Make Way for the Mulloway
  |  First Published: December 2006

Reports for January have been promising, with constant catches of various species. The mouth should open this month; we’ve seen it slowly rise to around one centimetre per day, which is slower than normal due to last year’s dry winter.

The large numbers of mulloway that entered the river last year haven’t been co-operating with anglers, but there has been some big fish around in numbers.

Mick Tiller had been trying to catch mulloway for two years and recently pinned his hopes on the Glenelg. He landed his first 8lb catch down at the estuary, a second catch to 17.85lb and a third to 18.99lb. He seems to have done better than most anglers, using soft plastics matched to 5kg line. The bigger fish are probably heading down towards the mouth and getting ready to leave the estuary.

Upriver, as far as Pines Landing, good numbers of 6-12lb mulloway have been caught. I fished Pritchards Landing at the end of last year and caught bream on whitebait along and some perch on SX-40 lures. Most anglers have reported sporadic results; it comes down to a matter of right place and time. Best baits so far have been live mullet either trolled or under a float, spew worm, squid, octopus, pilchard, fresh fillets and whitebait. Rebel Brokenbacks, Attacks and Storms have been the best lures and Berkley Sandworms (camo or pumpkinseed), dropshot minnows and large shads have been the most consistent plastics.

If you’re keen on targeting mulloway, I suggest grabbing a copy of The Fisherman’s Almanac, a cheap guide on when to fish. Like most reports, it’s not a sure thing, but it will definitely help.

Bream have been abundant throughout January, and crab has been the best bait. Frequent visitors to Nelson pop over to Port MacDonnell to gather crabs, as the river black crab population has been plundered. Keep in mind that it is illegal to collect crustaceans in certain tidal waters, and the reefs are heavily policed.

Artificial bait fans will have a ball casting in and around structure along the banks. I can’t pick out one particular spot as they’ve all been fishing well recently, so move between reed beds, mud flats, rocks, reefs and trees along the banks.

Perch fishing has been popular this month, as large numbers have been about lately. Landing a perch takes time and effort, and you rarely ever hear of fluke catches. To increase your chances of a bite, I suggest fishing from Sapling Creek to Pines Landing around the bushes and trees of the river’s edge. Also, more anglers should be practising catch and release; take your digital camera out with you, it’s all the proof you need.

I wish you all the best into 2007, and I’m looking forward to meeting more VFM readers in the months to come.

Call into the Nelson Hotel and say hello to either Kerrell or myself. For reports call (08) 87384011 and we will try and help you out.

After two years, Mick Tiller finally managed to catch his dream fish – mulloway. The bigger of the two took 1.5 hours to land on a soft plastic.

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