Melbourne

6 Fishing Charters

Melbourne Fishing Charters

Search top fishing charters in Melbourne

Top Fishing Charters in Melbourne


Some people say that the incredible fishing in Melbourne is not what 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 makes us weak at the knees.

When we say bounty, we mean Snapper. And when we say Snapper, we're talking about Pink Snapper. As if that wasn't enough names for one fish, this notorious bait-nibbler is locally known as the Big Red (when it's big) and Pinkie (when it's not). 

Known For

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 Mornington 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 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 into shallow waters closer to shore.

No fishing charter for you? Head to a local pier with a 2m rod that is suited to 6-10kg line (if you are targeting Snapper, that is). Smaller fish like Whiting and Flathead are most enjoyable to target with light tackle. 


January

Melbourne is in the grips of summer and hotels are booking up fast. Get ready to catch Snapper in Port Philip Bay. They are biting well, enjoying the warm water. Look for Yellowtail Kingfish, which starts to appear.

February

Kingfish fishing heats up this month in Melbourne, with some large specimens around for the catching. Some big Snapper remain in the Bay, with Garfish, Flathead, and King George Whiting all curious to take your bait.

March

Fish for the remaining Snapper in the Bay and find Australian Salmon as they start to come into the Melbourne fishing mix. Enjoy cooler temperatures as the weather transitions to autumn.

April

April sees Snapper mania fade as the Big Reds mostly start to head out into the open ocean. A lot of local sportfishing boats will travel west for the winter, ready to tackle Bluefin Tuna from Portland and Port Fairy.

May

Fishing pressure has died down with many fanatic fishos having left town. But that doesn't mean you can't find a good bite. Head to Queenscliff for huge winter Whiting, or look for Pinkies over reefs in the northwest of the Bay.

June

It may be cold outside, but you can still find some exciting fishing in Melbourne in June. Look for Squid in the Mornington area, with Garfish also appearing in the same area. Nothing beats fresh Calamari for dinner!

July

Who said midwinter in Melbourne was dull? Get out on the water and you'll be in with a good chance of catching large numbers of Squid, Pinkies, and King George Whiting. Westernport Bay is also full of fish.

August

If you like Squid, this is your time to catch a really big one. King George Whiting will be biting steadily until the end of the winter in Port Philip Bay. Otherwise, head to Westernport Bay for some excellent Gummy Shark action.

September

Spring is in the air – at last! September in Melbourne is all about making the most of the spring flowers and the fact that most of the tourists haven't made it onto the streets yet. Get up early for the best bite and look for Snapper!

October

October is when things start to get interesting for fisherfolk in Melbourne. The Big Reds are in town, and everyone knows it! Be prepared to battle the crowds in the Bay for the return of big Snapper. This is peak fishing time.

November

If you thought October was good for big Snapper, wait until you see what the bite is like in November. The fish are biting almost all day long, which is great as the days get longer and the weather heats up.

December

Celebrate the festive season with big Snapper biting just as well as ever. Enjoy the red hot temperatures of Melbourne's summer as you prepare to battle the crowds in the towns, on the beaches, and in the bay.

Melbourne Fishing Calendar

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Half day with Mark
Satma K. fished with The Reel Thing Charters – St Kilda on February 9, 2019
Yes But check local calendar and avoid when the roads are closed!!
Amazing trip
Diana M. fished with The Reel Thing Charters – Carrum on February 2, 2019
If it’s is your first time book an early trip as it is better early in the mornings
Half Day Trip
Steve W. fished with The Reel Thing Charters – Carrum on January 11, 2019
Be prepared have the knowledge of the Area and fish for what you want to hook up on.
Morning trip with Mark
Clinton S. fished with The Reel Thing Charters – Carrum on January 8, 2019
You just have to have ago their are fish out their and charter company will find them for you .
Extremely satisfied group
Joshua F. fished with The Reel Thing Charters – Carrum on October 13, 2018
Fishing is a sport, you win some you lose some. Going out on a charter does not guarantee you catching your dream fish. Research the area, talk to the captain and book an appropriate time to go.