Freshes plague the Manning
  |  First Published: May 2010

The Mid North Coast has been plagued by southerly winds and rain that seem to occur every week or so. Heavy storms in the higher reaches of the Manning River have sent small, dirty freshes down.

The freshes have shut down the bass and only occasional catches have been made and the dirty water has taken a long time to move out of the upper parts of the Manning.

On the beaches, the southerly weather has made it too rough for the whitebait to stay in the gutters and they have moved out to sea, taking the tailor with them.

When it calms down, it takes a few days for the fish to move back into the gutters.

The mullet are schooling up in the lower parts of the river and already one small school of 50 boxes has been netted at Crowdy Head.

In the river, the sharks are hunting for a quick feed of mullet and a shark quickly snaps up any flesh bait floated out for a jewfish. Some of them are over 3m long and just keep heading east when hooked.

No jew have been caught in the river but bream and luderick are on the bite. Some good whiting have been taken on yabbies from the sand flats.


It has been hard work trying to catch a feed of tailor due to the rough weather but thankfully a few good bream are being caught from the southern end of Crowdy Beach.

The headland shelters the southern part of the beach and it is nearly always possible to fish there because the seas are not too big.

When the seas have calmed, the northern end of Crowdy Beach has produced the best catches of tailor.

When conditions have allowed, offshore anglers have been scoring good catches of snapper to 3.5kg from the southern grounds off Old Bar.

Bonito, mackerel tuna and longtail tuna can be taken by trolling lures and plenty of slimy mackerel can be caught by anchoring near the bommies and berleying.

June is the best time to fish for bream in the Manning.

To get the best results you must understand what the schooling and travelling bream do when they reach the mouth of the river.

Fish that are travelling up the coast hit the northern wall at the entrance of the river, then feed along the wall on their way up the river.

Usually they get to the end of the wall and then move down the wall and out to sea and continue up the coast.

This means when you start catching a few bream on the sea wall, you must move upriver as the school moves along the wall.

The next night, you should start fishing 50m or 100m above where you caught the fish the night before. This way you can follow the fish while they are in the estuary.

It does not take long to work out how fast the fish are travelling and to pick the right spot to start fishing.

As well as the bream, there are small school jew to 5kg and the occasional large flathead. Mullet pieces, yabbies and mullet gut are the best baits.

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