December is an exciting time for fishing in the far South West of the state as we roll into summer. The Glenelg River is in pristine condition and promises to be highly productive for both lure and bait fishers alike.
The preceding months saw some excellent fishing with both quantity and quality of fish being fantastic. After the spawning run of both bream and estuary perch the usual pattern of the fish breaking up from their larger congregations held true and they began to spread out through the river system. The deeper water bite that had been the order of the day turns to an edge bite as the fish move to the heavy snags and rock edges to hunt and feed.
Small mulloway are still extremely prevalent in the river and seem to be spread through the entire system. The larger fish have still not turned up in any numbers yet, and this has been the case for the last couple of seasons, although there has been the odd good fish taken.
The mulloway have ranged mostly from about 45-70cm and both bait and lure fishing for them has worked well. The best baits have been podworm and live baits such as mullet. Vibe lures and larger soft plastics have been the standout lures and I’d expect that trend to remain constant through the summer.
Schools of fish can often be found sitting on the drop offs adjacent to rock walls, particularly when there is a shallow mud flat close by. The mulloway school up in the deeper water before heading up onto the flats to hunt baitfish. Although mulloway will quite often take a lure or well-presented fresh bait at any time, the real peak periods seem to be the slack water at the tide changes. Bait fishing overnight is also very productive but those tide changes still seem to be the real ‘go time’. For those putting in the time, some better fish can be found.
December is the month to start looking higher in the river system for both bream and estuary perch. Bream will be spread through the entire river but estuary perch will be concentrated in the higher reaches. Sapling Creek through to and above Pritchards is the prime area to target at this time of year.
Perch will be holding tight to heavy snags, so casting shallow diving minnows, surface lures and very lightly weighted soft plastics into the back of the snags is certain to find some good fish. However, getting the hook up is one thing, getting the fish out and clear of the snags is another, and heavier than normal leaders, around 10-12lb, are a necessity.
With such a great season so far and the expectation that it will only get better, now is the time to get out on the river and enjoy summer.Reads: 591