We have experienced a winter like the 1970s – plenty of cold weather, winds and frosts. In fact, one frost a week ago was right down to the beach, which is very rare in this area. We suffered a lot of erosion on our beaches and Crowdy Beach is flat to Diamond Head. This sort of winter will give us an excellent start to spring, not only for the fishers, but the farmers as well. Winds are blowing west to south and are keeping the seas flat. What we need are some northwesterlies, to set up the beaches with gutter, and white water to bring in the baitfish. Then we’ll get tailor.
The Manning has fished well for the past few weeks. Bream have been plentiful along the wall at Harrington, and the spur wall at Manning Point. Mullet strips and fresh yabbies are taking fish. Luderick are also biting green weed from the wall at Manning Point. Fish up to 800g are common, the average is 650-750g.
Upriver, flathead have been taken on soft plastic lures, near the drop offs and edges of the weed beds. A good run of school mulloway have moved into the lower parts of the river and take live herring and soft plastic lures. The best of these fish are weighing 5kg, while the average is around 3.5kg. Some nice bags of tailor have been caught from the gantry on small, white soft plastic lures. These fish have come into the estuary chasing schools of white bait in the river.
Our beaches have taken quite a pounding from the big seas a few weeks ago. The most damage was done by a very strong blow from the north east which eroded the beaches back a few meters and flattened them out so there are no gutters and sand banks to make good formation for bait fish and predators. Despite the poor beach formations school jew to 9kg have been landed from Crowdy Beach and the sand spit in the mouth of the river. Beach worms have been the top bait.
Fishing has been quieter for the boaties, but there are good catches. The northern grounds have produced plenty of small snapper at 1.5kg and the occasional fish at 6kg. Pearl perch and morwong have been boated in the same area. Out wider, leatherjackets have been a nuisance to those fishing the bottom in 70m+ of water.
By September, the beaches should be back to their normal formation. Chopper tailor will appear by this time. I expect a few salmon and bream to be on the beach as well. In the estuary, luderick will be the main species to chase on green weed. Bream will be further upriver. There doesn’t appear to be any great falls of rain for our area coming up, so the river should be salty for a while. This will encourage fish to travel up river to hunt prawns and other crustaceans.Reads: 180