Ideal conditions for fun
  |  First Published: December 2006

The Manning has experienced an ideal build-up for the festive season.

A small fresh has moved the fish down the river and stirred up the flathead so that they are biting eagerly on plastics, hard-bodied lures and livebaits. Fish are also being taken on whitebait, yabbies and cut fish baits.

The river has cleared in the lower parts and only on low tide is there a show of dirty water. Upstream is a different proposition with the water the consistency of thin mud. This will gradually clear in and the river should ideal when the holiday season is at its peak.


The Manning has produced school jew, flathead, bream and whiting. Luderick have been hard to catch, even though plenty of fish can be seen moving along the walls during the day.

The big jew moved to the mouth of the river when the first of the dirty water from the fresh came down and several big fish were caught with five from 22kg to 30kg taken on one day.

As soon as the dirty water cleared the big fish left and subsequent jewfish have been from 8kg to 12kg. All fish were taken on soft plastic lures.

The school jew should stay in the mouth of the river over Summer as they will be feeding on the schools of small baitfish that move up the river at this time.

Flathead have never been more plentiful .The high school kids have been catching bag limits of fish in the afternoons after arriving home from school and by January the flathead should be spread all over the mouth of the river and upstream as far as Jones Island.

Some big bream are feeding along the wall and can be seen darting in to pick up the tidbits left by the people opening oysters on the wall.


Some tailor have turned up on the beaches but they are not in plague proportions. If you get five or six fish then you have done well.

Salmon can be caught from most spots on the beaches and put up a great fight on light line. Squid, beach worms, pilchards and cut fish baits will take salmon.

A few bream are falling to beach worms and some good whiting have also been taken on worms. The high tides around dusk in January should produce the occasional big jew with plenty of smaller fish from 8kg to 15kg to be taken.


Best results have been obtained by those boats fishing the close in reefs with floating baits and plenty of berley. Some nice snapper to 5kg have been picked up on floaters while those boats doing a drift have been able to catch a bag of flathead.

There have been a few surface fish around and plenty of slimy mackerel for livebait so things will only get better.

The prospects for January certainly look good and only a big flood could upset the apple cart. The Christmas chopper tailor should be here in droves and they make great live or cut bait for jewfish in the river or from the rocks and beach.

Those anglers preferring to sit on the wall will be able to catch flathead and the occasional bream and put out a livebait when they catch a small chopper.

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