IT MAY have been a long time coming but the rains have certainly arrived at Harrington.
There has been plenty of surface water lying in the paddocks and the water table is back to normal. We have had three freshes in the Manning and the fishing and prawning have improved immensely due to them. Falls have not been as great in the headwaters so none of the rises in the river has been high enough to cause a small flood and that, in itself, has been a plus to the fishing and prawning.
Everybody has out on the wall, day and night, taking advantage of the schools of bream and flathead forced down to the mouth of the river by the freshes. Catches of 15 to the bag limit of 20 bream have been common, as well as two or three flathead to 2kg. Yabbies, tailor strips, mullet pieces, prawns, crabs and pieces of squid have all taken fish.
School jew have moved into the river to feed on all the baitfish washed down by the fresh water and 20-odd fish from 3kg to 10kg have been caught in the last few weeks. No doubt these fish will stay around the mouth of the river until the mullet leave.
Beach anglers have enjoyed some great fishing for tailor, bream and whiting in past weeks. The bream have moved out of the river to get away from the fresh water and have provided excellent sport for those using beach worms, pipis and mullet pieces.
The tailor have been patchy but fish to 1.5kg have been taken on lures and pilchards. The tailor should get better as time progresses and May and June will provide excellent catches of these fish.
Small jew to 13kg have been taken on worm baits and while the schools of small baitfish move up and down the beaches, the predatory mulloway will be nearby. Our beaches have been severely eroded by the easterly to south-easterly winds and there are spots on the beaches where it is possible to get trapped by the rising tide. Some north-easterly winds will soon deposit some sand on the beaches and form some sand banks so there is some white water for the tailor to hide under.
Fishing has also been good for the boaties. The Cod Ground has fished well for kings, mulloway and medium snapper. Some big snapper have been picked up on floating baits and livies.
Small tailor are making it difficult to fish live bait close in because they are scoffing up the slimies and yellowtail as quick as they can be put in the water. By fishing half a dead slimy on a single hook it is possible to get a bait to last long enough until a big fish finds it.
May is probably the best month to fish the Harrington area. The river is packed with bream just about ready to spawn. Luderick are moving into the river after making their way up the coast and the greenback tailor are on the beaches and around the headlands.
There are whiting for those who like to poke around the sand flats during the day and the occasional big jew for those who like to float a live bait from the river walls or from the headlands on dawn or dusk.
Daniel Hughes caught this 13.5kg kingfish off Harrington.Reads: 681