Hot tuna!
  |  First Published: May 2007

The hot gossip down here at the moment is all about the tuna and albacore fishing. There are huge fish in good numbers available in this region. At the peak of the fishing all you had to do was go south from Portland and then later from Port MacDonnell. According to some the fish were that thick they nearly jumped into your boat!

Mark down March and April in next year’s diary as the time to have a go at the tuna. They don’t come along every year but when they do be ready to drop everything and come and have a crack at these freight-train fighters.

We had quite a few guys stay with us at the pub because Nelson gave them a good base to target either Portland or Port MacDonnell. Andrew Pawsey and crew had a ball and caught heaps of tuna and albacore. Most fish were caught between 16km and 32km offshore.

In April the Glenelg River mouth closed and it is likely to remain that way through May. This is not a bad thing as far as the fishing goes because what we have now is a very long skinny lake. The only real difference is that you can’t fish the tides.

Straight after the river closes we usually see a drop in bream numbers down at the estuary because the water becomes too clear for these skitty fish – but they will return when the water colours up a bit. The bream are on the move upriver so I suggest fishing the middle to upper reaches in May, again targeting the edges and moving around until you find fish.

Estuary perch should also be in the middle to upper section of river as they migrate upstream. It is unreal how many perch are now being boated and with plenty of smaller fish around we should see some fantastic ‘EP’ fishing in the future.

Mulloway reports have been fairly consistent from the section of river from Dry Creek up to Sapling Creek. Fish to around 6kg are not uncommon. It can be just beautiful up in this section of the river trolling around or casting lures on nice autumn days for jewies with the chance of either bream or EPs. The mulloway are now trapped in the river so we may see a few migrate down towards the estuary in readiness to leave when the mouth opens. This will depend on how much rain we get. If it stays dry they won’t move much but if we get some much-needed rain it will push them downstream.

I spoke with Chris Carson from Nelson Boat and Canoe Hire about a range of lures he has been impressed with called Strike Pro ‘Small Fry 2’. Chris loves his fishing, especially with lures and soft plastics. After some good sessions on the bream he informed me that the frog-coloured #553, the hot rod red #221 and the #720 with a pink belly and black top work very well. The Strike Pro manufacturers have changed to Owner hooks and split rings, which has improved their lures. At around $10 each they are at the more affordable end of the market too.

Strike Pro also produce ‘Smelta’ lures. In this range, numbers A09, 305, 205, 206 and 108 have all been successful in the Glenelg River over the last few months. Perch will also take these lures with one particular local loving the Pygmy #A06E. When targeting the snags along the river’s edge he removes the front treble hook and attaches a little ‘sticky weight’ (lead putty). This allows him to throw the lure into some crazy snags that would usually result in the loss of the lure.

Chris and Cheryl Carson sell a good range of tackle at Nelson Boat and Canoe Hire and only stock gear that works well in the Glenelg River. Check them out at www.nelsonboatandcanoehire.com.au. Remember too that at the Nelson Pub we now have ensuite rooms available along with our cottage and pub-style rooms – so we should have accommodation that suits your needs. Phone us on (08) 8738 4011 for enquiries. Hope to see you here one day and don’t forget to say hello if you’re at the Nelson Pub.

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