Tailor time at Christmas
  |  First Published: December 2016

The past month has been a steady time for angling in the Harrington area. There have been nasty southerly winds and a bit of rain that’s made fishing very uncomfortable for the land-based fishers, as well as boat anglers. Very little rain has fallen in the freshwater part of the Manning and the river is just running nicely with clear water.

The Divisional Freshwater Championships are to be held at the end of November and all the local freshwater anglers have their eyes fixed on the Manning and the water height in the river. The bully mullet are schooling up in the lower reaches of the river at present and it looks to be a great tournament.


The flathead were biting extra well early in the month, but have been quiet for the last week. Bream, whiting and luderick have also been slow. Sometimes, on the drop of the moon and with alternating highs and lows, as we’ve experienced lately, the fish go off the bite. No doubt they’ll be back on when the moon starts to build.

Small school mulloway around the 4kg mark have been caught up the river on soft plastics. Kingfish have been in the estuary for a few weeks and have been moving up and down the river wall. Fish to 20kg have been landed on surface poppers, but many have been lost by the braid touching oyster coated rocks of the wall.


Harrington Beach has produced the best results with mulloway to 14kg taken on worm baits. Tailor have been very scarce, as have salmon. A few decent bream have been caught from the southern end of Crowdy Beach on pipis and worm baits. Decent drummer have come from around the rocks at Crowdy Head and the occasional small groper has been bagged.


Snapper have been biting well on soft plastic lures on both the northern and southern grounds. Fish to 8kg have been landed. Trag to 3kg and small pearl perch have come from the grounds around Mermaid Reef. Flathead can be taken on the drift. Out wide, bar cod have been caught. The current is racing out wide, so it’s hard to catch up to the cod. Some smallish kings have been landed on jigs, but the location has not been divulged. The FAD is back in place off Diamond Head, so that’s good news for the outside boys.

December is the time for the big mother flathead to school up in the mouth of the river prior to spawning. It will be interesting to see where these big fish decide to settle now, as the mouth of the Manning has changed so much since last year. The Christmas chopper tailor will show up this month in the river and on the beaches. They provide good sport on bait and lures and make great live bait for mulloway.

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