Glenelg River Mouth Opened
  |  First Published: June 2007

This month I have decided to include more offshore sea fishing in my report. Port MacDonnell is only 30 minutes away and gives you another option for catching fish when you visit Nelson. On the right day it can produce fantastic fishing.

First though, the Glenelg River. During May, Parks Victoria got permission to release the mouth of the river. No less than six separate government bodies had to be contacted, so that each could give their tick of approval. One department requires two separate oxygen level tests to be done so they are certain of no fish kill. The theory behind these tests goes something like this. The top 3m of water is the most highly oxygenated and this is where the fish live. If they let the mouth open at the wrong time, it’s this oxygenated water that is released leaving ‘dead water’ in the river in which the fish cannot survive.

Thankfully there has never been a fish kill in the Glenelg River from releasing the mouth. Opening the mouth has enabled the sea tides to work again so during June the bream fishing will be best on an incoming tide, and preferably with a rising barometer. During the day crab is the best bait, while at night try whitebait, spew worms and rabbit.

I again suggest you start your search at the estuary and work your way upstream. Mulloway catches should be contained to the lower reaches. I feel we are in for a much-needed wet winter, and if so this may push most jewies out – but we always hear of occasional ones being caught.

Perch will have made their way back upstream so travelling around 26-40km up river should see you in the action if you concentrate on snags and structure. We also get a great run of huge mullet in the winter, and they’re here already. Fish with baits of cockle or prawns under a float. Forest Camp is generally the area the mullet head to in the middle of winter but I suggest calling into either the pub or the boat hire to find out where they might be.

PORT MacDonnell

The way the tuna and albacore have been this year suggests they will be still around in June. There have been unprecedented catches throughout the last few months. Fish have been caught as close in as the 60m line, as well as out further. There have been no real whoppers like we saw earlier, but good numbers around 12kg. Reports of snapper, flathead, mako and gummy shark catches have also been filtering through.

In the breakwater for those of you who like calmer waters, garfish and mullet should be on the cards. For those wanting to try for salmon, Cape Banks is a great spot to target. Like most places on the coast ‘Port Mac’ can be a bit blowy, but it’s always a good option to have up your sleeve if the conditions are OK.

Fred and Anne Lampard run the Seaview Motel right on the foreshore at Port Mac. They offer a great range of tackle with food, groceries and fuel, along with their ten motel rooms (five with kitchens).

The boat launching facilities at Port MacDonnell are second to none. Eighty-foot boats are launched there so any trailerable boat will fit, no worries. The breakwater has a clearly marked channel to the open sea. As always local knowledge is paramount so that’s where Fred and Anne step in. Tell them you read it in this article and that I sent you there and I’m sure they will help you out with some of the things you need to know for a safe day out.

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