Conditions have not been the best with plenty of strong southerly to south-easterly winds and big swells.
The winds have eroded the beaches to the point where about half of Crowdy Beach is not drivable at high tide. In places the water at low tide is only 5m from the vertical wall at the back of the beach.
The rain has been enough to kill all the weed that was growing along the breakwall, allowing the angler to see the rocks protruding into the river and to avoid snagging up on them.
It will be a truly magic year for flathead. Already the big fish have appeared in the backwater at Harrington. Fish to a metre have been caught and released and plenty of fish around a kilo or two have been taken on soft plastics and hard-bodied lures.
Luderick are still on the bite on green weed during the day and on live yabbies at night. There are still a few big bream in the lower part of the estuary but most have moved back up the river around Taree and Cundletown.
The school jew have been fairly quiet for a while and only the occasional small fish of 3kg to 5kg has been caught on plastics.
Most of the larger tailor have gone from the beaches and only choppers are left. We will not see any big tailor until February and then only around the rocks in the middle of Diamond Head. By May the kilo-plus fish will be back on the beaches.
There are plenty of salmon to 4kg on Harrington and Crowdy beaches taking pilchards, worms and fish baits. Some good bream to a kilo have been caught around Abbeys Creek and a few nice whiting have been caught on worms.
The small dead-end gutters on the southern end of Crowdy Beach have yielded some nice flathead on whitebait
There have been some nice fish caught outside. Snapper to 5kg have been caught around Mermaid Reef on floaters and soft plastics. Kingfish to 10kg have been taken on metal jigs while in the same area pearl perch to 3kg have been on the bite.
Blue-spot flathead to 1.5kg have been easy to catch on the drift. Some surface fish have been trolled out wide, mainly striped tuna, while a few bonito have been taken closer in.
This is the month to concentrate on big flathead on live baits. They can be caught along any of the walls and in the backwater as well as near the weed beds upstream from the breakwalls.
The rocks at Crowdy Head will be worth a try for groper and drummer. Red crabs are the bait for groper while abalone gut and cunjevoi will take pigs.
The beaches will have plenty of chopper tailor for the spin brigade and outside anglers should be able to troll up a heap of surface fish.
Aaron Billingsley with a brace of big Crowdy Beach bream.Reads: 1922