May is recognised as one of the best months for mulloway in the Manning area.
The mullet usually start to run around Anzac Day and continue to leave the river for the following few weeks. Depending on the winds and the weather, small schools of mullet could be moving out of the river for three weeks after the first ones leave.
The jew congregate at the mouth of the river and move upstream on the rising tide to ambush the mullet forming up near the Gantry. The mullet can be on the inside of the wall or moving up and down on the river side.
The jew go up the river to Croki or sometimes even further and can be heard chopping at the mullet at night.
Sometimes a school of jew will shadow a patch of mullet and stay with them for days. When this happens, it is relatively simple to catch a jew: Just anchor 100m up the tide from the school so that the current will float your bait back towards it.
It will not take long before a jew picks up the bait and takes off. Live mullet or fresh slabs are the best baits in these circumstances.
The water in the lower parts of the river is blue and clear but the same cannot be said for the water around Taree and further upstream, where it is still very muddy and lots of fish have red spot infections.
The big mama flathead have left the mouth of the river and moved back upstream. There are still plenty of fish from 700g to 2kg caught around the walls and from boats drifting along the weed beds.
Most of the bream have been forced down the river by the regular freshes over the last couple of months. The best bait for bream is mullet pieces with yabbies a close second.
Crowdy Beach at times is very narrow and care must be taken to avoid being caught by the incoming tide.
Tailor to a kilo can be caught from the northern end of the beach while the southern end is producing fish of just legal size.
The end of the sea wall and the beach nearby is also producing plenty of small fish. Some good catches of bream have been made from Crowdy Beach on worms, pipis and mullet strips.
Conditions have been good for outside fishing and kings to 13kg have been weighed as well as some nice snapper to 3kg.
Bonito have been taking trolled jigs and they are excellent bait, alive or dead, for jew and snapper. Plenty of school jew to 10kg have been taken offshore on live baits but the jew have not moved onto the beaches or into the river yet.
May is always an exciting time to fish the Mid North Coast. The movement of the mullet up the coast as well as the schools of travelling bream and blackfish provide plenty of action for the shore-based angler.
The larger tailor usually show up at this time and it is possible to catch 4kg fish from the beach and the rocks at Diamond Head.Reads: 3146