Victoria, Australia offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities. Both native and introduced species.
While a lot of Victorian saltwater fishing takes place in and around Port Phillip and Western Port Bays there are many other coastal and freshwater fishing spots worth investigating.
Browse some of the best fishing spots in Victoria below. You can also check out our Fishing Victoria FAQ
Table of Contents 1. Fishing Locations In Victoria 2. Vic Fishing FAQ Autumn Fishing In Victoria Autumn Temperatures, in waters such as Port Phillip and Western Port Bays, range from an average of 17.3 c in March down to 14 – 15 c degrees by the end of the season.
Some species, such as Snapper and Whiting are generally past their Summer peak in Autumn. So, while catches are still common they become less so as the season progresses. Whiting begins their migration to Western Victoria and South Australian waters where they breed.
As the water cools, depending on the year’s over-all weather, fish activity begins to drop. Species such as flathead can become a little harder to catch (though still in good numbers) while Bream continue on for many months. Species such as Australian Salmon and Tailor and Gummy Sharks continue in good numbers. Garfish start coming onto the bite in many places. While squid remains plentiful. Particularly if the water remains clear from estuary flooding outflows.
By the end of April and into May the risk of hypothermia if immersed in the water becomes high and the onset is very quick. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that small craft boaties and kayakers “dress for immersion.” That means thermal clothing (not wool or cotton) designed as layers that wick away moisture are strongly recommended.
Vic Fishing FAQ
As of October 1st 2019, all public boat ramps and associated trailer parking areas are free in Victoria.
Some private boat ramps will charge a fee at their discretion.
One of the most popular saltwater Vic species is Snapper. An excellent fighting and table fish. After that, there are several species of flathead and whiting. As well as gummy shark, snook, blue-fin tuna, Australian Salmon and Tailor.
In the saltwater targeting Squid (Calamari) is popular.
In freshwater Vic anglers often target introduced species such as Brown and Rainbow Trout, Redfin (English Perch) and the perennial pest – the European Carp.
Native freshwater species include the ubiquitous Murray Cod, Yellow Belly and native catfish.
Some anglers target the elusive river Blackfish. Many seek freshwater crayfish and their distant, smaller cousins, Yabbies (similar to the Crawfish found in the USA).
as persons under 18, persons over 70, aged and disability pensioners and indigenous persons.
For complete details – and/or to obtain a license online please see the Vic Fisheries VFA website.
Some Victorian waters contain fish species that are considered dangerous – or require care when handling.
Certain shark species such as White Pointers occur in some waters, particularly in areas with seal populations and many Vic ocean beaches. They are not often seen in Port Phillip or Western Port bays. Smaller shark species can, however, pose a threat, so care should be taken.
Shark species such as gummy sharks are harmless.
Many of the stingray species can inflict serious and fatal injuries.
Many target species have sharp spines that can cause significant damage. Species such as flathead have spines on their gill plates that contain a mild venom – so care should be taken handling them. Flathead is, however, perfectly safe to eat – and are very tasty.
The toad-fish – or pufferfish – is extremely toxic to eat.
The blue-ringed octopus, while very small in size, has a bite that contains a powerful venom and is extremely dangerous.
Note that while many of these creatures – such as pufferfish and blue-ringed octopus – may be undesirable by-catches they are in fact all protected species and must be left unharmed. If caught they are required by law to be returned safely and as quickly as possible to the water.
The following are fishing equipment is illegal to use or possess (in or next to) Victorian Waters.
You may not use bows, arrows, guns or other firearms. You may not use explosives.
Nor do Victorian Fishing Regulations allow you to trawl with a net behind a powered watercraft or boat.
Set lines, Snares, Snoods are also prohibited.
The use of Open top lift nets is illegal in marine waters. The same applies to Mesh nets/cast nets.
Mussel rakes, Harpoons and Crab pots must not be used.
Opera house nets (often used for Yabbying) are illegal in Victoria. This law was introduced due to the death toll on unintended catches like Platypus, Turtles etc. These species fall foul of this net design and drown.
Opera house nets are illegal in public and private waters. This includes private dams – regardless of who owns the said dam.
There is no specific fishing season in Victoria. Fishing, in general, can be undertaken all year round.
However, certain species such as Murray Cod and Trout have their seasons limited by law. These open and closed seasons help manage fish stocks and ensure sustainable fishing.
The warmer months, October through to March, are considered to be the peak season for fishing in Victoria. These are largely due to the climate conditions during winter driving many target species to migrate or become less active during colder weather.
It’s true that fishing during colder weather can be less than comfortable, compared to warmer seasons.
However, many fishing pursuits come alive during the colder months. This includes surf fishing for Australian Salmon. Garfish off piers etc.
As the weather grows warmer many popular fish species, such as snapper, tend to move into place such as Port Phillip & Western Port Bays.
This usually starts to occur late September with numbers increasing through October and November.
There are a number of inland fishing hotspots in Victoria.
Most of these are freshwater and include rivers such as the Yarra, Goulburn, Campaspe and Murray.
Major freshwater fishing lakes include Eildon, Eppalock and Nagambie. With the Murray River offering Lakes Hume and Mulwala.
Inland Fishing In Victoria includes some estuaries, too. The Gippsland lakes stretch sufficiently inland to be considered such. Offering a wealth of land-based, boat and kayak fishing opportunties.