System well flushed
  |  First Published: February 2011

Mother Nature has once again put her substantial weight behind the weather conditions.

Like thousands of other water ways the beautiful Glenelg River has had enormous amounts of storm water wash down from its catchment area up in the Grampians. Not since the 80’s has there been such a good flushing. What it has left behind is a healthier system, tributary creeks are still flowing into the river, coral that grows on the rock walls has made a good come back, reed beds along the river edge are thick and lush.

All these things add up to good habitat for food sources in the rivers ecosystem. On the downside the fishing has been a little frustrating but improving of late, as the river clears itself of all the alluvial soils and tannins from dead and dry plant matter.

Freshwater that comes down the river floats on top of the tidal seawater that pushes up the river from the sea. With large fresh water flows we saw a fresh top of about 2-3m, much more than the usual 1m.

As the fresh flows subside fishing will return to normal, so February onwards I would think targeting the edges will be the go once again if we have no more major rain.

Early in January there was a big influx of schoolie mulloway enter the river. These were 60-75cm rats that created a lot of fun for the tourists; they hung at the estuary for a few days then moved upstream.

From there the school spread itself out and seem to have mixed in with the others that have taken up residence in the Princess Margaret Rose Caves area. This spot over the last couple of years has become mulloway central and should be your first point of call. They move around of course but 4-6 km either side has become the most consistent area to target mulloway. I have also heard of some bigger mulloway to 20kg being caught off the beaches between the mouth of the Glenelg and Port MacDonnell, so hopefully we will see some of them enter the river.

Bream have been on the improve of late as the river clears from the winter storm waters. The estuary on an incoming tide has fished well for fish to 43 cm, the section between Hutchessons landing through to Sapling Creek has also seen some nice fish boated. Be patient as you will catch a load of undersized fish due to another successful spawning of juveniles.

For bait users try crab, whitebait, Bass yabbies, spew worm and chicken fillet. For the lure brigade a selection of worm style plastics, deeper diving hardbodies and vibe style lures is recommended. As always the secret is to move, move and move again and try different spots.

Estuary perch have been a little hard to get a handle on of late so I throw my hat in the ring and suggest that you try up around McLennans Punt down to Canoe Camp. Only because the last couple of years this has been the area that has really fired during February and March.

My perch contact who wishes to remain un-named had a ball up there and with good polarised glasses was able to sight and target some majestic fish to 48 cm. Snags and structure are the spots to try along with some of the mud banks. A good technique on the shallow mud banks is to cast into the shallows with your lure and let it bounce along the bottom stirring up a bit of mud, often old mate perch will wait for the lure to pass by and crunch it.

They are cunning, so stealth is needed and if your reaction to a strike is slightly slow, be prepared to budget for gear loss.

Call us at the Nelson Hotel on 08 87384011 for any of the latest fish gossip or for information on accommodation that Nelson has to offer.

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