The Mid North Coast has had a very slow introduction to Spring with storms and red weed making fishing difficult.
All the rain has been falling on the coastal parts and not enough in the headwaters of the Manning to give the river a good flush out. Consequently, the river is very clear and the bream and flathead have moved up the river as the waters become more salty.
There are some good fish to be taken on lures up around the Wingham Brush area. The locals have been scoring plenty of flathead on plastic lures.
Down at the mouth of the river anglers have to work hard for a few flathead and bream but luderick are there for the taking on weed and on fresh yabbies at night. The school jew have been absent for a couple of weeks but the full moon should see them back on the bite again.
Whiting are showing up on the sand flats in the mouth of the river with the best catches being made at night on live yabbies and beach worms. The red weed sometimes pushes into the lower parts of the estuary and makes fishing a tedious business, with all that muck on the line having to be removed before the next cast.
The salmon have arrived in thousands and are prepared to take almost any bait that is thrown at them. Beach worms, small squid, pilchards, whitebait and tailor strips will all take fish.
The salmon are only small, 1.5kg to 2.5kg, but they put on a great performance on 3kg line. All one has to do is find a patch of water free from red weed and put a bait out. It is possible to catch a fish a throw some afternoons.
Of course, it is all catch and release as they are not regarded as decent eating unless they are used in fish cakes.
The constant storms and south to south east winds have eroded the beaches to the extent that there is no beach showing on a 1.7-metre tide. It is best to head up the beach on half tide out and come back about two-and-a-half hours after low tide.
Leave your departure too long and you will be stuck on the beach until the tide drops.
The rocks are the only places where tailor can be caught at present. The red weed on the beaches seems to have driven them around the headlands.
There is still no big influx of surface fish to our area. There are some bonito to be trolled and occasionally a few striped tuna are boated but the big schools of surface fish are still to appear.
Most boat anglers are scoring only a few bottom species with the occasional lucky boat picking up a few plate-sized snapper.
November is normally the month when fishing picks up in this area.
A good fresh in the river would be a great benefit to estuary anglers as it would bring the fish down the river and the big predatory fish would be waiting around the mouth of the Manning to feed on these.
The big flathead should make their appearance soon and once the whitebait start moving up the river, the salmon and jew will move in after them.
The north-easterly winds of Spring and Summer will start to form up the beaches and provide better gutters and sand banks for the fish to hide near or in.Reads: 476