Fishing is not quite back to normal but the indicators are there to show that it should be a wonderful Winter for bream fishing.
The closure of the bottom part of the Manning to all types of professional fishing has had a profound effect on the numbers of fish available to the angler. There are more fish available because they are not being netted and the feeding grounds for prawns and small fish are not being destroyed by nets being dragged over them and wiping out the seagrass.
This Summer I was impressed by the numbers of small bream and flathead in the estuary. In some places it was possible to catch up to 30 undersized flathead while you boated three or four legal fish.
Over the weed beds it was possible to berley up 100 or more bream from 18cm to 24cm. There are currently bream throughout the whole Manning system and while they are not monsters, I have seen a few fish of a kilo or better caught in the past couple of weeks.
While there are plenty of bream to chase from the training walls and from boats near the walls and flats, there are also still some nice flathead.
The’ big mommas’ have moved back up the river for the Winter but fish to 2kg can still be caught in the lower part of the estuary.
The best catches of bream are being made at night in the slowly moving water a couple of hours either side of high or low tide. Mullet strips, tailor pieces, yabbies, mullet gut and prawns will all catch fish.
There are plenty of luderick in the estuary. The smaller fish are locals but there are some big bronzies being caught and obviously they are travelling fish that have come from the south.
Our beaches have taken a pounding over the last couple of months and are eroded more than at any time in the last 40 years. Quite a large section of Crowdy Beach is out of bounds over high tide.
Despite this handicap there are heaps of chopper tailor to catch on Crowdy and Harrington beaches.
Some nice bream have also been caught from the southern end of Crowdy Beach.
Jewfish have not been around in the past month but with the schools of small tailor appearing, I expect it will not be long before the schoolies turn up.
Crowdy Head has fished well for drummer to 2.5kg on cunjevoi. Remember, there is a ban on abalone gut.
Fishing has been good with surface fish and bottom species being caught in good numbers. Snapper, pearl perch kingfish, bonito, mackerel tuna, longtail tuna and flathead make up the bulk of the catches.
The tuna have been feeding close in to the harbour wall at Crowdy Head and have been caught on live yakkas.
July should be a great month for bream anglers in the lower reaches of the Manning and on the beaches.
By this time the larger tailor should also have appeared on our beaches and around the headlands. It is not unusual to pick up a tailor of 5kg or more by fishing the dropping tide in the early hours of the morning.Reads: 691