It’s mulloway time
  |  First Published: October 2015

After a winter reminiscent of the winters of the ‘70s, with wind, rain, hail and very few warm days, October looks like being a great time for fishing.

Mulloway aren’t as plentiful in October as they are in March, April and May, but they are usually larger. Interestingly, the old days there were plenty of 50lb mulloway, along with some 60lb and even 70lb specimens. Nowadays though, fish of 20kg (around 44lb) are considered large.

Quite a lot of schoolies have been caught from our beaches and from the Manning as well this year. In the old days you’d be lucky to find a school of small mulloway a couple of times a year, but now they are caught from the beaches and in the estuary nearly all the time.


The Manning is packed with luderick from the mouth of the river to upstream above Taree. They are being caught from wharves and jetties, from along the edges of weed beds and near any rock walls along the edges of the river.Bream are still on the bite in the lower reaches of the river, with fish to 1.4kg being taken on mullet strips and fresh yabbies. Flathead are biting well upriver on bait and plastics, but big fish are hard to find. Most of the best fish are around 50cm in length.

Whiting have shown up on the sand spits in the mouth of the river, and some good fish of 35cm have been bagged. A couple of mulloway to 15kg were caught near Chinamans Point. No doubt these fish were hunting the luderick that frequent this spot.


There has been plenty of rough, southerly weather over the past month, and this has restricted catches from the beaches and rocks. Tailor are the only species to be caught in numbers from the beaches and rocks. During the daylight hours chopper tailor can be spun on lures or caught with bait. At nighttime the larger fish come on the bite, and tailor to 3.5kg can be captured. Bonito is the best bait.

Salmon have completely disappeared from our beaches, but further south there are plenty of them. Bream and whiting catches have been small and intermittent during the last few weeks.


Because of the rough seas, boats have been able to go to sea for only a few days in the past month. Snapper have been the most caught species, with both the northern and southern grounds producing fish. Most fish have been in the 1-2kg range but occasional fish to 5kg has been boated.

Leatherjackets are around in numbers in 60-80m of water, and some of them are now 1kg or better in weight.

Surface fish have disappeared, as well as the schools of baitfish. When the baitfish return the outside catches will get much better.

In October the northeasterlies start to appear in the afternoons and then drop off at dusk. This means great mornings for all types of fishing, and good evenings for night time angling. There will be plenty of chopper tailor to spin, and a fresh slab of tailor makes a great bait for a mulloway. The high tides on the beaches or in the river are the best times to fish for a big mulloway.

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