On the mulloway front we still have a resident population ranging in size 3-10kg plus one fish that went 19.5kg caught up near McLennans Punt.
The fish are well spread out and a quite a few have been taken at odd times and locations but in stating that, the old hotspots have produced the best results, the estuary, Taylor’s Straight, Dry Creek to Sandy Waterhole, Hutchesson’s Landing to Mc Lennan’s Punt producing good fish.
I wasn’t surprised to hear of the 19.5kg mulloway being caught. Two weeks prior to its capture I fished the same area and I have never seen such big arches on my fish finder. My first sighting saw two stacked on each other and as I trolled around looking for them again I come across them in 24’ of water 17’ down. Too deep for my trolled live baits, so I busted open the tackle box and tried some metal vibe style lures, alas no salami but it kept me entertained for an hour or so. Maybe the other marked fish is still waiting for me.
We should see reasonable numbers of mulloway remaining in the system throughout winter as long there is no massive downpours of rain that wash alluvial soils into the river and create a predominately fresh water river, as opposed to the normal sea water estuarine system the river and environs thrive on. Steady rains will colour the system but it doesn’t force out all the mulloway.
The bream fishing continues to impress. They are spread throughout the river, so you will have to move about heaps, fish the edges and move, move, move. Down at the estuary the top and tail of the tides is working well on old mate crab. It’s funny how one day they bite better on cut crab then the next day whole crab kicks butt, so on any trip try both ways and make your choice.
Good bait this time of year is muddies, these can be caught in a fine mesh yabby net, put some prawns in a stocking and tie it to your net. Pulling every 10-20 minutes should see you with a good supply of bait. Either cut or whole they have been working very well especially up river.
I have heard of some nice bream being caught up near Dartmoor, information is scarce but one of the locals let it slip that his old man had been having a ball using gudgeon for bait sourced from some of the local fresh water creeks and dams.
Perch have been quite prolific, with most reports coming from the middle to upper sections of the river. Bait fishers using minnow and the river muddies seem to be getting the majority at present; lures carefully placed around snags have also had success.
One deep thinker caught good perch from one of the town landings. Graeme ‘Nipper’ O’Neill from Camperdown bought along some minnow sourced from the Lake Bullen Merri. After several days of fishing spots along the river, Nipper fished off a landing below the Pub here in Nelson. This landing gets a fair bit of use and most anglers get bream and the odd mulloway, but Nipper bagged out a couple of times and got two more perch having a quick morning fish before he went home.
That’s the beauty of fishing, think outside the square and it’s amazing how often it can change your results.
We also at present have a good run of large sea mullet of 750g-1kg in the river at present. Colder winter sea tides see them enter every year around this time. You can see them circling and swirling along quite close to the surface.
A good floating berley and a couple of small hooks under a pencil float do the trick. They also move around a lot so keep and eye out and once you’ve located them they are good angling and excellent forage fresh.
Offshore the tuna have been nothing but exceptional, Clinton ‘Wilbur’ Wilson has been running a very busy charter out of Port MacDonnell. Good numbers of tuna to 25kg have been caught with the bonus of near every trip bagging out plus many released. Just recently there was a huge school in as close as the 50 metre line around 4 kilometres offshore.
The window of opportunity for deep sea fishing will shrink dramatically as the winter seas build, but if you want a good day out try Clinton and his decky Spud on 0427387370.Reads: 1986