This is the month that all keen anglers have been waiting for. We have had a solid fall of rain in the upper reaches of the Manning (around 180mm) and this has put a good run in the river up around Wingham.
Consequently, the fish have been pushed downstream and the mullet have been running out to sea in big schools. The bream are schooled up in the mouth of the estuary ready to run also, and they are easy to catch along the wall on mullet pieces and tailor strips. Mulloway and sharks are feeding on the mullet schools in the river.
Bream are becoming more numerous in the mouth of the river and blackfish are schooling in large numbers along the wall. Fish to a kilo have been taken on green weed during the daylight hours and most anglers have been scoring a bag of fish. There have been a lot of flathead in the 50cm-1m range caught from the river wall near where the spur was on live bait. Small mulloway to 4kg have also been taken on livies.
At present, time tailor to a kilo can be caught from both Harrington and Crowdy beaches on pilchards and bonito strips. Mulloway to 13kgs have been landed on beach worm baits near Abbeys Creek. Bream and flathead have been come from the southern end of Crowdy Beach on worms and pippies.
Outside fishing has been great, with all types of fish being caught. In the deep water, bar cod have been landed, while snapper to 4kg have been boated from the close in grounds. Bonito and mac tuna are taking trolled lures where the birds are working, and slimies can be caught from the close in reefs. Small black marlin to 40kg are still taking lures along the tide lines.
May is the best month for all types of angling — estuary, beach and offshore. While the mullet are leaving the river, mulloway and sharks are pretty easy to hook. The only trouble is you don't know when that big shark will get a hook stuck in the corner of its mouth and can't cut the line with its sharp teeth. Any shark over 10’ in length is very difficult to land from the wall on normal gear. If you have a heavy rod and a big reel filled with 50kg line, and a mate who is armed with a good running gaff, then there is a chance. Most big ones though, just head to sea and break the line when the time comes to say 'stop'.
Apart from sharks, there is always the chance of picking up a decent mulloway on dark with half a tailor for bait when fishing the beach. Outside conditions are usually fairly calm in the mornings with a nor’ easter picking up in the afternoon. This wind usually dies at night, so it makes for good fishing conditions.Reads: 1778