The Glenelg River is one of Victoria’s longest at more than 350 kilometres, flowing from the Grampians all the way to its entrance with the Southern Ocean at Nelson.
At one point the river flows into South Australia before hooking back into Victoria. While the entrance often closes over, estuarine waters continue upstream for approximately 60km providing a huge fishing zone accessible from Nelson and the Lower Glenelg National Park. Better yet, it’s deep and wide for a good distance.
The Glenelg offers great fishing, kayaking, and family recreation with access to the river off Portland-Nelson Road and Wanwin Road with several camping areas.
Large boats can be launched comfortably at Nelson and it only gets busy during major holidays.
The most sought-after species in the Glenelg include bream, mulloway, and estuary perch.
Mulloway are best from September to December but can be caught year-round by keen fishers determined to endure the cold. Like mulloway in a lot of places, in the Glenelg they tend to be biting or not, so persistence can be key or switch to bream or perch.
Heavy rain will flush small fish down river and mulloway will usually respond and be waiting in the lower section to take advantage. Glenelg mulloway are often smaller fish, with the occasional prize specimen of 10 kilograms or more. Live mullet baits work best for mulloway as well fresh squid and pilchard baits or soft plastic lures.
The best area for bream is from the river mouth upstream to Pritchards campground, with the better fish often caught in the Sapling Creek region. There are land-based fishing opportunities along the river around Nelson but a boat or kayak is needed to fish the prime spots.
Good baits for bream include sandworms, peeled prawn, whitebait, crabs and bass yabbies.
Many fishers use light gear and a stealthy approach, casting vibes into the deeper sections, small soft plastic lures and small crankbaits around the snags and edges. The same tactics can be applied to estuary perch, which tend to school up in big numbers at certain times of the year.