Edge bite just around the corner
  |  First Published: November 2015

November brings us to the crossover point of spring and summer with improved weather and some hot fishing to be had on the Glenelg River.

The previous months saw a very successful recruitment and spawning for both southern black bream and estuary perch with massive schools of both species sitting wide of the shallow banks. These fish were easily found by simply slowly moving along the river and watching the sounder, with 3-5m being the optimum depth. Deep diving hardbodied lures and soft plastics dropped down to the schools and worked slowly and methodically were a deadly technique when the fish were in the mood to chew. Short bite windows around the tide changes provided some extremely hot fishing.

As always, small mulloway continue to be abundant and well spread through the entire system and make for an exciting by-catch on light gear. Reports of larger fish were sporadic, but some very nice fish can be found by those putting in the time.

November will see a change in the patterns of the last few months with water temps beginning to rise and clarity levels starting to improve. With the spawning runs coming to an end both bream and estuary perch will disperse from their large congregations and move back onto heavy snags, rock walls and shallow mud flats.

This is the time for the long awaited edge bite to begin that lure fishers wait for. Lightly weighted soft plastics, shallow to medium diving hardbodies and surface lures all come into their own.

Surface lures are one of the most exciting ways to fish for bream and in particular estuary perch. This is a highly visual form of fishing and not much can beat the thrill of seeing a large EP smash a surface lure worked slowly back from the bank. Generally the lure gets hit within the first meter or two of the edge and the strike followed by the ensuing fight is real heart in the mouth stuff. Small poppers, Bent Minnows and ‘walk-the-dog’ style lures like Atomic K9s are almost irresistible to estuary perch. The prime time for this style of fishing is early mornings and late afternoon, particularly just before last light and when the shadows fall heavy over the edges and snags.

Bait fishing remains ever popular in the river and is also highly productive in the warmer months. Similar technique to lure fishing still applies with baits cast up into the shallows and close to the edges of snags accounting for plenty of quality bream. Baits such as cut crab, local podworm, pilchard fillet and peeled prawn are all sure to tempt a hungry bream, however estuary perch very rarely take a dead static bait. Live minnow or glassies suspended under a float and again thrown in close to heavy snags are the key to catching EPs.

With the warm weather here and the days stretching out there’s no better time than now to get out on the river and wet a line.

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