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South west heats up
  |  First Published: March 2014



The south west has had record temperatures this season and these hot days have produced plenty of calm weather and some quality fishing for both boat and land-based anglers. With more hot weather around the corner and early reports of bluefin tuna, things are really about to heat up!

SALT CREEK

As the sand starts to heat up, so have the large mulloway along the Salt Creek Coorong Beach. Excellent catches well in excess of 50lb were all the talk recently and there should still be a chance of hooking one of these monsters for anglers who are prepared to fish fresh baits and put in the long hours.

Plenty of small bronze whaler sharks have been taking mulloway baits and those using berley can expect to tangle with plenty of these as by-catch. These small sharks, including gummy sharks in the 2-3ft range, make for great eating so take the time to remove fins and stomach contents and immediately place on fresh ice for best results.

Again, snapper up to 8kg have been regular between 42 Mile and Ti Tree and who knows when they will stop coming? It has been a great season so far for beach reds.

ROBE

The picturesque town of Robe really is the place to be over the warm summer months. It’s a great place to escape the heat and try your luck at the endless amount of fishing options available. The beaches from Robe through to Canunda National PARK have been producing school mulloway to 10kg and should still do well while the weather stays warm.

Good numbers of large school sharks usually roam these gutters throughout March. They put on a great fight as well as good eating, before they get too large.

Just down the road at Beachport the small jetty, believe it or not, will also encounter large school and gummy sharks over the next month or so. Those choosing to fish with heavy mono traces and circle hooks to prevent bite offs may also see the odd mulloway appear.

PORT MACDONNELL

The talk of the town at this time of the year is tuna, and fair enough too! The south west is famous for its annual tuna run with anglers coming from miles to get amongst the action. I have heard confirmed reports of tuna to 20kg as far back as the beginning of February, by now I'd imagine good numbers should be starting to hold in the usual areas.

First signs of tuna are usually found across the continental shelf by larger vessels, but as currents push in schooling bait closer to shore, expect these fish to push in as little as 2km from the Port Mac breakwater in about 30m of water.

While sometimes these awesome sport fish can be found in feeding frenzies on the surface and are willing to take almost anything thrown at them, they can also be amazingly frustrating at times if you can't match the hatch. At times, particularly around heavy boat traffic or on sunny glassed out conditions, you really need to put in the effort setting up suitable spreads with a variety of lures to find what they want. Usually a good spread would consist a variety of different colour and sized skirts as well as deep diving and shallow diving hardbodied lures. Once a pattern appears of a certain lure doing the damage, you can then change the rest of the spread and enjoy double hook ups, triple or as many rods in your spread when they’re on!

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