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Good signs for mulloway
  |  First Published: November 2011



I am very happy to report that the river has been fishing very well for bream, perch, large sea run mullet along with the odd mulloway.

On the mulloway front as I know a lot of readers are as toey as a Roman sandal to get into these unbelievable fish. Already this year we have seen good signs as the locals have been trolling for a couple of fish with the odd session producing multiple catches in the double figures and fish to 8kg. What I can’t talk about is consistency yet, mulloway have been taken on trolled mullet, lures such as the old favourite down here jointed Rebel Fastracks, and squid has also done well fished off the bottom as well in the dirty water.

All the boxes are ticked off as far as the river and its environs go, so get your gear ready, with good double hook rigs on strong knots with sharp hooks and solid swivels (I usually have a selection of sizes and weighted swivels to help alter the depth I can troll live baits at). Change the split rings on old lures and update your hooks while you are at it.

A new service is available right here in Nelson to rejuvenate old favourite lures that have been smashed by fish and worn off the paint and patterns. Vanessa Knight has started up a lure refurbishing business called ‘Transformit Lures’. Vanessa can be contacted on 0488 444 982. For your live bait supplies call Chris or Brett at the boat hire on 08 87384048, the boys will have them ready for your arrival so you can have a crack straight away.

Bream Spawning

After the Glenelg river catchment area of fresh water flows subsided we quite quickly saw bream migrating upstream to spawn. Over a 2-3 week period reports came in fast and furious as they moved up to and beyond the usually-accepted spawning section near Sapling Creek. On writing this I am not certain where or whether they have actually done their love making, but roe and milky fish have been caught between the estuary and beyond Pritchards Landing, making around 50km of horny fish. They are all in search of the perfect spot to spawn, it takes place where the right level of salinity allows the spawn to suspend in the top level of the river.

The Glenelg River is one of Southern Australia’s most prolific bream hatcheries, thus the consistent presence of undersize fish that you have to fight your way through to get a legal fish. I have been hearing a lot of 35-40cm bream being caught this year. At present the best baits again crab, scrub worm, in the dirtier water along with Bass yabbies if you can source them.

The lure fraternity have been using hardbodies and surface poppers down at the estuary, and upstream deeper diving hardbodied lures, vibes and well-weighted soft plastics. Upstream you will need to target deeper water where the bream are congregating at present. This won’t change until the river returns to a clearer blue/green colour, then it’s time to harass the banks where the bream will hang around reefs, fallen trees, landings and reed beds that abound all the way along the river.

Thumper mullet are also keeping a lot of anglers amused at present, the swirling schools of mullet to 1 kg plus have been landed up as far as Forest Camp already this year, so fresh water obviously does not deter their movements. They should remain in the system till around March next year. Once you are onto the spot where they are, a good floating berley and a small hook loaded with prawn or cockle under a float should do the job.

Perch have come down around the Donovans to the Nelson section at the moment. Anglers targeting bream with lures have caught most of the estuary perch. They usually hang around this section till late November, then migrate back upstream and spread throughout the river over December and January. Once almost a rarity and only caught by a select few anglers who targeted them, perch have come on unbelievably over the last 3-4 years.

New lure technology has been a major factor plus the fact that more guys are targeting them has probably been the main reason for the increase in catches. With a lot more anglers adopting the catch and release method, plus the instant satisfaction a digital camera can offer on the bragging side of the job, these great fish shouldn’t be over fished.

The coast has produced some good catches of gummy, school and elephant shark. As the water warms up it will only improve. The Victorian beaches are only accessible by tracks and there is a bit of walking to get to some of the better spots but no pain no gain. Over the border in South Australia you can drive on the beaches, whilst obviously easier you will find more anglers along the beaches in this area.

Dean and Patti from the Nelson Kiosk are the locals you need to contact for the surf fishing news and where to go, they have a good supply of tackle and bait as well, call 08 878384061.

We can be contacted at the Nelson Hotel on 08 87384011 if there is anything we can help you with that will make your visit to Nelson a better fishing trip.

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