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Saltwater fishing spots

port phillip 

Something fishy going on? Get away and enjoy the peace and tranquility of a day’s saltwater fishing.

1. Tambo River, Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park

300km east of Melbourne CBD

Species: Black Bream

The Tambo River, one of seven rivers that terminate at the system of coastal lagoons known as Gippsland Lakes, is great for chasing Bream using sandworms, peeled prawns, light sinkers, number 3 hooks, 6-pound mono and long whippy rods like the Jarvis Walker Black Queen (like every pastime, fishing has its jargon). Luderick, Trevally, Flathead, Australian Salmon and Tailor are always a possibility.

2. Mallacoota Inlet, Croajingolong National Park

500km east of Melbourne CBD, 6km from Mallacoota

Species: Dusky Flathead

Surrounded by the beautiful Croajingolong National Park, this place is a flathead oasis. Live bait is the key, but these days soft plastic lures bounced off the bottom are deadly on flathead. The summer and autumn months are the most productive. Be sure your leader is heavy enough to handle the abrasive teeth of a big fish.

3. Western Port, shallow water

65km south-east of Melbourne CBD

Species: King George Whiting

Brilliant on the tooth, good fun fighters on a light line and unbelievably slimy, the King George Whiting is a shallow water treasure. Fish in three to five metres of water among seagrass beds and sand patches, from late spring through autumn. Best baits are pipis, sandworms, mussels, fresh squid and bass yabbies on a 4-6 hook. Use a 6-8 pound line with a long whippy rod and the bait should be below the sinker using a running paternoster rig. Berley is a must for keeping the school on the chew and ensuring your bag out (10-bag limit) in no time.

4. Yarra River, upstream of Punt Road bridge

South Yarra, Melway Ref: 2 M C2

Species: Mulloway

Who would have thought you could find 10kg Mulloway in the Yarra River? One of the best places is at Burnley, opposite Herring Island. They are most prolific in autumn, with live bait the favoured option. Mulloway are famous for a big first run, so make sure you’re well equipped with gear that can handle 250 metres of 20-pound line and a decent leader that will stand the rigours of being dragged all over the place.

5. Port Phillip

Patterson River: Chelsea, Melway Ref: 97 G5

Species: Snapper

Spring Racing Carnival signals the snapper migration into Port Phillip is on in earnest, and the action continues until late autumn. Freshly caught squid or fish fillets will improve success if you are fishing with bait. Soft plastics worked through a berley trail can also produce some amazing results. A 15-pound line, a 40-pound leader, number 4 hooks and just enough weight to keep the bait on the bottom are the go. A favoured spot is Patterson River.


If in doubt, catch and release is always the way to go

Always practise safe fishing to protect yourself and our waterways.

Remember to carry a current recreational fishing licence and always follow bag and size limits. Visit the Department of Environment and Primary Industries website for more information:

Be familiar with Victoria’s Recreational Fishing Code of Conduct. The code was developed by VRFish - Victoria’s representative organisation for recreational fishers - to look after fisheries resources for the benefit of the environment and future generations of fishers. A copy of the code is available at