Clear water, spooky fish, sneaky anglers
  |  First Published: July 2008

Greetings from Nelson! Like a lot of areas we are looking to the skies asking, “where’s the rain?” The river is still very clear which is making bream fairly spooky, but all that does is make us fishers sneakier.

When targeting shallow water, try and fish where you aren’t casting a shadow and cast as far out as you can, especially down at the estuary. Up in the river where stonewalls abound you will see a second ledge 30-100cm below the surface. It’s that ledge you need to target. Targeting the reed beds that stretch along the outer side of bends will also see you fishing in deeper water.

The better spots to target during July are up above Sapling Creek where there is good fishing for bream and perch. Crab and whitebait are the standout baits, but when we get some rain to dirty the river, scrubworms will be good too. I have been pumping a little information out of the blokes that have been pre-fishing the river for the Vic Bream Classic. I am hearing more about hard-bodied lures like Ecogear SX, Jackall Chubbies, Strike Pro Small Fry, Attacks and, in particular, blade baits like Vibes, Cicada and Zap-blade. When you come across bream in deeper water, these little suckers can be quickly dropped to the spot and simply jigged to annoy the fish into a strike.

The comment I hear about these blade baits is “I didn’t think they would work, but I persisted and…bang!” I reckon the same was said about soft plastics not so long ago, and look at how they have changed the face of fishing. I tried a blade on the bridge pylons earlier this year and success was nearly instant. It was quite impressive for a lazy bait fisherman.

Mulloway are still around, though not in huge numbers, and will stay as long as we don’t get bucket loads of rain. Dry Creek right through to Sapling Creek is the main stretch of river, but I am hearing of odd ones caught at the estuary.

Mixed in with the school mulloway are fish to 8kg. I can’t suggest how to get these better-sized fish, other than get out there and fish with luck.

The local trolling brigade has been going OK fishing from mid afternoon to evening. Alan and Maxine Unwin have been successful near McLennans Punt, mainly using live mullet. Ian and Lynn Jenkins have targeted the Caves area and I’m happy to report Lynn again out fished her spouse with a fish of over 8kg.

Along the coast the tuna have still been quite prolific and the seas have been cooperating nicely. Good catches have been had southeast of Port MacDonnell, and often as close in as 300–500m of water, or as far out as the 1000m line.

Salmon are again firing up along the coast, with Cape Banks and Red Rock Bay the hotspots. Snook, garfish, trevally and the odd whiting are being caught in Livingstones Bay and from the breakwater at Port MacDonnell.

We have the fires going over winter, and the beers taste great, so don’t let the winter keep you away from the little village of Nelson. Call us anytime on 08 8738 4011 for reports. If I’m not around, leave your number with one of our staff and I will return your call.


Phil Knight with a mulloway caught in Taylors Strait.


The Nelson Car Wash at Simpsons Landing. At the boat ramp, remember to put your handbrake on, leave the car in gear and turn the motor off!

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