After a very windy and wet winter we are now heading into one of the prime times for fishing over this way.
We have had a lot of heavy rainfall over the last month which has really given the estuary systems a good flush out. The result will be a rejuvenation of food chains and excellent recruitment of bream and mulloway, particularly at the Glenelg river and Coorong system.
After the last couple of years of good flows out through the Murray mouth estuary, the surrounding surf beaches such as the stretch at Salt Creek have been fishing the best they have for many years. Many surf anglers only chase the salmon here over the winter months and only start chasing the mulloway again toward summer but there has been plenty of mulloway about this winter with some very nice fish to a metre amongst them.
I seem to recall last winter a lot of nice mulloway were caught here as well but toward early spring they really fired up.
Good numbers of gummy shark, big salmon and a few elephant fish are also being caught. The best baits have been fresh salmon or mullet fillets, squid and large pilchards. A lot of salmon and a few mulloway are also taking surf poppers. The fishing can be good at any time of day or night but I find the fishing is always better on any tide change. I also prefer the full and new moons.
The best 4WD access to the beach is still at the 42 mile crossing as the ti-tree crossing is still full of salt water. It is important to let your tyres down to around 15psi before you take the track through the dunes and once on the beach track take care as it can be soft in places this time of year. I like to travel here on the low tide and it is a good idea to team up with a mate in another 4WD just in case one of you gets stuck.
Big seas have kept offshore boating parties on dry land but when we get some favourable weather and decent seas the fishing off of Robe tends to be very good at this time of year. Drifting in the deep water around the 30-80m lines produce good numbers of gummy shark, morwong, snapper and a whole range of excellent eating fish. In a bit closer on the reefy areas there will be good snapper, shark as well as some nice whiting and flathead in the bay.
The entrance to the harbour has seen a lot of salmon action lately and they have been easily caught by trolling metal lures.
The surf fishing has been very good at popular spots such as Back beach and Domashnz beach with a lot of very nice salmon to 3kg about as well as some nice gummy shark after dark. Mulloway are always a chance along here as well. Paternoster rigs baited with a pilchard on one dropper and a surf popper on the other have been doing very well. Once a school of salmon is found, metal lures such as Halco Twistys will also work very well.
During August some of the best mulloway fishing seen for many years took place in the estuary section from the mouth up to the caves with many big mulloway being caught on baits and lures. The best jewie I heard of was a 15kg fish from the mouth area and I lost count of the number of 10kg plus mulloway that were reported pretty much on a daily basis.
Baits such as live mullet and pilchard worked very well as did trolling lures such as jointed Rebel Fastracs and Gold Bombers, my favourite barra lure!
Many mulloway were also caught on soft plastics and vibes. These mulloway have slowed down now but a few are still being caught, you just have to put in a bit more time for them now things are back to normal. There has been large numbers of undersize mulloway about which is a great sign for seasons to come.
The bream and perch fishing has been excellent with fish being taken from the mouth all the way up to Pritchards and beyond. Soft plastics and vibes were working very well on the bream and estuary perch but at the time of writing we have had a lot of rain which has really get the river running and dirty.
When the river gets dirty like it is now I find that bait fishing can work really well. Good baits here at this time of year for the bream are scrub worm, whitebait, cut crab and yabby or prawn tail. The estuary perch prefer a live bait with freshly caught minnows or shrimp often working very well but I have caught them on small freshwater yabbies too.
The surf fishing nearby at the Discovery Bay beaches has been very good for salmon to 2kg during the day and some solid catches of gummy shark and the occasional school mulloway after dark. Popular areas have been at Swan Lake and at Nobles.Reads: 2017