Once again the fish seem to be at least a month slower than a decade ago. At the moment we have bream in the estuary that are about half roed-up and will not be ready to spawn for six weeks at least.
The rock blackfish used to spawn at the end of July at Crowdy Head but now there are very few fish around the rocks and only a few of them have any roe in them. It may be that they will not spawn until the end of December as they did about eight years ago.
The tailor are still here in numbers like they used to be 30 years ago. It is some time since the tailor stayed this late. At least the luderick have remained true to form and are in the estuary in their thousands. They can be seen moving along the rocks of the retaining wall at the mouth of the river and are also pushing up the river along the edges of the weed beds.
The fishing in the river has been great over the past month. Catches of bream have been made by all fishermen with the best anglers getting their bag limit of fish every trip. The larger fish have moved up the coast while the smaller, half-roed fish are still in the estuary. These fish range in size from 500-800g but they are just as tasty.
Luderick have been biting just as well and weed fishermen have been scoring bags of fish during the day. Those using yabbies at night have also bagged out.
There have been some small school jew to 3.5kg caught on yabby baits by bream anglers fishing the walls at the mouth of the river, while further upstream larger fish to 17kg have been taken on live bait.
Flathead have been quiet with only occasional fish being bagged.
The beaches and headlands have fished exceptionally well for tailor and salmon on lures and bait. The best tailor have been weighing 1.2kg gutted and gilled. Crowdy Head Rocks has produced the best catches of tailor and salmon at dawn and dusk on lures. The end of the sea wall has produced tailor, salmon and mulloway to 16kg. The mulloway have been taking soft plastics spun on a slow roll.
Snapper have been the most caught species, with fish coming from the southern grounds off Old Bar and the reefs up around Mermaid. Most of the fish go around a1.5kg with the best ones tipping the scales at 5kg.
Leatherjackets are around in thousands and once they become a nuisance it is best to move a bit upcurrent to give them the slip for a while.
Flathead can be caught on the drift on the grounds off the mouth of the Manning and most anglers fishing here have been scoring a bag limit of fish.
September is supposed to be the start of spring but over the last few years it has been more like winter. Considering the lateness of the bream and the drummer I would say that fishing will not start to improve until the beginning of October. Bonito should appear in September to give the outside anglers a bit of action on the trolling lines though, and drummer should be here in numbers and the walls will be worth a try for bream and luderick.Reads: 376