March has always been a time when the fishing is changing from one predominant species to another.
The flathead, while still around in numbers, are giving way to the bream and jewfish.
The weather has been a bit of a problem for all types of angling because of the winds, rain and rough seas. Add to this the continual freshes coming down the river and you can see that not all anglers would be happy.
The outside boys have had precious few days to venture offshore but the fishing has been excellent when they have been able to get out.
Freshwater anglers have been lucky if they can get a couple of days a month, while the people fishing the up river end of the salt water have not had any luck at all with the water being dirty and fresh.
Despite all these problems, the bottom end of the Manning has really turned it on and excellent catches have been made.
The big female flathead have turned up in droves near the fish-cleaning table and further out along the sea wall. There are heaps of small herring to use as live bait and it is nothing to see a couple of 6kg to 7kg fish caught each day as well as four or five from 2kg to 3.5kg.
Thankfully, some of the anglers are putting these big breeders back into the water but others are keeping every fish.
It seems strange but the ones who take the big fish are the same people who whine when there are no fish biting.
The bream have been pushed down the river by the freshes and fish of over a kilo have been taking the live baits case out for flathead.
Smaller bream from 400g to 800g have been taking yabbies, prawns and mullet strips at night and in the early mornings and late evenings.
The beaches have been severely eroded by the heavy southerly seas over the past couple of months and it will take a few weeks of north-easterly winds to build them back up to what they were before the big seas.
Despite the fact that the beaches are very level and the gutters and drains have not yet formed, there have been some nice fish taken from Harrington and Crowdy beaches.
Good whiting have been caught from the northern end of Harrington Beach and chopper tailor have been caught around Abbeys Creek on Crowdy beach.
Despite limited chances, some big snapper of 5kg to 6kg have been caught on soft plastics and pearl perch to 3kg have been taken on bait. The pearlies have been caught on the wider northern grounds.
Bonito have made their appearance and those boaties trolling with Smiths jigs have been getting heaps.
March is the time when all types of fishing can be good. The estuary has flathead and bream with a jew or two if you are lucky and the beaches can produce a better class of tailor or some big salmon.
Outside anglers can always pick up some surface fish by trolling and a live bait floated around the bommies will always entice a big snapper.Reads: 859