The Manning area has experienced quite a bit of southerly weather over the last few weeks, limiting offshore, beach and rock fishing but it has had little effect on the estuary.
Indications are that we are in for a pretty cold Winter. The mullet have all left the river and only small schools are going north from further down the coast.
Since the mullet left, bream anglers have been scoring well at night from the walls at Harrington.
Anglers fishing a couple of hours either side of high tide have been averaging up to a dozen fish a trip. Of course, they are not all big fish but most go 500g to 600g.
There is no doubt that July is the best time for bream angling in the Manning.
The travelling schools of bream heading north hit the sea wall and feed their way up the river to the end of the rocks. They then turn around and make their way back to the mouth of the river and go around the end of the wall and head north along the beaches.
This gives the keen anglers five or six days to work a school.
When those fish depart there are probably two or three other schools moving up or down the walls.
It is easy to catch a feed of bream during this time.
On the beaches there are plenty of bream to chase as well as the last of the big greenback tailor that head off north towards the end of July.
The only drawback is the cold at night and this Winter looks like being one of the coldest for a while.The sand has eroded away from Manning Point spur wall on the upstream side and at the end of the spur there would be 5m to 6m of water.
This is now a great place to fish the run-in tide at night from a boat and pieces of mullet, mullet gut and fresh yabbies will all take fish.
There are still a few nice flathead in the lower parts of the river with a couple of fish going 3kg caught on live bait recently.
School jew to 6kg have been caught on live bait and soft plastics from the far end of the sea wall.
Salmon have moved into the river and have been playing havoc with the light lines of bream anglers.
It has been a tough time for beach and rock anglers. Just as the sea settles and the beaches start to form up, the sea comes up from the south and wipes out any chance of fishing the beach.
Luckily, we have a bit of beach protected from the southerlies and some fish have been taken there.
Salmon and bream have been the most common species with a few tailor turning up occasionally.
The rocks have been the same with some nice pigs up to 3kg caught when the seas allow.
Harrington Beach north of the sea wall has produced school jew, salmon, bream and chopper tailor when the seas have been down.
Surface fish have been plentiful when conditions allow. Bonito and mackerel have been the most numerous with the occasional tuna.
Flathead have been the best of the bottom species with small to medium sized snapper making up the rest of the catch.
The NSWFCA’s deep sea championship was held on the only good weekend in the past few weeks. It proved to be a great outing for those prepared to venture out to the continental shelf. The best bag was around 140kg and easily took out first place.Reads: 2006