Welcome to the Glenelg River Fishing Guide. The Glenelg River is one of Victoria’s longest rivers spanning over 500 kilometres. Starting within the Grampians from the Glenelg National Parkland near the Grampians National Park. It flows through South Australia before returning to Victoria and flowing through winding channels before eventually reaching the sea at the Nelson. Also connected to the Moora Moora Reservoir and Rocklands Reservoir. Over thousands of years, its naturally eroded spectacular gorge that is 50 metres deep through limestone has created wonders with limestone caves including the Princess Margaret Rose Cave with famous stalactites and stalagmites which are brilliant local attractions. The Glenelg offers great fishing, kayaking, camping and family recreational activities with access to the river off Portland-Nelson Road and Wanwin Road. The Glenelg however has grown a reputation as one of the best Mulloway fisheries in our state and for good reason.


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Kayaking over several days has become a popular activity along this stretch of water and there are designated camping zones fir for the purpose along the river. The Glenelg National Park has lots of wildlife including kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, possums, Koalas and platypus. As well as being home to a mass species of birds and native plants. In terms of fishing, the Glenelg River is a true treasure for targeting bream, estuary perch and the elusive Mulloway.

Things to do at Glenelg River

The Glenelg is a stunning system with breathtaking views and backdrops that offers great fishing, kayaking, camping and family recreational activities. It’s a beautiful and scenic location with a wide variety of things to do and see. With an abundance of local wildlife and fauna. Nearby attractions include a Glenelg River Cruise through the limestone gorge, with cliffs up to 50 metres high. Take a Princess Margaret Rose Cave tour to see the magnificent limestone formations. Hire a canoe at Nelson or Drik Drik and head up the river with many canoe camps to stop at along the way.

There is also camping and bushwalking at the Lower Glenelg national park, enjoying the estuary beach near Nelson, and enjoying the natural sights of discovery bay coastal park.

Fishing the Glenelg River / Fishing the Nelson

The Glenelg River is a long and deep waterway where you can target bream, estuary perch, mulloway, mullet, salmon and blackfish. Fishing is very common near the nelson river mouth with the prized catch being a large bream or elusive Mulloway. Mulloway is the prized catch here and at the Glenelg, they can be caught in good numbers making it one of the best Mulloway fisheries in the state. The best times to target Mulloway are between September and December particularly on full moons as the Mulloway come in to eat on other species such as mullet and salmon.

Bream fishing is very popular here with a variety of bream fishing tournaments run along the river annually. The most popular form of catching bream here is with lures and soft plastics. Ideally casting along the banks and structure and getting strikes along the banks. The bream in the cooler months will often congregate in the middle of deeper pools. The choice of lures when targeting bream is almost endless. Do make sure you read our guide on the best lures to catch bream. Some recommended options would include Cranka Crabs, shallow diving crank lures, small paddle tail soft plastics, small curl tail soft plastics, minnow imitations, vibes and blades. It’s also a great spot for surface lures which can be one of the most fun forms of fishing with light gear.

The choice of lures is almost endless we created a detailed video on the best lures and how to use them.

When flicking lures and plastics you will need an ultralight spinning outfit. This would start with a light rod around 7 feet in length either a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo class. There are so many great options to choose from in this range which can be quite confusing for beginners. When choosing a reel make sure you pick a 1000, 2040 or 2500 size is best, spooled with 4-6 pound braid and finished with a 2 or 4-pound leader. Again the range of reels on the market is amazing and the budgets vary greatly depending on your skill level and spending habits.

If you plan on fishing with baits then we would highly recommend using Sandworms, maggots, scrub worms, pilchards, mussels, yabbies, & chicken. For bait fishing again a light rod setup is best. A 2-4 kilo class rod with a 2500 size reel would be a great option spooled with a 6-pound line. Beginners can go a little heavier with a 3-5 kilo rod. how to catch bream with bait or read our detailed guide on Bait fishing for Bream.

Recommended baits Glenelg River

Bait Choices

  • Live bait for Mulloway
  • Fresh squid
  • yabbies
  • Scrub worms
  • sandworms
  • maggots
  • mussels
  • pilchards
  • prawns

Recommended lures and soft plastics Glenelg River

Soft Plastics

  • Cranka crab
  • Zman slim Swimz
  • Berkley powerbait grub
  • Damiki Monster Miki 2.5 sp
  • ecoGear VX40
  • Jackall Chubby
  • Savage Gear Fathead Crank
  • Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
  • Gulp 3 inch minnow
  • Dawia Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
  • Zman grubZ
  • Squidge wrigglers
  • eco gear ZX40
  • Daiwa Double Clutch
  • EcoGear SX40
  • Squidges biotough grub
  • Nories laydown minnow
  • StrikePro cyber vibe
  • Pro lure live yabby
  • OSP bent minnows

Targeting Mulloway at Glenelg River

Mulloway AKA Jewfish are a prized catch that sits on the top of many Victorian angler’s bucket lists. A stunning fish with a large mouth and distinctive silver or bronze colour. Patience and dedication are required to catch the elusive Mulloway which can reach up to 1.8 meters and 60 kilos. The minimum legal size is 60cm with a daily bag limit of 5 over the legal size. Mulloway outfits can vary depending on whether you are fishing with bait, lures or soft plastics. Starting from a 2-5 kg, 3-6 kg or 4-8 kg rod paired with a 2500, 3000, 4000, 5000 size reel. Great soft plastics choices include 4-inch paddle tails, 5 & 7-inch jerk shads and worm imitations. They will also happily take smaller soft plastics like 2.5-inch grubs and paddle tails whilst targeting bream. Mulloway also will take shallow and mid-diving hard body lures, blades and swimbaits which are designed to imitate a fish in its surroundings such as a mullet. Live baits are a top choice when targeting mulloways such as mullet, salmon, and whiting. Pinning them behind the neck to allow the bait to swim freely. Other staple dead baits can include pilchard, trevally, garfish, prawns, chicken & squid. A running sinker rig to a single 5/0 – 8/0 hook or a double-snelled hook to present the bait nicely.

Mulloway resides near river mouth entrances. They are often caught near structures such as bridges and pylons. Try to present your baits and lures as naturally as possible or use live baits. Mulloway can be caught at any time of the day, but are most active at night, during peak tides and moon phases. We have found that lures are quite productive during the day and bait is more productive at night.

On the Glenelg productive Mulloway grounds include the entrance near the sticks/poles, the huts on the water just after the bridge and island, Donovans, the reed beds near tailors and opposite Simpsons landing. They will reside in the middle and along the edges and can often be more active at sundown or after dark especially on tide changes.

Targeting Bream at Glenelg River


This is a great location to target bream with lures and soft plastics. The options available are almost endless so make sure you read our guide on the best lures to catch bream. Recommended options include crab imitation, shallow diving cranks, paddle tail soft plastics, curl tail soft plastics, minnow imitations, vibes, and blades. Also, try your luck with surface lures which is an exciting form of fishing with light gear. Bream is all about finesse fishing so you will need an ultralight spin outfit. We recommend a 7-foot rod in a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo class, paired with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 reel spooled with 2-6-pound braid and equivalent leader. There are so many amazing bream outfits on the market and budgets vary greatly depending on your skill level and spending habits.

Bream reside within the structure such as jetty pylons and stumps. Enticing them away from the structure onto your lure will take some time to master. Remember to work your lures and plastics slowly and mix up the retrieval techniques. If you targeting bream with bait then we would highly recommend sandworms, maggots, scrub worms, mussels, yabbies, & chicken. A 2-4 kilo class rod paired with a 2500 size reel would be a great option spooled with a 6-pound line. We would encourage you to read our detailed guide on Bait fishing for Bream.

Watch some of our favourite bream lures

Targeting Estuary Perch at Glenelg River

Estuary Perch

Another highlight of fishing in this area is targeting Estuary perch with surface and shallow diving lures. The action can be frantic on warm balmy evenings with low wind. listen for the sound of breaking water which indicates EPs are feeding. The excitement an angler gets from an EP smashing a surface lure on light gear is something that truly needs to be experienced. It almost catches you by surprise when that aggressive strike comes. Small surface poppers, cicadas, blades, surface minnows and pencil lures work well here. So do shallow diving hardbody lures. Noteworthy options include bent minnows, Rapala countdown series, nories laydown minnows and shallow diving cranks. Basically, anything that doesn’t dive too deep and makes a good vibrating action will work well. You can use any colour choice we often start with silvers that mimic small baitfish or mullet. EPs also respond incredibly well to a whole range of soft plastics lightly weighted. Including curl tails, paddle tails and minnow imitations. The trusty 2.5-inch grubs and minnows are an excellent choice. These imitate small baitfish which the EPs are actively feeding on. We would recommend mixing up the retrieval speeds and pauses and playing around with different colours. Where possible fish along the structure and stay alert for signs such as breaking water.

Fishing for Estuary Perch requires finesse. We recommend an ultralight fishing combo consisting of a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo spin rod around 7 feet in length. Coupled with a 1000 or 2000 size reel spooled with a 2-8 pound line and equivalent fluorocarbon leader. When bait fishing uses a 2-4 kilo rod around 7 feet in length. Coupled with a 2500 size reel either a float or small running sinker to a swivel and very fine leader.



Any time of day, though some fish will be more active at Dawn and Dusk. Always be careful when the river entrance opens. During this time the tidal flow can be very strong and quite dangerous. Like all rural areas always take notice of areas that might hold snakes.

Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All images and videos shown on the Glenelg River Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals. Thank you for visiting the Glenelg River Fishing Guide. If you feel this location guide is missing any key information or needs any corrections made, then please let us know by emailing our team at enquiries@fishingmad.com.au with specific details in the email. Thank you