Chopper tailor on the bite
  |  First Published: December 2013

As I have mentioned before, 2013 has been a very unusual year regarding the appearance and non-appearance of fish around the Harrington area.

Years ago tailor would appear towards the end of December and remain in the area until the end of July. There would be no tailor until the Christmas choppers showed up. Then about the mid to late eighties choppers started turning up in July or early August and stayed to the middle of the next year!

Occasionally there would be no early choppers but as the years passed it became normal for the choppers to appear before spring. This year looks like the choppers will be late and only the occasional fish will be taken.

The large tailor that were around until after the full moon in September have left and we will see no more big fish until the middle of February next year.


As usual, the Manning has produced very well over the past month.

Flathead are taking soft plastics in all parts of the Manning, and the lower reaches of the river are producing the best catches. The best of the fish are around 50-60cm in length with only the occasional larger fish of 5-6kg being caught.

The Lansdowne River has produced the most big fish. Luderick are being caught in numbers along the rock walls at the mouth of the river. Night anglers have been getting bag limits of fish on fresh yabby bait. The best fish would average 500g gilled and gutted.

Bream are back on the bite on yabbies and mullet strips, with the best catches being made at night around the slack waters.

Mulloway have been noticeable by their absence in the river but outside anglers have been scoring good 18kg specimens on the reefs.


Catches have been very poor on the beaches with only a couple of fish being caught at any one time.

Bream, salmon, tailor and undersized school mulloway have been caught over the past few weeks but they have been scarce. Until we get a week or two of northeasterly winds to form up the beaches and some bait schools appear then catches will be small.


Results have been much better for boat anglers with good catches of mulloway and snapper around the reefs and on the rocky bottom areas off our coast.

Trag have been caught on bait from the northern grounds and flathead have been landed from the drift grounds off the mouth of the river. Surface fish have not been sighted for some weeks and this indicates a lack of schooling bait fish.

December is a great time for the holiday-makers who turn up at Harrington to spend a few weeks to enjoy the fishing.

Luderick will be on the bite on weed during the day and yabbies at night. Bobby corking with live bait for big flathead will also be on the minds of a lot of anglers.

Nowadays, most responsible anglers let the big ones go so they can drop their roe to renew the schools of smaller flathead in the river.

For those who like beach fishing, then spinning for tailor or floating a fresh slab around the rocks for a big mulloway is also an opportunity to grab a feed of fish.

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