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Top Fishing Charters in Victoria

Fishing in Victoria

Victoria is home to some of Australia’s hottest fishing spots. Depending on the time of year, local waters host everything from Pink Snapper and Bluefin Tuna to the elusive Mulloway (also known as “Jewfish” in some areas). Casting a line here can be as challenging or relaxing as you want it to be, from deepwater battles with big game fish to a family adventure on the lake. This corner of Australia is all about variety, which is exactly what you’ll find aboard the fishing charters Victoria has in store.

Top Fishing Spots in Victoria

Port Phillip Bay

Port Phillip Bay is the go-to place for many anglers in Victoria. In Australia’s warmest  months (September-May), the bay grows crowded with Salmon, Flathead, King George Whiting, Garfish, and Gummy Sharks. Most anglers spend their time in Port Phillip Bay fishing for the infamous Pink Snapper, available between October and May. There may be no better place in the country to fish for Snapper, which is just one reason why Victoria has a shining reputation amongst anglers.

Werribee River

Werribee River on the northwest coast of the bay and Queenscliff Harbor to the south produce some of the most diverse fishing opportunity, while the stretch between Altona and Williamson promises excellent Pink Snapper. You’ll find charter boats scattered along all sides of Port Phillip Bay, most notably in Melbourne, St. Kilda, Carrum, and Queenscliff.

Yarra River

Beginning in the Yarra Ranges to the east and spanning 242 km (150 miles), the Yarra River flows right through Melbourne and into Port Phillip Bay. This river boasts some of the finest sport fishing Victoria lays claim to, featuring Rainbow and Brown Trout, Bream, and the mighty Mulloway. The lower stretch of the river offers excellent sportfishing within sight of city skyscrapers, but keep in mind that fish caught in this part of the river may not be safe to consume due to high levels of metal. If you’re in it for more than mere sport, try casting your line in the upper reaches instead.

The highlight of the Yarra River is Mulloway, which takes its name from the Aboriginal word meaning “the greatest one.” On average, these fish weigh 30 kg (over 65 lbs) but can reach up to 70 kg (154 lbs). They’re known to put up a tremendous fight, and produce excellent table fare to boot. Anglers don’t hook into this fish often, but rumor has it that the Yarra River provides some of the most consistent Mulloway fishing you can find.

Queenscliff and Bass Strait

If you’re looking to dabble in some deep sea fishing, head to Queenscliff for a quick trip to Bass Strait. Located between Victoria’s coast and Tasmania, Bass Strait hosts a variety of species such as Yellowtail Kingfish (Yellowtail Amberjack), Salmon, Whiting, Snapper, and a variety of Sharks. Starting in April, Swordfish and Tuna make an appearance off the coast of Queenscliff.

Bear in mind that the waters offshore are rougher, and you’ll want to book a trip of 6 hours or more to reach the most productive fishing grounds. The fish out here aren’t typically much larger than those you’ll find in the bays, but the occasional sighting of massive Yellowtails and other trophies can make the trip worthwhile.

Portland

No Victorian fishing guide would be complete without this city on the southwest shore, which offers access to some of the best big game fishing in the state. It’s easy to see where Portland got its reputation, considering the fact that the continental shelf is only around 50 km (roughly 30 miles) from the harbor. Southern Bluefin and Albacore Tuna are the main attraction around here, which reach their peak from April through August. Snapper, Snook, Salmon, Sharks, King George Whiting and much more inhabit the deep water offshore.

Inland Waters

The fishing Victoria is known for involves much more than sailing the sea. This state boasts countless rivers and lakes, where anglers hook into Trout, Murray Cod, Golden Perch, and more. You won’t get the same thrill out of these waters, but they do offer good sport and an even better day spent with the family.

For a relaxed fishing trip with the kids, there may be no better place than Eildon Pondage, where the Goulburn River passes the city of Eildon. Eildon Pondage boasts a great variety of species, in addition to year-round Trout fishing. In fact, this is where diehard anglers come when the Trout fishing on other rivers closes in winter. Surrounded by paved pathways and picnic areas, Eildon Pondage is an ideal getaway both for families with small children and hardcore anglers hoping to hook a big catch.

Need to Know

Rules and Regulations

Anglers age 18 and older must purchase a Victorian fishing license, available in local tackle shops and online. Some fish species have size and bag limits, and may be closed to harvest at certain times (subject to change). There are also some species which can only be filleted once you’re back on shore. Hiring a licensed Victorian fishing guide is the best way to fish responsibly.

Budget

You’ll have your choice of shared and private fishing charters in Victoria. Private trips in Port Phillip Bay range from AUD 1500-2500 for a half day, and up to AUD 3000 for a full day. Alternatively, you can hop on board a shared trip for AUD 100-300 per person. Charters out of Portland tend to veer on the more expensive end of this price range. If you’ve got your eye on Bass Strait, consider a trip out of Queenscliff, which will only cost a little more than a standard trip around the bay.

Fishing Tips

It’s common to anchor up and bottom fish in the bays. Anglers in Victoria make good use of “berley” (chum), either using cut Pilchards or commercially prepared chum. If you’re eager to get a taste of Port Phillip Bay’s legendary Snapper fishing but want to avoid the crowds, try fishing at night.

Even if you don’t have the time or budget for one of the fishing charters Victoria has to offer, it’s easy to get a taste of local sport fishing. Grab a 2 m rod with 6-19 kg line and head to one of many local piers on the bays. Whiting, Flathead, and even Snapper are known to bite a line close to shore.

Victoria Fishing Seasons

At the height of summer, you’ll find plenty of fish to keep you busy in Victoria! Pink Snapper and Yellowtail Amberjack have yet to reach their peak, but are biting strong nonetheless.

Western Port and Port Phillip Bays have even more to offer in February, including Garfish, Whiting, Gummy Sharks, and more. This month is one of your best chances at catching a Mulloway in Yarra River.

March marks the start of autumn in Australia. Pink Snapper will soon be replaced by Salmon in the bays, while Yellowtail Kingfish and many others will stick around for a few months.

Swordfish and Tuna are at their peak offshore, so head to Queenscliff for the adventure of a lifetime! Many charter boats from Melbourne are heading west to Portland.

Big game fishing can be great at this time of year, with Yellowtail, Swordfish, and Tuna making the rounds offshore.

Trout fishing is closed in most of Victoria’s rivers, but you can still have great success fishing for Rainbows and Browns in Eildon Pondage. If the weather allows, fishing offshore can be good, too.

Few fish are at their peak in July, but fishing in the bays can still produce good sport. Try your luck and real in King George Whiting, Squid, Garfish or more.

You’re most likely to hook into Squid, Whiting, and Gummy Sharks while fishing the bays at this time of year. For a change of pace, try Trout fishing in Eildon Pondage.

Spring in just around the corner! Beat the crowds and hit the bays for some Pink Snapper. Murray Cod is closed to harvest through November, except for anglers fishing in Lake Eildon.

Snapper fishing is excellent in October, and Trout fishing in the rivers is starting to pick up momentum again. 

 It’s non-stop Snapper action in November! Other fish are biting more in the bay as well, such as Garfish and Flathead. 

As summer reaches its peak, so do many fish. Cast a line in the bay and you’re sure to reel in something, or escape the crowds to see what Victoria’s many lakes and rivers have to offer.

Victoria Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Victoria

"Extremely satisfied group"

Joshua Feilo 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.

"Half day trip targeting Whiting with Westernport Fishing Charters "

Andrew Lowe fished with Westernport Fishing Charters - 38ft on February 15, 2017

Fish for Whiting off the banks. Cant go wrong.

"6 hour charter"

Raymond Jones fished with Rip Charters - 36’ Rip Runner on February 11, 2017

Make sure that you are on time, frustrating if you have to wait for tardy people.

Top Targeted Species in Victoria

Snapper (Pink)

Shark (Gummy)

Flathead

King George Whiting

Top Victoria Destinations