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The Manning fires up
  |  First Published: April 2016



The last month has been a great time for anglers in the Manning area. The river has cleared of the muddy water brought down from the upper reaches by the couple of heavy downpours that we experienced, and the fish have moved back up the river.

The sand spit in the mouth of the Manning has moved south towards Manning Point, and Manning Point has moved back almost to the trees. There are now two deep streams of water pushing out to sea with a sand spit between them. This sand spit is submerged at high tide. The northern outlet to the ocean would be the best to use but care must be taken if the sea is up.

ESTUARY

The bream have come on very early this year and good bags of fish have been caught either side of high tide. Mullet strips and fresh yabbies are the best baits, with fish to 1.2kg being landed. Flathead are still on the bite from all parts of the river. Soft plastics and yabbies are taking the most fish. Whiting are taking worms and yabbies fished from the sand spit in the mouth of the river, as well as the lagoon on the north side of the sea wall. Luderick have also turned up along the river wall and are being caught on green weed around the gantry.

BEACH AND ROCK

Finally the chopper tailor have turned up a couple of months late. Some fish only go 28cm while the best are 38cm. These fish are schools of males only or females only at the present time. The females are roed up and would only be a month off spawning. This early roeing up tells me that the stocks of tailor are under siege and we should be watching catches and movement of tailor for the next couple of years.

Mulloway turned up on the beaches in the lead-up to the full moon and while they were only small (5-6kg) it was good to see them back on the beaches.

OFFSHORE

The water temperature has been excellent with 27°C on most days and up to 30°C on one day. The northern grounds have produced snapper to 3kg, teraglin to 4kg and a few pearl perch of 3.5kg. Out wider small black marlin from 30-50kg have been taken on the troll while mahimahi to 20kg have been landed. There are schools of bonito chasing the baitfish and they are easy to troll with small silver lures.

April should be a ripper time to fish the Manning as the bream will be schooling up along the wall and the mullet will be ready to run. Usually we get the mullet run by ANZAC Day when we get a westerly wind to set them off. With all the mullet in the river and around the headlands it’s a good time to float a livebait or a fresh slab for a big mulloway. For those who like to fish the wall there will be plenty of bream and luderick to catch as well.

Photo courtesy of Bohnock Bait & Tackle.

Photo courtesy of Bohnock Bait & Tackle.

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