Holiday fishing at its best
  |  First Published: December 2013

Last month I wrote about how unusual the year had been, especially in regard to tailor and their appearance on our beaches. I said that the tailor had left and headed up the coast, but I couldn't have been more wrong!

Recently we had a fishing outing for the club and a couple of decent tailor of 1.5kg and 1.2kg cleaned were weighed. Quite a few smaller fish of 600-700g cleaned were presented as well. At the time of writing the Manning is full of schools of small tailor about 10cm long. This harks back to the 1960s and ‘70s when the river was full of small tailor up to 30cm long.


We have had plenty of rain and strong southwest to southerly winds in recent weeks. While this weather has made fishing difficult, catches have been good in the estuary.

Flathead have been on the bite in the lower reaches of the river on soft plastics and flesh baits. The best results have come from along the weed beds and near the rocks and shell beds in the river. Luderick have continued to take weed during the day and fresh yabbies at night.

School jew (mulloway) moved into the river as the moon rose to full, and some nice fish to 5kg were landed. Some larger fish to 26kg were taken from the end of the sea wall fishing into the mouth of the river with soft plastic lures.

Bream continue to bite well from the retaining walls at the mouth of the river at night on yabbies and flesh baits.


The beaches were rather quiet until the tailor turned up again, and with them came the salmon. The salmon come in two sizes – about 1kg and larger fish going 2.5kg. All the salmon are roed up and ready to spawn.

A few nice catches of bream have been made from the southern end of Crowdy Beach on worm baits. Fish to 600g are average.

The rocks have not yielded many fish, with the drummer being scarce and only a few small groper being landed.


It has been hard work trying to get consistent catches from outside, with some boats scoring a good catch of snapper to 3kg while other boats scoring only a few blue spot flathead and the odd red rock cod. Surface fish have not turned up, and flocks of seagulls and terns have been absent from our skies.


Overall, January is a top month for estuary anglers at Harrington. With up to 8000 holidaymakers here over the school holidays, there will be plenty of people on the walls and in boats in the lower parts of the river.

Luderick and flathead will be the most prolific species but bream and school jew will also be on the menu. Around the rocks blue groper will be the fish to catch on crab baits while a fresh slab of tailor floated along the drains on a bobby cork rig is the way to hook a good jewie.

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