The Manning has experienced a couple of freshes which have set up the river for a bumper bream season.
The school prawns are moving out to sea from time to time and while they are schooled up in the lower parts of the river, they are perfect food for the bream schooling up and getting ready to spawn.
On the beaches the prospects are not as good. There are no schools of baitfish moving along our beaches and consequently there are no tailor to be caught.
There are tailor to the south of the Manning and tailor to the north, so as soon as the baitfish appear the tailor should be back on the bite.
With plenty of really big seas lately anglers fishing the breakwall have had to wear good rain gear or soon be soaked by the splash from the waves breaking against the rocks. There are some good bream to be caught from the sea wall – fish a bit better than a kilo – but it is easier fishing to walk up the river wall beyond the gantry and get away from the spray.
Some good flathead to 2kg have been caught up the river on yabbies, while luderick are back on the bite at night from the river wall on the same bait.
The heavy seas have seriously eroded Crowdy Beach and in parts the waves at high tide go nearly back to the trees that were 30m from the water before the erosion.
There are no tailor to be caught but there are plenty of good bream to be taken on mullet pieces, pipis and beach worms.
The beach is unformed and consists of long reaches of deep water with no sandbars to create a wash to provide cover for baitfish.
Harrington Beach also has plenty of good bream, as well as hundreds of undersized jewfish. Nearly all anglers are returning these small fish to the water, which is good for future fishing.
Outside catches have been good when the weather has allowed.
The northern grounds have produced good catches of pearl perch to 3kg and snapper to 5kg.
The rocks close in have also produced big snapper on floating baits and soft plastics. There are plenty of flathead to be caught on the drift and an abundance of bonito on trolled lures.
Winter is when bream fishing is at its peak in the Manning and this year should be no different.
The lead-up weather has been spot on as far as bream fishing goes and this season should be a beauty.
The tailor should be back on the beaches by June and salmon should be starting to show.
Luderick will be plentiful, as they normally run after the mullet and along with the bream.
Everything is pointing towards a most productive Winter.Reads: 2273