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Water, Water Everywhere
  |  First Published: October 2011



With the onset of better weather we are seeing the river slowly clear of the muddy colour that has haunted it over the past few months. Hopefully it will stay that way, but more heavy rains will see the river return to a dirty colour.

Bream have been caught in the estuary over August but recent reports of catches of good sized bream to 36cm have just started to come from Donovans Landing through to Hutchessons Landing, which is good news for visiting anglers. A few of the old timers who fish off the shacks and landings up at Donovans, Reed Beds and Dry Creek have been patiently waiting for the arrival of these bream and as the flood waters slow, a feed of bream from this middle section is now more likely.

Casting to the middle of the river using crab and scrubworm has seen their fortunes change over the past few weeks. I recently enjoyed a tinnie trip down the river from Harrow to Casterton and saw how much water is in the river at the start of September. When we put in at Harrow it was 4-6’ higher than normal and over four days we simply followed the high water downstream, over logs, fallen trees, under and over farmers fences.

It was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on but it is not recommended with a flash tinnie and more suited to an $800 special. On our third night we camped at Red Cap Creek just upstream from Casterton, overnight the water level dropped 4 feet. I have no idea how many megalitres that is, but a couple of hundred kilometres of 4 foot deep water is a significant amount of water. This same water took another 4-5 days to reach the mouth in Nelson.

Hopefully this will be the last of the major floods for this year, leaving the sea water to clean up the waters with the tides.

We should have a ripper year on the bream, mulloway and perch fronts because of this flush. The flood waters have left behind an awesome ecosystem for bait species to flourish, which of course means good conditions for the top end of the pecking order.

The estuary had a good clean out from last year’s wet winter, add this year’s wet winter to it and we will have a lot more fishable area.

Upstream the reed beds have flourished creating more habitat; the coral that grows on the river’s edges that was missing for several years is growing back, all of it leading to more food for bream and perch.

October should see a mass migration of bream upstream for the annual spawning that occurs in the Sapling Creek area, so I would think this is the spot to start your endeavours on the bream. October is also the month that we start to keep an eye out for the massive schools of mulloway that enter the Glenelg. There has been the odd mulloway landed over the past couple of months and fingers are crossed that they are the pre-runners for many more. October is usually the accepted norm for their arrival but they can be early, also the initial run we get down here offers some of the better sized fish caught for the year.

In years gone by baits such as fresh squid, octopus fished off the bottom or brightly coloured trolled lures have accounted for the first good catches, usually because the waters are still coloured. As the water clears going into October and November, trolling live mullet takes over as the better bait. We offer the latest Mully News if you call us at the pub on 08 8738 4011. We will try and fill you in on the latest so you can go out and catch your own dream.

Perch reports have been few of late, more because not many anglers have been fishing for the good bream in the estuary. One frequent visitor has been having a ball on these perch either side from Donovans. His lure choice has swapped between small blade styles and deeper diving hard bodies. For bait he has been casting out lightly weighted gudgeon or muddies along cliff walls that offer a 6-10’ of drop off. His best of late has been a very healthy 42 cm and bags of up to 10 fish, all released, have not been uncommon.

For any enquiries on what Nelson has to offer, be it accommodation, bait supply, camping or any other need for your next fishing expedition, give us a call at the pub (08 8738 4011) and we will send you in the right direction.

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