There is no doubt that this year will be remembered as one of the best for the last 12 years or so.
We have had several heavy deluges of rain in the past month and one fresh just starts to clear when another pushes its way down the river. This has kept the river bream down at the mouth of the estuary and, as well, the travelling bream have been concentrated at the mouth of the river. Another benefit of the frequent freshes is the diversity of species moving into the estuary with the clear sea water on the rising tides .Bream, luderick, mullet and tailer can be seen rolling and flashing at the gantry on high tide in the daytime.
Bag limit catches of bream to just over a kilo have been made by those anglers willing to put up with a bit of wind, rain and cold. It’s really nothing to complain about when the bream are biting as well as they are at present. Yabbies, mullet strips, mullet gut, tailer strips and pipis are all taking fish when used at the right time.
A couple of hours before high and low tides and a couple of hours after are the best times to fish. Once the tide gets a move on then more lead must be used and snagging becomes a problem. The gear needed to remove the bream from the barnacle infested rocks of the Harrington Wall may seem to be a bit heavy to some but it works. The rod needs to have a bit of “feel” to it.
The reel can be any type as long as it works but the line must be strong. Most of the successful anglers are using eleven to fifteen kilo line and 2/0 hooks. I prefer 27lb/bs tortue and 2/0 9555B hooks. This will handle most bream and the occasional small jew that picks up the bait.
When conditions allow some great catches of bream and school jew have been made from Harrington beach and Crowdy beach. The area north of the end of the Sea Wall on Harrington beach has produced both bream and jews. Fish before and after low and high tides- day or night. On Crowdy Beach the low tide during the day has fished the best.
The bream have been feeding along the beach side of the gutters from the “Gap” to well past the “Blue Hut” Some times the bream will only take pipis while at other times they will eat any type of meat bait. Tailer are hard to target – here one day – gone the next. They are following dense schools of bait fish and don’t wait around when the bait fish move out into the deeper water.
Fishing has also been excellent when the conditions have allowed. Flathead, snapper, jew and tailer have been the most caught species. Mermaid Reef is fishing well for tailer of a kilo or a little better and snapper to three kilos. If you don’t know Mermaid Reef very well take care. Only fish it on a low swell day and with a light north easter blowing. If there is any sort of wind or tide use two picks and adjust your position by use of the anchor lines.
Bream, luderick and tailer will be the species most fished in July in the estuary and on the beaches. Around the rocks the drummer could be one the bite a bit earlier this year.
The pigs down south are rowing up earlier than usual so the drummer season could start in early July. The walls at Harrington will see plenty of action as the travelling bream call into the estuary for a feed of barnacles, crabs and prawns before they head north on their spawning run.
Barry Burley, of Singleton, with an 11kg jew caught on Crowdy Head Beach with a tailor spinner.
Perth visitor Kyle Altschweager rounded up this 40cm bream at Harrington.Reads: 693