After a couple of weeks of southerlies and big seas the winds have swung around to the northeast and have blown day and night. The only time for outside fishing has been early in the morning because by 11am the wind is pumping in from the northeast making it very unpleasant to be out at sea. Most anglers call it a day by this time. Beach fishing is much the same: early mornings and late evenings are the best times. Fishing can continue later in the day but the wind makes it very difficult to keep in contact with the bait.
The river has provided many holiday makers with plenty of action during daylight hours. The winds do not affect the river as much as the beaches and open sea so it is possible to fish all day long from the walls or from a tinnie. Flathead are everywhere and all anglers are able to get a few fish a trip. Some good bream have been caught on yabbies and fish baits while the sand spit on the Manning Point side has produced big catches of whiting on beach worms, yabbies and squirt worms. School jew have not been as numerous as in previous weeks but Crowdy Head has a fair population of fish weighing in around 10-30kg.
The beaches have not provided the quantity of fish expected at this time of the year. Tailor have been scarce due to the lack of baitfish schools close in to the beaches. When the baitfish come in close the tailor will be there with them. Some bream to 800g have been taken from the flats on worms, while big salmon are taking worms, pilchards and small squid baits. The salmon are in excellent nick and put up a very strong fight. The beauty of these fish is the fact that they can be released to fight another day. The rocks at Crowdy Head have fished well for big blue groper, black drummer to 2kg and jewfish. The jewfish are best fished by bobby cork using livebait or a fresh slab of tailor or slimy mackerel.
The weather has dictated the state of play as far as outside anglers are concerned with the winds curtailing fishing to the early mornings. Despite poor conditions and some patches of very cold water close in to the shore, some good catches have been made. Snapper are still close in and are taking most baits thrown at them: prawns, cut fish baits and squid are all catching fish. The best of these snapper are around 3.5kg, while the smaller fish are pan-sized. Those who drift for flathead have had no trouble getting a box of fish.
The fishing in the Manning should continue to be excellent during March with some luderick to add a bit of variety. The beaches should be well formed and the north easterlies not nearly as strong as they are now. Chopper tailor will be on the beaches and around the headland, while jewfish will be moving in and out of the mouth of the river as the mullet come down the river to school up for their migration north.Reads: 1221