The Mulloway Grin
  |  First Published: March 2011

Great news on the mulloway front as a good-sized school has recently entered the river with a size range of 55-80cm.

Anchored fishers using squid and bait fish strips had the first crack at them, followed by the trolling brigade using lures such as Rebel Fast-tracks and a variety of shallower diving minnow lures. The local and visiting brigade of putt-putts and electric motor users had a ball trolling around the estuary and back towards the ‘Poles’ that mark the channel to the ocean. The best times are morning and late afternoon until dark.

Our new chef Matt had a ball rowing around in his little boat. Originally from the Riverland, Matt has never experienced the spine tingling sound of a spool being spun so fast as only a mulloway can. He had a couple of sessions between lunch and dinner rosters, rowing his purpose built fibreglass row boat, fishing from 3-5.30pm for some ripper fish to 75cm. It’s great to see the excited glow on a blokes face after they have their first good mulloway session; just like the fish, they’re hooked!

The arrival of good numbers of mulloway has set up a good basis for a ripper autumn of fishing on the Glenelg. Dare I say it but as the river clears the fishing should be awesome. The mulloway should keep on arriving and the bream and perch should become easier to get a pattern on where and how to target them.

With the hope of some trophy-sized mulloway entering the river as in past years during March through to June, we are ‘pregnant with possibilities’.


On the bream, reports are still spasmodic, I have heard of good fish being caught at the estuary and throughout the river, right up above Pritchards Landing. The only advice is to use your fish finder; the fish aren’t spread out at present so they will come up in stacked clusters on your finder.

Some time spent searching around can make all the difference. If you are getting a lot of clutter on your screen dial back the frequency setting to say 70% and see if that gives you a better picture. Fiddle around a bit because all sounders are different. Find the setting that suits your needs.

A pair of clever anglers bagged out on every trip over a three-day visit while down here in February. They kept going back to about 10 spots and the fish were there nearly every time. The common factor was the fish hung in little dips and crevices surrounded by a bit of structure, like a rocky reef or a sunken log, in 14-18ft of water. This placed the fish in the saltwater wedge from the sea-tides that push into the Glenelg.

As dirty as the river has been of late, the majority of fish caught have been very silver, again indicating they are taking up residence in afore mentioned salt wedge.

Along the coast the fishing has been very consistent, unlike the sea conditions themself. Rough weather has made it hard to get out by boat, but when things clear good numbers of shark, flathead, teraki and knife jaw have hit the decks in the 50-100m line.

The bigger sea conditions have created great gutters, so the surf fishing has also been very good. Along the coast good numbers and sized salmon, snapper, mulloway, school and gummy shark have been beached.

In the next issue I will do a section on the Nene Valley and Carpenters Rocks area. This is a rugged piece of coastline that needs a lot of respect, but at the same time fantastic for boat and land-based fishers.

This is a well known area to locals but in reality it is quite undiscovered; great bays with lots of sheltered reef, plenty of opportunity for surf fishing of sandy beaches or rocky outcrops. About 40 minutes from Nelson it is well worth the effort for a whiting or snapper trip, plus the opportunity to pack some drop nets for a delicious by-catch of crayfish.

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