God has arrived at Harrington for his Summer holidays and naturally the weather is perfect and the fish are biting.
This month everything seems to be happening. School holidays start, Christmas holidays begin for some lucky workers and up to 7000 visitors come to Harrington over the holidays.
Not all want to wet a line but a good proportion of them come here for the fishing.
December is a great month for family fishing because there are so many species to chase. Bream, whiting, flathead, luderick and jew are available in the estuary while tailor, bream, whiting, salmon and jew can be caught from the beaches.
Outside anglers can catch bonito on trolled lures and snapper and trag on live bait or a fresh slab of bonito.
Flathead are always on the bite on the drift over the sandy patches and it is always possible to pick up some of the other species of bottom feeding fish.
Most of the locals give the fish a spell over the holidays as it gets very crowded on the breakwall and the beaches and there are far too many lights on the water at night.
A light that shines steadily on the water is OK but a quick flash of a torch can easily spook bream and mulloway. The old-timers used to light a big fire on the beach when they were fishing for jewfish and they had no trouble catching a few.
In Western Australia I have seen fishers set up big lights powered by a generator and point them into the water so they could see where they were fishing. This steady light did not upset the fish and they caught heaps of schoolies.
Also, a light on a wharf or a jetty does not upset the fish.
The Manning River has been firing well for all species. Jewfish have been caught from the sea wall and up-river on soft plastics. The best have been 9kg but most have been 3kg-5kg.
Flathead have started to move down to the mouth of the river and plenty of boat anglers have caught bag limits (20) of fish from 37cm-43cm. Most of the larger fish have been returned to the water to breed.
Some good bream to 900g have been taken from the walls on bait and upstream; fish to 750g have been caught on soft plastics.
Luderick are taking fresh yabbies at night and weed during the day. A few nice whiting have been caught on beach worms and yabbies on the sand flats at the mouth of the river.
Chopper tailor have turned up on the beaches and while some are under the 30cm legal size there are enough of 37cm-40cm to ensure you go home with a feed.
Salmon are still around in numbers and a few school jew to 80cm have been caught.
The beaches are taking their time to form up but the north-easterly winds have started to blow in the afternoons and it will not take long before there are plenty of good flats alongside the gutters where jew will be feeding.
Drummer and groper are biting well at Crowdy Headland and should continue to provide some great sport for the next few months.
Snapper to 7kg have been caught on soft plastics. Blue-spot flathead are fairly thick and teraglin have been biting on the northern grounds.
Pearl perch have been taken in 70m off Crowdy Head and bonito were taking lures before the water turned cold.Reads: 849