The drought has well and truly broken on the Mid North Coast. Heavy and consistent rain has fallen for the past couple of weeks and even those of us who live on pure sand blocks are sick of the water underfoot.
The lower parts of Harrington would bog a duck at present. The rains have done some good for the fishing, with most species biting their heads off and most anglers able to catch a feed without too much trouble.
The rains have brought the bream down the river and they are feeding along the retaining walls at the mouth. Yabbies, mullet pieces, pilchard cubes and black crabs are all taking fish. The dark is the best time to fish but some good bream can be caught during the day.
These fish are only just starting to roe up so it will be a few weeks before they leave the system and move out to sea. Small schools of mullet have left the river but some have gone only as far as the end of the sea wall before turning back into the river.
The school jew turned it on for the holiday anglers from Easter onwards. Fish from 1.5kg to 5kg have been taking beach worms, mullet strips and small squid. Crowdy Beach just north of the sea wall and Abbeys Creek have been the most productive spots.
Farther south on Crowdy Beach, near the blue hut, heaps of bream are being taken on beach worms and mullet strips. The tailor have been scattered – here one day and gone the next – but they should show up in force once the rain ceases and the southerly to south-easterly winds cease.
The outside anglers have not had a great deal of fishable days in past weeks for two reasons. The weather has been lousy and our learned council tore down all the posts and walkways just before Easter. This makes launching a boat difficult but getting it back on the trailer is another matter indeed, especially if there is a bit of swell coming into the harbour.
Lots of boaties have complained to me about the condition of the launching ramp and then have packed up and returned home. The council has promised to put pontoons on either side of the ramp so that the boats can be tied up and not bash on the rocks while owners park or bring their trailers back to the ramp.
The mullet should be well and truly gone by the time this hits the stands but the bream season will be in full flight. It will be a case of ‘bring your own rock’ if you want to fish the breakwalls at the mouth of the river.
Mullet strips will be the best bait but bream, at this stage, will eat almost anything that is thrown at them. Tailor should be at their best at this time and should take pilchards and lures, with no preference.
When boats have been able to venture offshore the rewards have been there. Don Foye with a 3.15kg pearl perch and a 2.85kg teraglin.
Jeff Philpott with a jewie that went 23kg gilled and gutted.Reads: 560