Perchance a perch in autumn?
  |  First Published: March 2016

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 have been very few reports of bigger fish caught. There have been plenty in the 60-80cm range, and of course the constant catch of just undersize fish taken mostly around the middle to lower reaches of the river, but only limited reports of fish up in the 20lb size. Bait fishers have caught most of the reported legal fish after dark and pilchard or cut baits seem to account for most of them. Lure fishers are finding no shortage of the smaller fish either and they seem to be a constant by-catch while targeting bream and estuary perch. The best areas have been from the caves down to Donavans, Taylors Strait, the bridge and the estuary.

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 great fish. Bait fishers have had great success with pilchard, shelled prawn and crab, which is always great bait. Fish the edges of weed banks with shallower mud flats early in the mornings for good results, however, 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, start by casting hard into the edges with shallow diving hardbodies or lightly weighted soft plastics early in the mornings and last thing before dark. Work 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 provide some exciting surface fishing for lure fishers, but diving hardbodies are required to extend the bite time a little once the sun gets up higher. Perch are not an easy fish to target with bait, 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 among heavy snags. Small live-baits like whitebait are perfect for the job but can be hard to find in the local area. I recommend fishing leaders of up around the 10lb mark, as you need to quickly muscle the perch away from the snags before they manage to get back and bury themselves into the sticks.

The start of autumn sees some beautiful weather so there’s no better time to get out on the Glenelg and enjoy some quality fishing.

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