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Tuna and mulloway spell good times
  |  First Published: April 2013



With the more settled weather and boater friendly autumn seas there has been no shortage of great fishing action and opportunities over this great stretch of coastline.

It is great this time of year as there are a huge variety of options available. Whether you are into game fish such as tuna and shark, bay fishing for snapper and whiting or surf fishing for mulloway and salmon, not to mention the great estuary fishing on offer, it really is all happening here.

Robe

The offshore fishing has been great this season with good numbers of gummy sharks being taken along with other shark species such as seven-gill, school sharks, bronze whalers and a few thresher sharks as well. Anchoring up and berleying in 10-20m of water around any tide change has been the way to go on the reef patches not far offshore. In the bay there is still good numbers of whiting and flathead about.

Long Beach has been fishing well for school mulloway in the evenings and after dark and a few elephant fish along with seven-gill and gummy sharks have been getting caught as well. Baits such as salmon fillet and pilchards have been doing the trick here on the high tide.

The bream lakes have been fishing well with some very nice bream to 40cm being taken on crab, whitebait and prawns fished early in the mornings, the evenings and after dark. A lot of small salmon and mullet have also been caught while bream fishing here lately. Anglers fishing from canoes and yaks do very well on these lakes casting soft plastics and vibes as well.

Port Macdonell

It is shaping up to be a great season on the tuna here with good numbers of bluefin averaging around the 15-25kg mark being taken on trolled divers and skirts in as close as 35m of water. I reckon it won’t be long until the big barrels around the 100kg mark similar to the previous three seasons start being caught.

Some mako and blue sharks have also been about and are being caught by drifting and berleying out in the same areas where the tuna have been. Out on the deeper water toward the shelf the deep water fishing with electric reels has been excellent for blue eye, gemfish, harpuka and many other great table fish.

Surf fishing at the beach at Piccaninie Ponds has been good in the evenings and after dark for some very nice mulloway to nearly a metre as well as a few salmon, gummy shark and elephant fish.

Nelson

This is one of the better times of year to be fishing the here with good numbers of bream, estuary perch and mulloway being taken right throughout the river. There has been heaps of mulloway about from the caves to the mouth but most have been small around 40-55cm, mostly being taken on pilchard and small lures while fishing for bream. The odd larger mulloway to 70cm has been about and they are mostly being taken after dark while anchored and fishing baits such as pilchard and live mullet.

The bream have been widespread but consistent areas have been at the mouth, the caves and the sandy waterholes area. Bait fishing with crab or whitebait is working well as is flicking small hardbodied lures, plastics and vibes at the bankside structure. Along with bream some excellent catches of estuary perch have been taken, mostly up river around Sapling Creek to Pritchards and beyond. Small hardbodied lures, plastics and small surface lures cast at any overhanging shrubs and trees has been working well in the evenings, particularly on a still, warm night.

Coorong beaches

The great fishing we have been enjoying for many months shows no sign of slowing down with many mulloway being caught with most around 70-80cm. A few thumper jewies in excess of a metre have also been caught by some lucky anglers. It’s not just about mullies though with good snapper, salmon, elephant fish and numerous shark species such as gummy, school, bronze whaler and seven gill being regularly taken.

The full and new moon periods have been fishing the best and the best stretch has been from the 42 Mile crossing to well up past Ti Tree. Good fishing can be had at any time of day and any tide but for more consistent results on the mulloway I like the high tide in the evening or after dark. Fresh baits such as salmon, squid or mullet fillets work well for me but pilchards are a good back up bait if you can’t get your hands on fresh baits.

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