There is no doubt that the Manning River is in the best condition for many years. The water is clear and blue and the salt is pushing right up to the tidal limits.
Flathead, luderick and mulloway are in the lower to mid reaches of the river and some great catches have been made.
The flathead have improved greatly in numbers since netting was banned below Ghinni Ghinni Creek and the big female fish were saved from the nets because they were down at the mouth of the river to spawn.
Consequently, we have been experiencing larger numbers of small flathead each year.
The same result has occurred with bream but they have not prospered as well as the flathead.
Lots of school jew miss the nets but when there are no freshes for a while then the schoolies tend to move further up river and come in contact with the nets.
Flathead can be found from Cundletown down to Cattai Creek and in the lower parts of the Lansdowne River and Scotts Creek.
They are taking soft plastics with gusto but different colours must be tried because what worked last trip will not necessarily work the next time.
There are lots of 37cm- 43cm fish and these are the ones that should be kept for eating. Release the larger fish so they can breed.
School jewfish are plentiful up around Croki and in the Lansdowne River and are taking 5” soft stickbaits.
The jewfish are the best they have been for years with several fish to 23kg netted in recent days.
Luderick have moved up the river and Scotts Creek has produced some whopper fish to 2kg on green weed.
The beaches have not been fishing as well but are not devoid of fish.
School jew to 8kg have been caught from the end of the seawall and off the beach near the wall on worms and soft plastics.
Crowdy Beach near Diamond Head has also produced good catches of smaller jew of 2kg-3kg.
There are still plenty of salmon to be caught on pilchards, worms and squid but tailor are scarce and bream the same.
Drummer and groper are still biting well around the rocks on cunjevoi and crabs.
Catches have been fair to good for most boats. Snapper to 2kg are coming in from around the close reefs and pearl perch up to 3kg have been taken from the wider northern grounds.
Out wide some big bar cod have been boated and eastern blue spot flathead have been easy to catch on the drift.
We all look forward to November because the weather is warmer and the early morning and evening fishing sessions are easy to take.
The schools of baitfish are pushing up the river and moving along the beaches and this means predatory fish will be about.
A live bait at these times is a good way to get a jew or a big flathead.
I must say that quite a lot of anglers, especially younger ones, have been releasing the big breeder flathead, which is good. Unfortunately we have a few people who still keep the big fish and some who catch two big ones in the morning and then turn up in the afternoon for another couple.
There are a few locals who are sick of telling these people that two big fish is the limit and they will be reporting these irresponsible anglers to the authorities.
Gary Titterton with a 7.2kg Crowdy Head snapper.Reads: 932