Nelson rocks on
  |  First Published: December 2011

After a mild spring, summer has produced some great fishing.

The locals have been busy trolling live baits up and down the river chasing mulloway, the lower section here in Nelson produced the early frenzy and over a couple of weeks the school moved upstream. Tried and tested spots such as ‘The Isle of Bags’, Simsons Landing, Taylors Straight and just below the SA/VIC border gave up some samples to around 6kg.

Whilst that school of mulloway moved on up the river several more schools seem to have entered as well. Quite unique to the Glenelg is the numbers of mulloway caught, whilst bags of 2-5 fish not uncommon it’s not till we hear of double number bag catches of fish being caught (and released) that we really get excited about.

I spoke recently to the guys from the Arthur Rylah Institute who are still conducting the survey of mulloway movement here in the Glenelg River. Without downloading all the new information from the acoustic receivers they told me that of the 30 mulloway that were caught and acoustic tags inserted around 6 remain active. Interestingly one has moved out of the river and has been picked up on another receiver up near the mouth of the Murray River, hopefully to return. Another couple have left the Glenelg and have moved in and out over 6 months.

What they have downloaded and been able to study is there doesn’t seem to be any formal consistency in the tagged fish’s movements. Mulloway that were caught on the same day and in the same spot have simply moved on and done their own thing. They may have crossed paths on several occasions but nothing seems to be in common. What was interesting was the data so far suggests that there are certain parts of the river that the mulloway spend more time than others.

Some weren’t a surprise, the section between Sandy Water hole and Dry Creek prominent, the upriver part of Taylors Straight and the section near McLennans Punt showed up more activity. What was surprising was the lack of movement above Pritchard’s Landing, but after the fantastic washing the river has seen over the last couple of years it will be interesting to see if there is more mulloway movement in the upper reaches this year.

Like most research programs they are running short of funding, so if you’re at all inclined call the Institute 03 94508600 and voice your support.


Bream have continued to fish well: Dry Creek through to Canoe Camp has given up the best fishing, other areas have been good, this year the spread will be enormous, as reports indicate the estuary and right up to Pritchards and further have fished well. That’s a lot of river but as always you will need to move about a lot. Best baits again are crab, scrub worm and fresh white and blue bait that the locals net from the river.

Bev and Kev Sharp had a great week here in Nelson using the old mate ‘chook’ for bait, another local Pete Smith uses the same but likes to sprinkle curry powder on the chicken, might be the chef coming out of him but he assures me it works.

The bream are still slightly off the banks at a depth 2-4m but the river is cleaning up quickly now, so targeting the banks will soon be the go. Hardbodied lures and vibes along with worm-style soft plastics got the chocolates as well. Whilst there are still good numbers of estuary perch still being caught in the lower reaches, a lot of the population has spread back up river to around 48cm. Thankfully we hear a lot being released.

I suggest Hutchessons landing through to Forest Camp where there is stacks of habitat that these cunning natives like to hang around in. Lures again like the bomb, vibes and hardbodied the weapons of mass destruction to choose.

Here’s hoping you all had ripper festive season and if Santa bought you some fishing there’s no place better than the Glenelg River to test it out.

Call the pub on 08 87384011 for any of your enquiries be it accommodation or fishing news.

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