Reports indicate large numbers of mullet in the Manning at this time and a few schools of hard-gut mullet have been seen on our beaches in the past couple of weeks.
This all points to a fairly substantial run of fish later on in the month. The northerly winds that blew for over a week in February completely wrecked Crowdy Beach. It is possible to drive the beach in safety only from half tide out to one-quarter tide in.
There are places on the beach where the water runs right to the back of the beach and lies in pools up to 30cm deep. These parts of the beach can be traversed when the tide is low but are very dangerous when the tide is up and a large shore dump is working.
Apart from the schools of mullet starting to move down the river there are plenty of luderick moving around in the estuary. They can be seen moving along the retaining walls early in the morning before the sun starts to penetrate too deeply.
Flathead are all the go on live bait at present. Small poddy mullet have been taking fish to 3.5kg at the corner of the wall near the fish-cleaning table.
School jew have not shown up this moon but maybe the heavy seas and the easterly winds had something to do with their non-appearance.
Before the winds and rough seas the tailor were everywhere feeding on schools of whitebait which had moved onto the beaches. The easterly to north-easterly winds and the big seas helped to congregate the whitebait in the corner of the beach near the surf club.
The birds and the tailor gave them a terrible hiding for 48 hours. On the second day the birds packed up by early afternoon and just sat on the beach.
The tailor kept attacking but in much shorter bursts. It is a wonder that there is any whitebait left but they still move up and down the beaches. There must be countless millions of them to withstand the constant battering they received over the two days.
I managed a trip outside before the rough weather set in.
Mermaid Reef was surrounded by bait schools. Sea garfish were everywhere on the surface while schools of yellowtail could be seen a couple of metres down. Below these were slimy mackerel.
Any time you could get a bait down through the yellowtail you were sure of a hook-up on a slimy and some of the slimies went 700g and really put in on light line.
The best snapper went 2kg but had one motor not decided to call it a day I believe we would have scored some bigger fish when the breeze dropped and we got in close to the rock.
April is the time to fish for jew as the mullet school up in the lower parts of the estuary. Usually a live bait or a fresh slab of mullet will do the trick.
Tailor will also be on the bite and hanging around near the mullet so that they can pick up the pieces left by the sharks and mulloway.Reads: 601