Bream time on the Manning
  |  First Published: June 2012

It has been a much cooler Autumn than usual and this has impacted on the fish species that normally arrive on this part of the coast from March to May.

Tailor have been intermittent in their arrival on the coast and still have not turned up in the numbers that are usual for this time of year.

It may be argued that the non-arrival of the schools of baitfish in their usual numbers was the cause of the tailor being late and this is true, but then the cooler weather could have affected the baitfish as well.

Some of the mullet ran early, when the first westerly winds kicked, in and the first school netted had 400 boxes of fish in it. It will be interesting to see what the final tally of mullet is.

As well as being cool we have had plenty of rain and most of the rivers have a bit of a run in them. This will help in getting all the bream down to the mouth of the river so they can spawn.

The extra downstream push may get the bream schooled up early and we will have an early run of bream on the beaches.


The Manning at Harrington has been the best area to fish in the past few months. Even though there may be rough seas, rain and plenty of wind, there is always somewhere in the estuary where you can find a bit of shelter and still catch a few fish.

Bream have been the most prolific species and have been biting well either side of slack water. Mullet pieces, prawns, yabbies and live herring have taken fish.

The herring have been mainly used to catch school jew but occasionally a kilo-plus bream will hook up on one.

The school jew have mainly been small fish to 5kg and have taken soft plastics as well as the herring.

Luderick have been on the bite, particularly at night on live yabbies fished with no sinker on the inside of the river wall above the gantry.

The luderick usually spawn about the same time as the bream so they will be feeding up this month after spawning.


Rock fishing has been hard due to rough seas, rain and wind and when conditions have been right it has sometimes been hard to find the fish.

Occasional schools of tailor to a kilo have turned up, only to go missing for a few days then reappear further up or down the beach.

There has been no going back to where you caught the fish yesterday and expecting to get a bagful.

The fish are moving about and it is a matter of fishing the good water until you find the fish.

There have been a couple of good schools of bream on Crowdy Beach with plenty of fish over 800g. One school that stayed in the same place for a week bit best on tailor pieces and would not take a fresh beach worm.

Not many school jew have been taken from the beach and those caught were only just over the legal 45cm.


Outside fishing has been much the same as the beaches – good catches one day and nothing the next.

Snapper have been the most consistent with good bags of fish to 2kg coming from around Mermaid Reef. Pearl perch have been caught from the northern grounds and small kings and mahi mahi from around the wave rider.

A few jackets have shown up but not in their usual numbers – yet.

June is right in the middle of the three best months for bream in the Manning. The bream fish well at these times because they are spawning or have spawned and are hungry and need to build up their weight.

Some of the fish will be moving back up the river. It could be some of the fish that have come down the river and spawned or some fish that have left a southern river and spawned near the mouth of the Manning and decided to move into the estuary. No matter where the bream come from, they are good sport to catch. Mullet pieces, yabbies, prawns and mullet gut will get you a feed.

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