September is usually one of the poorest months for fishing in the Manning area.
However, if you like a bit of a rough-and-tumble with one of the best fighting fish to be found around the rocks, September can be a wonderful time for fishing.
Rock blackfish or ‘pigs’ as they are usually called, spawn about the last week in July but they can easily be a month late.
By September they are back on the bite and a little berley can get them in a feeding frenzy and provide plenty of excitement for a couple of hours.
It is necessary to fish fairly heavy line for pigs because they tend to go to ground when hooked and can easily cut the line on the rocks and barnacles.
I like to use 10kg or 12kg line when fishing relatively clear ground and 15kg when there is lots of cunjevoi, barnacles and caves and cracks for the fish to hide in.
Hooks need to be XXX strong in 1/0 or 2/0.
Pigs will eat almost any bait at times. I remember once when one club member ran out of cunjevoi and put a piece of saveloy with red skin on the hook. After 30 seconds a 3kg pig took the bait and was landed.
Generally, cunjevoi, hermit crab tails, prawns and bread will suffice as bait.
Last but not least, the berley must be good. Bread mixed with a good handful of chook pellets will do the trick. The berley must be well mixed with water until there are no lumps left.
Only put enough berley in to attract the fish and add berley only when the bite slows.
The bream have been biting very well in the lower parts of the estuary.
For land-based anglers, the part of the river wall where the incoming tide is pushing against is the best spot to fish. An hour before and an hour after slack water will be the most productive times.
Mullet strips, mullet gut, yabbies and prawns will all take fish.
The Manning Point Spur Wall is fishing great, with bag limits of bream and luderick coming from this location.
A few flathead are being caught in the lower reaches of the river but most of the fish have moved upriver into the Lansdowne and around Jones Island and up to Cundletown.
It has been fairly quiet on the beaches for the past couple of weeks.
Crowdy Beach has produced bream from the southern end and the occasional tailor to 2kg from the northern end.
Plenty of undersized mulloway have appeared around Abbeys Creek.
The water is freezing and I think this is having an effect on the fish numbers and activity.
The past month has produced good catches of snapper and teraglin on bait.
The snapper are coming from the close reefs while the trag are being caught from the northern grounds.
A few bonito have shown up in recent days and a few of these make great bait for snapper and trag.
September should be good for estuary fishing for luderick and bream, while the rocks will provide plenty of action for the 'pig' fisher.
On the beaches there should be plenty of chopper tailor on lures and bait as well as salmon to 4kg to test out your gear.
Offshore there should be some mulloway coming in around the close reefs to feed on yellowtail and slimy mackerel, which make great live bait for snapper or jew.Reads: 1196