Weather forecasters are predicting a dry March and then a fairly wet April, which should suit the local mullet because a bit of rain will help them make up their minds and move out into the ocean.
A couple of big runs of fish are better than small schools of 20 or 30 boxes of fish heading out to sea. Anzac Day is the usual time for the big schools of mullet to run but small schools can leave before this.
Indeed, some schools move out to sea and after moving along the beach for a few hundred metres, then head back into the river and join up with the larger schools.
Already a couple of hundred boxes of hard-gut mullet have been spotted on the beaches accompanied by a big school of bream up to 1.5kg.
The Manning at Harrington has been clear and blue but upstream around Taree the water is still very muddy.
The sea wall near the fish-cleaning table has been the most-fished spot in the Manning for the past two months.
Flathead to 7kg have been caught there on live baits. Thankfully some of the fish have been returned to the water but there are still some people who keep every fish they catch and they are there every day.
Some catch a big fish in the morning and take it home and then go back in the evening and take another large fish. They show no respect for the rules and are quite annoyed when it is pointed out to them that they are damaging the fishery.
Some big bream over a kilo have been caught on the live baits used for flathead.
The beaches have been severely degraded by the southerly seas and are very flat and narrow. In places there is no beach left at high tide.
Despite the poor beaches, bream and tailor have been caught from Crowdy Beach and some nice flathead have been taken from the southern end.
Despite the rough seas the boats have been able to get out to sea on a few days with good results.
There are plenty of slimies and bonito for bait and the big snapper and jew have been falling to live slimies fished as floaters.
Some big pearl perch have been taken from the northern grounds on bonito pieces.
Soft plastics have accounted for some snapper to 5kg and the trend has been for the larger fish to take the plastics.
With the prospect of more rain in April the bream and flathead could well be back down the river with the mullet, making for some exciting fishing.
Big jew will be coming into the river to feed on the mullet schooling up in the lower estuary.
Tailor up a kilo should be on our beaches by this time and will take lures and bait.
Some big luderick have been caught since the water has cleared and by April there should be hordes of them feeding along the training walls.Reads: 625