There is no doubt that this winter has been one of the very best seasons for bream in the Manning River. At the present time we are experiencing some heavy rain, rough seas and strong winds. If the rain continues, as is forecast, then there will be another small fresh in the river. This will tend to concentrate the bream at the mouth of the river until the water starts to clear and the bream start moving back up the river on the run in tide.
When there is a run of fresh water in the river then the heavier salt seawater pushes in on the rising tide. At these times the bream move into the river in the salt seawater and feed on the prawns and crustaceans brought down by the fresh water. Then as the dirty water slowly clears the bream work their way back up the river. These freshes make the bream season much better for the downstream anglers.
At the present time there are heaps of bream to be caught from the retaining walls especially at night. Mullet strips, yabbies, prawns and bonito strips will all take fish. The last couple of hours of the run in and the first two hours of the run out is the best time to fish. The two hours either side of low tide is also a good time to fish.
These bream will make their way back into the lower part of the estuary and stay there until they are ready to spawn. They may not spawn for a few weeks, as most of the fish caught are not roed up enough to spawn in the short term.
As well as bream there are still some good flathead to be caught. Most of the fish have been caught by bream anglers, but some good sized flathead have been taken on soft plastics.
Some school jewfish have been caught on bait and soft plastics. Six to seven kilos would be the weight of the largest fish.
The beaches have been firing for big tailor on bait for the past week. Fish to three and a half kilos have been caught and larger fish lost. It has been a long time since fish of this calibre have shown up on our beaches. There are plenty of smaller fish around the 35cm length to take lures and bait.
Bream are also plentiful and can be caught on worms, pipis and flesh baits. Small school jew of just about legal size are in plague proportions at the mouth of the river and on the beach near the sea wall. They are taking beach worms and squid strips.
Snapper are the most sought after fish by the outside boys. Fish to 7kgs are common and it is not unusual for most boats to have at least one fish of 5kgs or more. Teraglin are also plentiful from the eastern marks and boats have been coming in with bag limits of these tasty fish.
Leatherjackets are back making a nuisance of themselves, biting of lines at the surface of the water but some anglers like the taste of these fish and target them when they are around.
July will see the end of the tailor season at Harrington. The big fish will make their way north to spawn of Fraser Island. The small choppers could turn up as the big fish leave or not make an appearance until near Christmas. The last couple of seasons the choppers have turned up late but that does not mean that they will be late this year.
Bream will still be on the bite in the estuary and luderick should be here in big numbers. There have been a few small schools of fish move into the river in the last couple of weeks. There will be some variety for the keen angler to chase.Reads: 1220