Glenelg River Mulloway
  |  First Published: December 2012

Situated only 45 minutes from Portland and 5 hours from Melbourne in the small peaceful down of Nelson flows the famous and almighty Glenelg River.

People travel from all around the country in search of bream and estuary perch but what gets the hairs standing up on the back of most anglers neck is the the ghost of the estuary: every anglers dream, the elusive mulloway.


The prime time to chase mulloway in the system is from September through to December. Big schools of fish ranging in size like to enter the estuary around the full moon and big tides and gorge themselves full of the abundant salmon and mullet that call this river home.

Bream fishing is red hot in the warmer months where they like to cruise around on the flats and mooch around the never-ending cliff faces that line the river. Winter can be good fishing also where the bream school up in the middle of the river getting ready to do their thing. If the schools of fish can be found it can make for some very memorial fishing.


A light graphite spin rod is best suited for this estuary and is more than capable when targeting bream, perch and mulloway. For bream a 2-4kg spin stick is ideal but if you want to chase mulloway then something a little heavier with a bit more pulling power is needed, especially when fishing along the cliffs and rock faces.


For bream 6lb braid and 10lb braid for mulloway is more than enough for lure fishing. Bream like light leaders so 4-8lb fluorocarbon is a must and will give you the best opportunity and improve your catch rates 10-1 compared to heavy mono leaders. If targeting mulloway then heavier leader is best suited from 10-20lb. There is nothing worse than hooking a fish of a lifetime only to lose it because your leader was unable to hold up.


The most effective way to target mulloway if lure fishing is to bump vibes and blades along the bottom. Small Ecogear VX 40's and 45's are a go-to lure. Chasing bream there is a wide variety of lures that work well. Fishing the deep, again blades and plastics are deadly, but when working the edges and flats down the front of the estuary, hardbodied lures like SX40, Daiwa Double Clutch and the Atomic range of lures are all a good lure to tie on and cast. Lightly weighted plastics skip casted back into the shadows are deadly and a good one to use are pink grubs fished on a worm hook twitched across the surface.


Cast parallel along the banks when working artificials and always look to cast at some form of structure, whether it be a snags, rock walls or drop offs. Don't be surprised when targeting bream along the edges if a mulloway comes along and takes a liking to your little bream lolly.


After veering off the road from Portland to Nelson be very aware of kangaroos along the side of the road, especially when driving at night time. These big animals can do a lot of damage to vehicles and cause great danger to those who drive and are not concentrating, So remember keep your eyes open and drive with care and awareness.


A lot of mulloway are caught in the Glenelg by anglers who catch a few live baits and have them trailing out the back of the boat while casting lures from the front. As much as mulloway love to eat a lure, I don't think there is a more effective way to catch these fish than on live baits. So why not cover both bases when lure fishing?

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