areas up to Wingham will take many weeks to clear.
For a few days there was no action in the lower parts of the Manning because the water was extremely dirty and fresh but as the seawater began to push into the river under the dirty fresh water, some good bream came on the bite.
Fish to 1.3kg were being caught as the river slowly cleared. Mullet strips, yabbies and mullet gut were the best baits to use on the run-in tide.
Other species have been scarce and until the river clears then it will be bream only. Luderick are due to move into the river and as soon as the water clears they will be on the bite, taking green weed during the day and fresh yabbies at night.
Jewfish have not shown up since the flood and they are not on the beaches or around the headlands, so we will have to wait for them to come back to our area.
The heavy seas and big swells have seriously eroded our beaches. In some parts of Crowdy Beach the high tides reach further west than at any time since the beach was mined for mineral sand.
It is safe to drive the beach on low tide but when the tide is high it is very easy to get caught and have to spend a few hours waiting for the tide to recede.
Even though the seas have been big and there has been plenty of wind and rain there have been some good fish caught from the beaches.
Bream over a kilo have been taken from Crowdy Beach on mullet strips and occasional good tailor around 1.5kg have been landed on pilchards.
Salmon can be caught almost at will on most baits and lures. There are lots of small fish of just over a kilo and a few larger ones up to 3.5kg.
Outside boats have been scoring good snapper to 5kg around Mermaid Reef and some pearl perch further out to sea.
Flathead are back to their best and it is easy to get a feed by drifting over the sand patches a couple of miles offshore. There are still a few bonito to be caught on trolled lures and these fish make great bait for a variety of species.
The estuary is probably the most rewarding place to fish in August. Bream and luderick will be on the bite and they can be caught day and night.
The beaches will have plenty of chopper tailor as well as salmon up to 4kg.
On the rocks drummer will be on the bite after spawning and can be caught on cunjevoi, prawns and bread. The occasional big blue groper will take this type of bait and will provide a few minutes of action if you are lucky to land one.Reads: 473