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Glenelg’s picky perch – how to get a great bite
  |  First Published: October 2015



October is when we really start to see some major improvement in the weather and this month welcomes more pleasant conditions for fishing the Glenelg River.

Timing a bite

August and September saw a reduced average level of rainfall that has lead to problematic natural inflows. However, the river did get enough at times to colour up the water which led both bream and perch to school up in the lower sections and become quite easy to find on the sounder. Easily found schools don’t guarantee an easy catch with quite small bite windows. Dragging lures through massive schools of fish was not always successful either. The fish were focused on recruitment and breeding which occurs when they find the right salinity levels in the river. The fish need just enough saline in the water to lift the eggs to float off the bottom, a process that limits predation and hopefully delivers a higher success rate in creating future generations. The peak bite times seemed to be on the largest of tides and this tidal influence had an effect all the way up the river as it held up the water flow. Slack water at the top of the tide was definitely a great time to find the fish, as they switched on from lockjaw to actively feeding.

The month ahead

October will most likely see an improvement in water clarity and temperature which should encourage those large schools to break up and start to disperse widely through the river. The key at this time of year will be to stay on the move until you find the fish in numbers. Both bream and perch will be more inclined to swim in the shallows and aren't as easily found via a sounder. Move along the river and alternate the terrain you are targeting and you will eventually expose a pattern. Whether lure fishing or bait fishing, the key is to try all possible areas including weed banks, mud flats, rock walls, and heavy timber snags. Once you've established what kind of terrain seems to be holding the fish it's simply a matter of sticking to similar types of areas.

Best baits will be cut crab, shelled prawn, and pod worm, rigged as lightly as possible - even unweighted - and thrown up hard to the edges in the early mornings. Later in the day allow those same baits to sit out a little deeper when the sun gets up and you’ll catch plenty of fish.

With clearer water, small shallow to mid-diving hardbodies will be the lure of choice. Good old SX 40s and shallow diving minnow profile lures, also thrown hard up to the edges, are almost impossible for a hungry bream or perch to refuse. Lightly weighted soft plastics in minnow profile are also deadly. Jighead weight is best determined on the day depending on how much wind is blowing but again the lighter the better to really allow your plastic to slowly drift down through the snags.

October is a great month to get out on the river for both lure and bait fishermen with plenty of quality fish on offer.

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