Mega mulloway in the far west
  |  First Published: May 2008

Unless we have a huge downpour of rain we should see the mulloway catches continue in May.

The hot spot is centred around the Princess Margaret Rose Caves area. The school of smaller mulloway that have taken up residence in that area has been joined by a mob of better-sized fish to 8kg. Your search should start at the caves and stretch 4-5km either way from there.

During May we usually have some sunny afternoons that are perfect for fishing. With a packed lunch and some refreshments onboard, there is no better way to spend time. A couple of live baits trolled slowly should see you having a great day.

We try and go with two boats and troll both banks. With pre-arranged signals to warn each other of suspected fish (both your sounder and the nervous reaction of the baits can signal you are near the mulloway school), we can target a lot of the river.

When you mark a fish on the sounder, out goes the signal and the other boat trolls over the spot you’ve just passed. Then you can both swing back over the spot up to half a dozen times. If there is no result then off we troll again.

It’s worth trolling a lure as well. I’m not sure whether the mullet attract the fish in, or if it’s the flash of the lure, but in tandem they’re very effective. Often the mulloway ‘lip’ your bait without hooking up. If this happens, free spool the bait and keep on trolling, thus leaving the bait where it was hit. Sometimes the fish will come back and take it again.

If you require live mullet, crab, pod worm or a range of frozen bait call Chris Carson from the Nelson Boat Hire (08 8738 4048) and he will have it ready on your arrival.

Good-sized bream have come from the estuary, and from between Hutchessons Landing and Sapling Creek. Use crab during the day and whitebait at night.

For the artificial bait brigade, Gulp Sandworm in camo colour and Ecogear SX-40 hard-bodied lures are collecting the prizes.

Estuary perch are not in big numbers, but one local let it slip that he hasn’t missed out on a feed in six trips, with the best being 2kg. His trick is fresh gudgeon, fished unweighted into some secret snags. I’m going to risk kneecapping and mention Forest Camp. That’s all I’m saying!

Green Point and Danger Point are great spots for big mulloway, with some nice fish caught during late March and early April. The way this year has gone, with most fish arriving late, this area may well produce big mulloway through to May.

Huge kelp beds abound in these two areas, and that’s the structure to target. James McGregor caught two fish there, one of 30kg and the other 26kg. Other big fish have been boated, and plenty have got away.

The salmon will start to fire up as the water cools. Cape Banks and Red Rock Bay are the local hotspots. Livingstones Bay is still fishing well for snook and garfish. The snapper will taper off in numbers during May, but we often see bigger fish during this time.

The sheltered breakwater at Port MacDonnell will see good whiting catches, with a winter chop stirring up the water. Tuna and albacore have bucked the late arrival trend this year and turned up early. From Port MacDonnell, head due south and motor to the 600-1000m line, then troll east. The early catches have seen smaller tuna and good-sized albacore. Most boats are spotting better-sized fish too, so there are some fairly excited fishers getting around.

Craig Philp from Spot On Tackle in Mount Gambier is the fellow with all the information. Craig can be contacted on 08 87258825 and will also be able to give you names and numbers of charter boats that fish from Port MacDonnell.


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