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Top Fishing Charters in Melbourne
Fishing in Melbourne
Some people say that the incredible fishing in Melbourne is not what has earned this Victorian metropolis the title of ‘the world’s most liveable city’. We disagree. Yes, the town may be home to a notoriously trendy cafe culture. Sure, you might be more likely to spot someone on a ‘fixie’ than on their feet. But it’s the bounty of the city’s enormous Port Phillip Bay that really makes us weak at the knees.
When we say bounty, we mean Snapper. And when we say Snapper, we're mean Pink Snapper. As if that wasn't enough names for one fish, this notorious bait-nibbler is known locally as the Big Red (when it's big) and Pinkie (when it's not).
What makes Melbourne really special is its unbreakable connection to the water. The city practically embraces Port Phillip Bay, meaning you’re never far from fish. For the visiting angler, this means the sheer number of fishing spots Melbourne has access to can be quite hard to digest. For those short on time for lengthy articles, here’s a run-down:
Port Phillip Bay is what Melbourne is all about. This huge bowl of water is practically 2 000 square kilometres wide. 330 000 anglers test these waters every single year. And we don’t blame them. This is where you will find the majority of Melbourne fishing charters. But why?
Well, when it comes to Snapper fishing, Port Phillip Bay is the place to be. This is because the Bay is relatively shallow, and its dish-shaped bottom makes it the ideal place to shelter when the wind is blowing offshore. What with that and being hardly able to move for recreational fishing reefs, this means only one thing: the ideal breeding ground for some of the biggest Snapper you can find.
Port Phillip Bay fishing hot spots include the area from Carrum and Morning to Mt Martha in the south of the Bay, as well as the Williamstown and Altona areas in the north. Don’t want to travel far? Luckily, it doesn’t get much better than St Kilda for access to both big Snappers and the city centre. And it’s not all about the Snapper. Anglers fishing Port Phillip Bay can find themselves battling King George Whiting, Gummy Sharks, Squid, Flathead, Salmon, and Garfish as well.
If you want to escape the crowds, head to Westernport Bay. This may be just across the peninsula from Port Phillip Bay, but it’s hard to find much more of a different waterway. While Port Phillip is fairly consistent in depth, Westernport Bay fishing is all about deep tidal channels and shallow mud flats. While both hold good numbers of fish, Westernport can give you that little bit of variety you were craving.
Finally, don’t miss the Werribbe River, with its great Whiting and Flathead fishery, the stretch between Altona and Williamson, which boasts fantastic Snapper catches, Lonsdale Bight’s consistent year-round fishery, and Queenscliff Harbour, for Mullet, Silver Trevally, and Salmon.
Rules & Regulations
All anglers fishing in Melbourne must purchase a Recreational Fishing License. These are available online, as well as from local tackle shops. Certain fish are subject to limits and closed seasons (subject to change), and some species may not be filleted until they have been brought ashore. Go on a professional Melbourne fishing trip, and your skipper will be able to advise you on the current restrictions and regulations.
Types of Fishing
Most of the Snapper fishing charters Melbourne is home to focus on one thing: anchoring up and bringing in the fish. Anchoring is vital in Western Port, where a strong tide can move you away from your chosen spot sharpish. That being said, Port Phillip Bay fishing charters can have some success with drift fishing, which is more practical in these waters. What unites both areas, though, is berley - and lot’s of it. Cut-up pilchards work wonders, while commercially prepared chum can be almost as good. Fish with bait or lures and you will be in a good place to hook a big Red.
Pro tip - try fishing for Snapper at night. This will let you skip the worst of the crowds and even catch a better bite, as the fish move in to shallow waters closer to shore.
No fishing charter for you? Head to a local pier with a 2 m rod that is suited to 6-10 kg line (if you are targeting Snapper, that is). Smaller fish like Whiting and Flathead are most enjoyable to target with light tackle.
Melbourne Fishing Seasons
Melbourne Fishing Calendar
What People Are Saying About Melbourne
"Half day trip targeting Whiting with Westernport Fishing Charters "
Fish for Whiting off the banks. Cant go wrong.
"6 hour charter"
Make sure that you are on time, frustrating if you have to wait for tardy people.
Top Fishing Charters
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