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Estuary perch and bream on the bite
  |  First Published: December 2016



January is always a great month to fish the Glenelg River – but after the exceptional flush out, the river has had one of the wettest winters in a long time. Thus expectations are for an incredible summer of fishing.

The preceding few months have seen the river finally settling down and starting to clear up, with steady improvement in the fishing. The Glenelg has been fishing really well, although at times it can be somewhat hit and miss. Fishing around the highest tides, which have been the peak bite windows, has been quite productive for both estuary perch and bream in the estuary down at the mouth. The high flow rates saw the mouth stay open and possibly the widest I’ve seen it in the last five years or so. Higher tides with a large ocean swell allowed the salt wedge to push in, at times as high as the main ramp in town. Commonly known as ‘the blue water’, it can be an incredible site to see the water turn from dirty brown to crystal clear salty water, and is literally like the dinner bell has been rung for fish in the lower estuary.

With both EP and bream congregating in the bottom end of the river, the lead up to summer and good flows encouraging spawning. Timing has been everything, with some awesome sessions on these key species. As the flow rates slowly backed off through November we started to see some better Mulloway entering the river too, and this should only improve with the chance of some true giants making their way into the system. The strong flow has had a real effect on the estuary as well, scouring out the sand bars out at the mouth. At the time of writing there was a clear channel down through the mouth with depths of up to two meters, making it prime fishing grounds.

January will undoubtedly be a great month on the Glenelg, with the water clearing up and water temps on the rise. Fishing around the estuary holds the promise of bream and mulloway, which will also be on the move up river. Estuary perch will be making their way back up the system too, and with clearer water the surface bite should really be starting to fire up again. Concentrating efforts from around Taylors Straight through to Sapling Creek should account for plenty of bream and in particular, EP. Surface lures such as the Megabass Dog X Jr, Atomic K9 and Lucky Craft Sammy are all standouts, and shallow diving hardbodies and ultra light plastics are also great options. For the bait fishos, cut crab, podworm or small live baits under a float are deadly on both perch and bream this time of year.

With the edge bite in full swing, throwing lures or baits right up into shallow water, hard against the heavy snags or casting parallel to the banks is the key technique in January – so get out and enjoy the warmer weather and fantastic fishing on offer.

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