There has been quite a lot of rain on the coastal strip, but virtually nothing in the upper catchment. There’s just enough to put a dirty fresh in the river, but not enough to really clean out the freshwater part of the Manning.
The Manning at Harrington has cleared quickly while the upper river has remained fairly dirty. The dirty water has not stopped the fish from biting and reports of good catches have come in from the river further up.
The small fresh brought the bream down the river early this year, and instead of moving back up the river most of the fish have stayed in the entrance of the river and are feeding along the walls. Most of the bream caught are in the 500-800g range. There have been a few fish up to 1.3kg caught mainly on live bait being fished for flathead.
The flathead have been taking live baits of herring, soft plastics and dead baits such as prawns, yabbies and mullet strips. The occasional big fish has been landed, but unfortunately not many have been returned to the river. The flathead are being caught from all parts of the river up to just above Cundletown. They are mostly fish in the 38-55cm size.
Whiting have also made their presence felt, with good bags being caught from the sand spit on the northern side of the river. Beach worms, yabbies and prawn baits have been catching fish, while the keen anglers who can find some quiet water on the sand spits are scoring big fish to 45cm on poppers.
Mulloway have been quiet, with only a few small schoolies being caught on live bait just before the full moon.
Catches have not been great on the beaches over the past month, but things are starting to improve. Chopper tailor are back on the bite on bait and lures, while bream are taking worms, pipis and prawns on the southern end of Crowdy beach. Harrington Beach has not performed at all and I would rate it the worst I have seen in the last 25 years.
The outside anglers are having a ball. The water is warm and all sorts of pelagic fish are being caught. A 20kg mahimahi along with plenty of 10kg fish was landed recently, and reports of sailfish to 48kg and black marlin to 30kg have also been coming in.
Bonito are back in our waters and with them are plenty of schools of baitfish.
The northern grounds have fished best for snapper to 2kg, while those fishing the drift on the close in sand patches have been scoring bags of good sized flathead.
March is a great time to fish at Harrington as the bream are starting to school up, the luderick are also moving down the river and the flathead are still on the bite.
Baitfish are moving into the river and this brings in the tailor, salmon and mulloway.
It’s easy to catch a fish even if you don’t have a boat. On the beaches tailor, salmon and school mulloway can be targeted in the early morning and late evening.
Outside anglers can fish the close in reefs for snapper and mulloway with live bait.
Because the holiday season is over, there are not so many boats and anglers around and fishing can be a pleasant and rewarding experience.Reads: 442