This year has been a truly great one for the Manning. The mullet run was one of the best that I have seen in the last 25 years, with big schools of fish congregating upstream before they ‘run’. The flathead turned up in big numbers and apart from the big fish of 4-7kg there were quite a lot of 50-60cm fish. The numbers of just undersized fish caught and released were the best that I have seen. Next year should be a beauty as all these undersized fish will be of legal size and catches should be great.
Now we come to the bream season. For the past two weeks bream anglers have been scoring at will and bag limits are the norm. The bream usually hang around until the end of July or the middle of August and I can see that happening this year.
The estuary is firing at the moment. Not only are the bream on the bite but flathead, mulloway and luderick are all being caught in numbers. The bream are all travelling bream. They are nice and clean and in wonderful condition. Most of the fish caught are in the 400-900g range but there are better fish to 1.4kg being reported. The bream have been biting best on fresh yabbies which is strange because when the mullet are running they usually like mullet strips best.
The best catches of bream are being made on the first of the run-in. The next best time is the couple of hours either side of high tide slack water. The luderick are biting best at night on live yabbies, but weed fishermen have been getting a few during the daylight hours. Flathead from 40-55cm have been taking the yabbies fished for bream and make a nice additional catch.
Mulloway are taking most baits and have been caught from the wall by bream anglers and from the southern corner of the sand spit in the mouth of the river.
Beach fishing has also picked up, with plenty of tailor and mulloway being taken. Bream have also been caught around the end of the sea wall, in Crowdy Boat Harbour and on the southern end of Crowdy Beach. The tailor are taking bait and lures but the best catches are being made at first light on lures. The end of the sea wall and the beach either side of it are producing school mulloway to 7kg on squid and fresh slab baits. The rocks at Crowdy and Diamond Head are fishing well for larger sized tailor on garfish and bonito baits.
Good results have been obtained by those boaties fishing east off Crowdy Head and north around the reefs near Mermaid. Snapper to 7kg have been landed from the close inshore reefs over the last two weeks. The wave rider has schools of mahi mahi up to 7kg congregating near it, and they are taking lures and bait. Some small mulloway to 10kg have been boated by fishing live baits near the close in reefs. There are plenty of schools of baitfish off Crowdy, and bonito are taking trolled lures close inshore.
There is no doubt July is the best month for breaming at Harrington. At the present time the bream being caught are not fully roed up and that means that they will still be here in July when the roe is ripe. As well as bream, tailor and mulloway can be caught from the beaches and rocks and luderick can be taken on yabbies at night and weed during the day. It's a matter of choosing what fish you want for the table.Reads: 541