Heaps of estuary action
  |  First Published: December 2009

The estuary at Harrington has continued to provide heaps of action for shore and boat anglers.

Bream, luderick, flathead, whiting and school jew have all been caught in the river and chopper tailor have been taken from the end of the sea wall.

The bream, luderick, whiting and jew have all fallen to live yabbies fished in close to the edges of the rocks. The tailor have been taking metal lures, soft plastics and pilchards.

The beaches have improved with the build-up of sand pushed in by the north-easterlies but there are still some soft spots on Crowdy Beach where care must be taken when the tide is rising.

A few bream and small school jew have been caught from the southern end of Crowdy Beach, while bags of tailor have been taken from further north.

The tailor are not staying in one place for very long and time must be spent if you wish to catch a bag.


Conditions have been good in the mornings and quite a lot of boats have been going out to sea.

Plenty of small snapper have been caught on bait and soft plastics, while bags of eastern blue-spot flathead have been coming from the close drift areas.

Pearl perch are plentiful due east of Crowdy Head but they’re out a fair way.

January is always a good time for estuary and beach anglers because there are many species that are on the bite at this time.

In the river, flathead, luderick and whiting are there to be caught, while chopper tailor are easy to catch on the beaches on lures and bait.

With schools of little tailor around, the larger jew are not far away. A live bait or a couple of fresh slabs fished back to back should get a response from a decent sized jewie.


The appearance back in October on Crowdy Brach of some hundreds of dead salmon and sick fish at the water’s edge and in the boat harbour certainly stirred up the locals.

Anglers and non-anglers were upset at the waste and also at the smell of rotting fish on the beach during the school holidays.

This all started on the October 15 when local professional fishermen made a haul on Crowdy Beach a few hundred metres up from the surf club. Members of the public complained to I & I Fisheries on October 16 and I also received complaints about the dead fish.

One concerned local complained to me about the local fishermen catching the salmon and stacking them in piles on the beach. I soon put him right.

On October 17 Fisheries officers came out and interviewed a couple of the local professionals. After that nothing else happened.

On October 18 a letter was sent then Fisheries Minister Ian Macdonald and to local Independent Member for Port Macquarie Peter Besseling setting out the facts of the case and the concerns of the locals.

On November 9 a response was received from Peter Besseling and on November 10 the issue was raised in State Parliament.

On November 12 Mr Besseling asked the Premier for an investigation into beach hauling. Perhaps something may be done but with the departure of Ian Macdonald from the front benches and I & I Fisheries to undertake further investigation and bring forward a review of best practice in the ocean hauling fishing industry, I won’t hold my breath.

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