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Top Fishing Charters in Queenscliff

Fishing in Queenscliff

Queenscliff fishing charters have access to a good deal of Australia’s finest species. Queenscliff guards the entrance to the bountiful Port Phillip Bay. With Lake Victoria just behind the town, Queenscliff lets you improve your freshwater skills, as well as being close to some of the best saltwater fisheries in all of Australia. The settlement looks at the Lonsdale Bay and gazes to the Bass Strait, which is  teeming with game fish. And if you head offshore, down towards Tasmania, you’ll be likely to land a fish to remember.

Known for

Queenscliff used to be a major port point back in the 19th century. That explains the rich Victorian heritage. The city started of as a fishing village and it has kept that spirit well into the modern day. With numerous sea food fests and a famous music festival in November, little remains of its once declined popularity. Queenscliff has kept pace with the rest of the bay. It is now a launchpad for many fishing charters that rarely come back empty-handed.

Around the Bay and harbour

If you first want to get used to the harbor waters before heading out for a prize catch, check out the Santa Casa in the Queenscliff Harbour. You will need a boat to explore these fisheries to the full. Anglers regularly get Snapper, Flathead, and Whiting. The harbour can also produce Silver Trevally. They seem to love soft plastic lures and underwater structures. One thing to have in mind when fishing the harbor is the tide. The best time to go fishing is some 90 minutes both before and after the tide change.

You could also be fishing around the Swan Bay. It fishes well for Flathead, Whiting, Long-finned Pike aka Snook, some Gummy Shark, and Salmon. The harbour and bay waters don’t lack structures, so set the course right and you will be getting the bites in no time.

The Rip can produce Salmon, Leatherjacket, Wrasse, Sambo, and more. Just make sure to go with an experienced captain as this narrow channel and high tide can turn into a problem for inexperienced anglers.

‘Kingie’ (Yellowtail Kingfish) used to be the target number one around the ‘Rip’, but their population has declined in recent years. Still, jigging for them can be super interesting, especially if you’re a novice angler and don’t want to head far off on the very first trip.

Local fishing charters have access to many different fishing spots, not far away from each other. If the fish are not taking the bait, you can switch the spot for some more productive fishing. Whether it’s Point Nepean, St Leonards, or Portsea, you can get Salmon year round, along Trevally, Snapper, Flathead, Wrasse, Gurnard, and Rockfish.

If you still want to go fishing after you’re returned to the land, you can go to the pier and target the likes of White Snapper, Salmon, and King George Whiting. Point Lonsdale offers nice fishing from the rocks and pier, and you could be getting White Snapper, Salmon, Mullet, and more.

What to expect on a trip around the bay?

Private charters are a great way to spend the day on the water, especially if you want to go out with family, mates, or colleagues. You guys will have the boat to yourselves, which means you can fish the way you want. The captain will help out with the fishing gear, tips and tricks, and you’ll have more opportunities to get fish. Usually, if you’re coming with kids, a half day trip is the best option, and some charters even specialise in taking out kids. Half day trips cost from AUD 1500 to around AUD 2500. As for a full day trip, your mates and you will be splitting about AUD 3000 and more among yourselves.

The price per person for a half day trip is around AUD 100 and above. These trips usually run for five hours, and for an angler with family are a good intro to fishing Queenscliff. You could get the popular species, and target Gummy Shark, Flathead, Salmon, Squid, Snapper, Snook, and more tasty fish fun to catch.

A full day trip around the bay costs around AUD 180 per person. It will take you around various reef systems to get the popular fish.

Queenscliff offshore fishing

If you want to land a prized fish, the first step out of Queenscliff is the renowned Bass Strait. You need to understand the weather and the tide, so only go to the Bass Strait with a knowledgeable captain.

Luckily for all of us anglers, the Bass Strait lies at the Queenscliff’s doorstep. You don’t need to super far away to get to productive fishing grounds. 

Once you get there, you can catch numerous species. Gummy Shark, Yellowtail Kingfish, Snapper, Whiting, Salmon, Calamari, School Shark and Thrasher. To make the most out of your trip, pick six hour trips and longer. That way, you will have enough time to explore the rich fisheries and see why the Bass Strait is a popular choice among local fishermen.

Another stellar fishing spot is King Island. It will take you about an hour to get there, but the fishing can be stunning. You could fish for Mako Shark, Bluefin Tuna, Nannygai, Morwong, Gummy Sharks, and the Tasmanian Striped Trumpeter.

As you scout around the Strait waters, you could encounter massive game fish. Just a quick heads up - these waters aren’t exactly the most enjoyable ones. It can get rough, so it’s best to have some experience beforehand and go with a seasoned charter captain. But if you weather the tides, the possibilities are endless.

April and May are the peak season for Swordfish out of Queenscliff. You can also catch some impressive Tuna, and a rich array of reef fish.

How much does it cost?

Offshore fishing trips out of Queenscliff don’t cost a lot more compared to bay trips. It’s mostly due to the fact that the Bass Strait is right there, so it doesn’t always take a lot of fuel to get to the fisheries. A full day trip costs about AUD 200 per person, but can also be a bit more expensive, for more specialised charters.

Rules and regulations

Before you hire a charter, there a a few things to know. Victoria fishing is well-regulated. All the Queenscliff charters need to follow a couple of rules so that fishing can stay healthy in the coming years. First, you need a Victorian Recreational fishing license. You can purchase it online. Kids under 18 and people over 70 don’t need to have a fishing license.

As for the limits, sizes, and species, you can consult the Victorian recreational fishing guide. It’s useful to know that you can’t use berly made with mammal blood or offal. You shouldn’t use noxious fish as live bait, nor frog’s eggs or tadpoles.

Types of fishing

Depending where you set the course, you can try a lot of different fishing techniques around Queenscliff. We can draw a line between anything that’s inside and outside the Rip.

Bay and harbour

If you’re fishing the Queenscliff Harbour, you’ll definitely want to try soft plastic lures. Local anglers claim this works superbly with Trevally. You can also use squid, pilchards, and pippies as live bait.

You can get Australian Salmon from April to September, in early mornings or afternoons. Get pilchards ready before you head out. You can get Flathead throughout the day in the warmer months. King George Whiting bites well when you use pilchards and mussel. As you can see, bait fishing is something you will be perfecting around the bay and harbour.

Bass Strait

When you reach the Strait, you will want to go trolling for Tuna. They bite well in colder months. Poppers work best with Giant Trevally.

If you’re looking for a fishing marathon, Swordfishing trips are likely the best option. This means deep sea fishing par excellance. These trips are usually more expensive, but the suspense and the chase can be super rewarding if you have luck and stamina.

Now, for some local delicacies. Shark fishing in Victoria is hot. You can get Mako, Thresher, and Gummy, not to mention all the other species. Again, this is not for the faint of heart. It is super exciting but requires skill.

When you go bottom bouncing for Snapper, you may attract Mako Sharks as well. Light line fishing around the Strait is quite popular, alongside fly fishing.

The Shark season lasts from November until May. If you plan to target Mako, you will need berly. After you wake up the fisheries, you will get a lot of action going. It’s good to use any bait that’s oily. Slimy Mackerel, Tuna, or Couta have been proved to produce a good catch. Be patient when you get the run. It takes time before you can finally exhaust the fish. Just be careful to keep them away from the boat. And if you lose them, keep the engine running, and wait a bit more. They might easily strike back.

As for Thresher Shark, they really are the highlight of the season. A brute of a fighter, the Thresher will also go after bait prepared for Snapper. You can use a Mackerel pattern to troll for Thresher. They are far from being fussy eaters. The real challenge is to keep them on the line as they display uncanny acrobatics.

Queenscliff Fishing Seasons

You might get Yellowtail Kingfish. Out there, the pelagics and bottom fish show a nice fishing action. You might get some Trevally far out, while the bay waters can also get you Shark and reef fish.

You might sight some Yellowtail Kingfish. Far out, there is a chance of an odd Tuna. If you fish around the bay, you can get a variety of reef fish. You can still get some nice weather.

You can get a Salmon from the pier. Further out, if you’re lucky, you might get Yellowtail Kingfish. Fishing around the reefs will give novice anglers a fun day out.

Far offshore, Swordfish are on the chew. This is a real feat, meant only for hardcore anglers. Meanwhile, you can get Snapper, Whiting, Australian Salmon, Silver Trevally, and more.

If you want something exclusive, go search for Southern Bluefin Tuna. If you’re not a hardocre angler, you can stay around the bay looking for some Salmon.

It’s Gummy Shark time. They are one of the favorite catches around here, so if you want to fish like a true local, go for them.

Fishing can be quiet this time of the year. You might get some Flathead and Salmon in the bay. There is also a chance to get King George Whiting.

You can get the first batch of Snapper. It will take a couple of weeks before they fire up. In other news, you can get Gummy Shark, or King George Whiting.

It’s a good spring action, despite still cold waters. Go for Pinkies, Cod, Flathead, and some Gurnard. You can also get a couple of Salmon.

Snapper fishing is in full swing. The weather may be moody, but on an average nice day, you will fill the bags in no time. The action is getting better offshore as well.

Snapper season is super hot. You can get plenty of them across the Port Phillip Bay. Out there, you can also snatch Mako Shark. Their season is now on, and it will run until May.

Use squid and pilchard for Snapper. They are fired up and produce pure magic around the bay. A Snapper bait can also fish well for an odd Mako and Thresher.

Queenscliff Fishing Calendar

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Top Targeted Species in Queenscliff

Salmon (Australian)

Snapper (Pink)