Rain to determine the fishing future
  |  First Published: July 2016

The weather here has been cold enough, but as July rolls around it will be much colder and wetter. We have experienced a bit of a drought in the Manning since January and the freshwater part of the Manning is barely flowing. However, the local old timers predict that we are in for a wet winter. Some of them are in their nineties and have been correct with their predictions in years gone past.

With a La Nina weather pattern predicted for the Australian side of the Pacific Ocean, there could easily be heaps of rain over winter. This would certainly help the fishing with a bit of a fresh coming down the river to flush it out a bit. If we get some solid rain in the upper reaches of the river then we could have a decent winter flood. A winter flood disrupts the fishing and is no good for the farmers especially if the water stays up for a few days.


The big seas, large swell and the west to southerly winds have not helped fishing in the Manning area. Bream have been scarce for a couple of weeks and it looks as if they will not school up to spawn for two or three weeks. Flathead are on the bite from the wall at Harrington. Anglers who use live herrings as live bait for mulloway have landed quite a few fish over 75cm on the slack water. There have been some nice luderick taken on green weed fished on a float from both the inside and outside of the wall. There are still a few mullet in the system but not much is happening with them.


Prior to the bad weather there were good schools of tailor on Crowdy Beach with a few salmon as well. The southern end of the beach produced some nice-sized bream and the occasional whiting in recent weeks. Presently, the sea is too rough for safe fishing on the beach or on the rocks. The tailor should be back when the seas calm down.


The rough weather has had the same effect on fishing as it has on the beaches and rocks. However, prior to the bad weather the fishing was great. Spotted mackerel, spanish mackerel, longtail tuna and bonito were all on the go. The mackerel stayed late this year and provided some great fun for anglers. Usually they leave by the end of February. The water was extremely warm for this time of the year, which probably kept the fish down here.

The tailor usually depart for more northern climes at the end of July. However, some years the chopper tailor arrive after the departure of the larger winter fish. If the choppers do arrive then there will be plenty of action on the beaches and around the headlands. If they don't then it will be bream in the estuary, luderick on green weed during the day and on yabbies at night. The flathead will be buried in the mud and only take a bait if it is dragged past its nose. Assuming no flood comes along, then there should be great breaming to be had in the lower part of the estuary.

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