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Practically perfect
  |  First Published: May 2013



May is one of the best times of the year to fish the Harrington area.

The mullet have just run and there are still schools of fish in the river and moving along the coast. Bream and luderick are also starting to move up the coast.

There are plenty of options for anglers: River fishing for bream, luderick and school jew or beach fishing for tailor, bream, jew and salmon.

The weather is not as hot but is still warm enough to make night fishing pleasurable.

The heavy rains have put several freshes in the Manning River but fortunately for the locals there was only a 1.5m rise at Harrington.

The river around Taree and Wingham was kept very dirty by the heavy run-off but the river at Harrington cleared in a few days and the fishing remains great.

Most of the fish were forced down the river by the flooding and they gathered on the beaches until the seawater began moving up the river on the run-in tide.

The fishing has been great since the freshes with good catches of bream from the rock walls at the river mouth.

At first the fish would bite only on the last of the run in and the first of the run out but as the river cleared, bream to 1,3kg were caught at any part of the tide. Mullet strips, prawns and yabbies were the best baits.

Luderick, whiting and school jew were also plentiful and on the bite. School jew to 5kg were taking live herring fished under bobby corks. The herring could be taken on a bait jig from most parts of the walls.

The luderick were biting at night on fresh yabbies while the whiting were caught day and night on fresh yabbies.

BEACH, ROCK

The end of the sea wall and the beach north of the wall have been the most productive spots.

Tailor have been taking hard and soft lures and pilchards.

Quite a lot of small baitfish have been schooling around the mouth of the river, attracting the tailor as well as big predators like sharks and mulloway. A 33.4kg jewie was caught from the end of the sea wall on a soft plastic when the dirty flood water was pouring out into the ocean. Several smaller fish around the 20kg mark were also taken.

The floodwater also pushed out the bream that had been gathering in the lower parts of the river prior to moving up the coast.

There were big bream hauls from the southern end of Harrington Beach and the southern end of Crowdy Beach, especially on mullet strips. Some salmon and the occasional large tailor have also been caught.

OFFSHORE

Fishing has been good but no spectacular catches have been made.

Snapper to 2kg have been on all the grounds north and south.

Morwong, pearl perch and trevally have not been so plentiful.

The surface fishing has been great with big schools of bonito off Crowdy Head and around Mermaid Reef. Bonito are top bait for offshore species as well as tailor from the beach and rocks.

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