Mulloway Madness
  |  First Published: November 2010

Anticipation is in the air for mulloway madness.

A lot of boxes have been ticked off after possibly one of the wettest winters for years. We have a great mouth to the Glenelg, better channels at the estuary from the massive out flow of floodwater and I think spring is a little earlier this year.

So to capitalise on all this we again offer you the ‘Mulloway Hotline’. Call us at the hotel 08 87384011 for the latest news. Just to help plan your trip, here are the phone numbers of – Kiosk 08 87384061 Patti and Dean – Roadhouse 08 87384142 Gillian and Phil – Boat hire 08 87384048 Chris and Brett. We all hear different news so give all or a couple a call to get the latest gossip.

So what has been happening of late? As the river slowly cleaned up after all the rain, bream have moved upstream on their annual spawn run. The tidal push of seawater saw them move fairly quickly from the South Australian section of the river up steam to the area where traditionally the spawning has taken place: Hutchessons landing (20.5km) trough to Sapling Creek (26.3 km). During November this area along with the estuary are probably the best spots to try.

You should be able to judge where to target the bream simply from the colour of the water. If we have more rains and the water is still murky try off the banks to the middle in deeper water. If it has cleared up the banks with all their differing structure will be worth a crack.

As long as we don’t have a lot of spring rains, I have feeling a fair percentage of the bream after the spawning will migrate upstream. The river will be magnificent with massive reed beds that will provide good habitat for all sorts of bait species, and the coral that seemed to disappear as the river became more saline from lack of fresh flow has made a welcome return.

All this has created a fantastic natural food chain that will only enhance the fishing in the Glenelg.

Mulloway, even when the water was very dirty, have been quite consistent. A spattering of numbers have been caught from the estuary, and as the floodwaters subsided the usual estuarine effect of the river saw the fish move slowly upstream.

Whilst not in large numbers, I surprisingly heard of good-sized mulloway up as far as Battersby Landing (40.4 km) early in September. This was about a week after the bulk of the floodwater had slowed so you would think the mulloway must have followed the salt wedge the tidal push creates in the river.

Fishing in the dirtier water with good baits such as spew/blood worms, Bass yabbies, rabbit and hare, cast out into the deeper sea water that lies beneath the dirty freshwater surface proved best.

Shane and Lauren Quinlan once again out-fished all with their freshly-pumped spew worm. Between them they bagged out on bream and a good sample of mulloway on seven occasions over the space of two weeks, once again proving the old adage of “fishing with the freshest and best baits possible”.

Reports on estuary perch catches are slowly drifting in with some nice samples coming from between Taylors Straight (5 km) through to Dry Creek (11.6 km) mainly on blade style lures and Ecogear SX40 lures with the front hooks removed and replaced with a little lead putty to help quicker sinking.

Along the coast, gummy sharks and elephant fish have been beached by the surf-fishing brigade from Piccaninnies beach through to Riddoch bay on the eastern side of Stony Point. The breakwater area at Point MacDonnell is giving up good King George whiting and Australian salmon.

Cray season will be opened in South Australia from November so get out the drop nets and have a go at these delicacies, as it will be a lot cheaper than trying to buy one. At the close of the Victorian cray season they were selling for around $90 per kilogram.

Call in at the pub and have beer with a bite to eat, say g’day and we’ll talk fish.

Angus Robinson with his first mulloway, which measured right on 60cm and was taken on a StrikePro vibe in a gold colour.

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