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Spot On Fishing Tackle & Outdoors Mt Gambier 

South East Fishing Report - 27th February 2024

It’s been a fairly crazy and unsettled weekend to say the least down here in the South East! 

Chances are if you’re reading this column, you’d be well aware of the fishing ban imposed on Saturday morning by PIRSA and the fisheries minister to help combat the AVG abalone virus which has been detected for the first time in South Australian waters. While there is a bit of uncertainty surrounding what is going on and what happens next, us as recreational fishos are very good at getting on with it and working with what we have. We're an adaptable bunch and might just have to alter our fishing styles or target species for the time being. 

Those fishing offshore (beyond the 5NM line) have found some great fish off the bottom. Gummy and school shark have been in good numbers, along with some nice big flathead, snapper and other reef fish out there. We’ve had plenty of fishos dropping jigs when the weather is nice, and I know there are a few fishos now who don’t even take a single bag of bait with them when they head offshore! Anything from 80g through to 200g is worth a drop in that 80mt to 120mt depth, mix up the styles and colours along with your jigging style until you find what they’re most responsive to. The crew on Glasscutter Charters put their crew onto a nice mixed bag over the weekend, boating some reef species, a few gummy sharks and a tasty little mako to top off the day! I’m still yet to hear of any tuna landed off Port MacDonnell so far this season, but there has been plenty of chat from guys seeing both bait and bird work ups, along with busting fish, now that we can’t fish the inshore reef for a little bit, I think we’ll see more anglers out having a look for a tuna earlier than usual. 

Surf fishing over the weekend was pretty decent from the reports I’ve heard so far. A few anglers changed their plans when we learned of the fishing ban, but still managed to wet a line. The western end of Nene Valley has produced snapper and gummy shark this past weekend, there was a fairly big sea, so some areas were a bit weeded up, but once the tide changed and it backed off, it was definitely fishable. Canunda will be seeing a bit more traffic in the coming weeks, but that’s not a bad thing, we often see big catches of shark down through there this time of year, so hopefully this next little while isn’t any different. The Coorong has continued fishing pretty well this past week, most of the better catches have been from further up on the mouth side of the Tea Tree, though the fish up there will always move around a lot. Shark have been the most notable catch, but I am seeing a few mulloway coming through now which is excellent to see. 

Garfish have been decent again this week, with the Livingstons and Pelican Point gar being red hot. The size of some of the gar that I have seen and heard about have been unreal. Some of the locals down that way that have fished it forever are even saying that the fish are the biggest in recent memory! We have no real season for gar down here and can catch them virtually all year round, so they’re an option anytime which is great. Along with the gar, there are still plenty of solid tommy ruff, mullet and salmon trout cruising around, so a mixed bag is on the cards.

Whiting are picking up slowly but surely in most areas now after a seemingly slow start. The beach based fishos are finding them better now through Pelican Point and Carpenter Rocks, and the boaties through similar spots. Up the coast along Southend and Beachport is still slow, but there are still a few fishos finding patches of feeding fish, as the water warms we should see them kick into gear, maybe just a bit later than usual. 

The Glenelg River is continuing to fish well for bream and perch this week, with the bulk of the reports of bigger fish coming from up the river. Bait fishos have done the best on whitebait, though crab, prawn and worms are all getting eaten too. The perch have been happy to eat both hard and soft plastic lures this week, and if you can manage a still warm night, throw a cicada or topwater lure around and you should be laughing! The mulloway news is still similar to that of the previous few weeks. The fish that have been caught have been undersize, though the signs on the sounders of fish and bait are very encouraging. 

It looks like there is a bit of swell on the horizon, but the wind is a bit all over the place. It could be good enough for a bit of out wide fishing, but make that call when you get down there just in case. 

Until next week, safe fishing!

Coatsy.