Muscle in on March mulloway
  |  First Published: March 2015

March can be an exceptional month to fish the Glenelg River with continued good weather and plenty of fish on offer.

Despite the incredible numbers of small mulloway in the system this year there has still been very few reports of bigger fish being caught. There has been plenty in the 60-80cm range taken mostly around the middle to lower reaches of the river but there are only limited reports of fish up in the 20lb size.

Most of the legal fish have been caught after dark by bait fishers; pilchard or cut baits seem to have accounted for the majority of them. The best areas have been from the caves down with Donavans, Taylors Straight, the bridge and the estuary itself all producing fish on their day. It's also worth noting that Dr Lauren Veale is continuing her ongoing research project into mulloway, which involves her studying the otoliths (ear bones) extracted from the fish to determine age and growth rates as well as other important data regarding this elusive specie. Filleted mulloway frames can be bagged and left at the Nelson Kiosk to be frozen and picked up by Lauren.

As always bream are well spread in the river at this time of year and anglers willing to move around will certainly have no trouble finding patches of fish. Bait fishers have had great success again with pilchard, shelled prawn and crab, which is always a great bait. Fishing the edges of weed banks with shallower mud flats adjacent early in the mornings has been very successful but it's important to gradually work baits out a little deeper as the brightness and heat of the day increases. Lure fishing is working on the same pattern, starting by casting hard into the edges with shallow diving hardbodies or lightly weighted soft plastics early in the mornings and last thing before dark but working deeper divers and heavier plastics out a little wider during the day.

Estuary perch are on the move to higher reaches of the river and during March the most productive parts of the river seem to be from the caves right up to around Pritchards. Early mornings are providing some exciting surface fishing for lure anglers but diving hardbodies are required to extend the bite time a little once the sun gets up higher. Perch are not a fish that is easily targeted by bait fishing as they seem completely uninterested in taking dead static fished baits. However they are very keen on snapping up a live bait fished unweighted, very lightly weighted or suspended under a small bubble float and thrown in amongst the heavy snags. Small live baits like whitebait are perfect for the job but can be hard to find in the local area. Fishing leaders of up around the 10lb mark is advisable as you need to quickly muscle the perch away from the snags before they manage to get back and bury themselves into the sticks.

With the holidays now over, it means less boat traffic so there's no better time to get out on the Glenelg and enjoy some quality fishing.

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