Close Mouth, Open Fishing
  |  First Published: April 2009

In March, the mouth of the river was still blocked, which is all good news for anglers.

Before the appropriate governing bodies can release the waterway, the water must reach a release level that is approximately 1-1.3m above the river’s average. Once the release level has been obtained, oxygen levels of the river are then checked. There needs to be at least 3-4m of good oxygenated water before the water is released. Rivers that are released too early allow the oxygenated top water to flow out of the system, leaving behind water that the fish stocks can’t survive in and result in massive fish kills.

Prior to blocking, the bream stocks were mainly down at the estuary, so there were plenty of fish caught down there over the last six weeks. All fishing techniques bought home the goodies and it is hard to say who got the most: bait crab, whitebait, soft plastics or lures? Local Ian Netherway, who has fished here for years, told me it was the best fishing he has ever had, which says a lot. Fish have been around the 38-44cm mark – now that’s good fishing!

The estuary will continue to fish well but the fish will slowly spread back up the river, and good stories are already coming in from the bottom through to Battersbies Landing. Releasing of the mouth usually slows the fish up for a day or two but apart from that nothing really alters. As usual, fish the edges targeting all structure from rock walls to wooded and reed banks, move around and try different techniques.

The mulloway this year have been a little frustrating. They are still being caught but not in the large numbers we are accustomed to. Most trips result in 1-6 fish, which is quite low by the Glenelg River standards.

The most consistent section this year has been Taylors Strait through to the South Australian and Victorian border. Likewise, we have trolled with good results from Bowds to Canoe Camp Landings.

Perch have been caught between the estuary and reed beds along the edges in structure and snags. You will lose some gear but hell they are good fun. If you’re using hardbodies, like SX40 or Pygmies, try removing the front treble and stick a little sticky weight (lead putty) on the lure. This will make the lure’s action a little nose heavy, thus creating a stump jumper style that should result in less snags.

Tuna continue to help make the Oil Sheiks richer; I have certainly done some serious miles chasing these freight trains of fish. Around the 1000m line, 20 miles offshore, has been the most prolific spot due south from Point MacDonnell. Fish to 40kg have are being caught with regularity, and the average size has been 25-28kg. Albacore to 15kg have also been a popular catch.

The boys have been bottom bouncing with success for terakihi, knifejaw, flathead and shark. Trumpeter fish have been boated from around the 160m line and snapper in good numbers are still being caught. Greens and Danger Point are the best spots to try.

Late March to early April is the time for big mulloway from these two same spots, so if you want to give them a try call Craig Philp 08 8725 8825 from Got One Tackle Mount Gambier for the latest reports. I have heard of big specimens to 60lb being beached near Southend, hopefully this is the school we are waiting for.

Whiting fishing has also been exemplary. Red Rock to Lighthouse bays and the breakwater at Point MacDonnell and Livingstons Bay have been excellent fishing spots with fresh cockle and live gents the weapons of mass destruction.

Jason Fulham is running a very popular fishing charter out of Point MacDonnell. He has a ripper 43ft boat called The Jaymar Star. Call Jason or his lovely lady Suzie on 08 8738 2483 or 0428 382 483. They supply all the gear you need and light lunch. He has hundreds of marks on the GPS so a day out with Jason should see you with fish and sore arms.

Hope to see you here in Nelson, call into the pub and say hello.

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