Flatties on the move
  |  First Published: November 2003

THE AREA has experienced the perfect build-up to Summer with periods of hot weather interspersed with cool changes and coastal showers.

Already the flathead are on the move down the river and one of 4.5kg was caught from the wall not long ago. There are plenty of fish of around the kilo mark being caught on lures – mainly soft plastics – and live yabbies.

The relative lack of rain combined with the hot weather has resulted in the Manning being a lot saltier in the upper parts of the river due to the lesser volume of fresh water coming down. Good falls of rain in the upper reaches would be much appreciated by the farmers and anglers.

As well as the flathead the river is well-stocked with bream and luderick. Most of the luderick are about to spawn and can be seen moving along the training walls in schools of 400 to 500. These fish are not biting well on weed during the day but are taking live yabbies at night.

Bag limits of 20 fish are common to locals who know how to fish an unweighted bait at night. The bream caught from the wall tend to be smaller than those taken from around the oyster leases. The best fish from the leases will go around a kilo.


Fishing has been rather quiet with bream the most-sought species on the beaches. There are tailor around but they are very small and tend to shift from spot to spot. The jew have also been quiet except for a 14.6kg specimen caught in the lagoon at 3am by a visiting angler who left his rod set while he cleaned his catch of bream.

There are some rock blackfish biting at Crowdy Heads on cunjevoi and abalone gut. They are only small fish of around 1.5kg. Fishing should improve by the time you read this, especially if the tailor increase in numbers. Abbeys Creek would be worth a try with a live tailor or a fresh slab for bait.

Results have not been good for the outside crews of late. A few nice snapper, a few flathead and some bonito on the surface and that’s about it.

Things should change shortly when the surface fish move in. Then there should be striped tuna, mackerel tuna and bonito to chase. The full moon usually brings a few more big fish in close to the bommies, where a floating slab or a live bait will usually guarantee some action.

If the weather continues to be warmer than usual, then November fishing will be like an early Christmas, with big flathead taking live baits on bobby cork rigs and school jew falling to live tailor fished with a minimum of weight.

Crowdy Head would be worth a try with red crabs for a big blue groper and a slab bait might result in a jew that you don’t have to enhance the size of when you show the pics.


Anthony McEwen with a 14.6kg jewie caught in Harrington Lagoon.


This Harrington flathead is about the average at the moment.

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