It has been a topsy-turvy time for anglers on the Mid North Coast. About a month ago the schools of baitfish appeared and the tailor and bonito were tearing into them as if there were no tomorrow.
Then we had 10 days of rough weather and when things settled down, the baitfish were gone and so were the tailor and bonito. It was not possible to catch a tailor anywhere in the area.
Thankfully a few have started to show up in the last few days and fish to 900g have been caught.
The Manning River has fished really well for the past month.
Bream anglers have been able to catch 12 to 15 fish a trip by targeting the couple of hours either side of slack water. High or low tide does not matter, the catches are just as good. Live yabbies and mullet strips will take fish.
Luderick have turned up in big numbers with fish over a kilo caught.
The luderick are biting during daylight hours on weed and cabbage and at night will take live yabbies.
To get a bag of luderick at night you need to fish the inside of the wall above the gantry before and after high tide.
A No 2 or No 4 540 hook and no sinker will do the job. The luderick do not attack the bait, they just suck it in and you feel a slight resistance when you lift the rod.
It is only a matter of getting the fish out of the water before you are cut off on the rocks.
It doesn’t matter how good an angler you may be, some fish will be lost during the session.
Small school jew are also plentiful at the mouth of the Manning with fish around 2kg being caught at night on fresh yabbies.
It has been a hard month for beach and rock fishers. Very little was caught for three weeks, then a few fish stated to appear.
The salmon have arrived and each day more reports are coming in of increased catches. The best fish would go 3.5kg while the average is around 2.4kg.
Pilchards, beach worms and small squid are the best baits for salmon.
Tailor are also showing up in more numbers with the best catches being made on the northern end of Crowdy Beach on pilchards and bonito strips.
No jew have been reported from the beaches and only a few bream have been taken.
It has not been a nice time for outside anglers because of the rough weather but some boats have come in with good catches.
Kingfish and pearl perch have been taken from the wide grounds and snapper to 5kg have been caught on bait up near Mermaid Reef.
Some flathead and leatherjackets make up the rest of the catch.
October should be an interesting month to watch unfolding.
The tailor should be much more plentiful by then and the salmon should be at their peak.
In the estuary, the smaller flathead to 2.5kg should be on the bite in the lower part of the estuary.
Bream will be more plentiful upstream while luderick should be around in plague numbers along the walls and also upstream to Taree.Reads: 1300