Fishing The Powlett River Estuary [Plus Podcast] 🎧

The Powlett River Estuary, five minutes from the township of Kilcunda, is often blocked to the sea. Causing it to form a wide, shallow lake.

The Powlett River Estuary, five minutes from the township of Kilcunda, is often blocked to the sea. Causing it to form a wide, shallow lake.

The estuary, however, is fishable.

Containing a variety of species. Including Mullet, Australian Salmon and even Bream.

Sitting on the sand dunes and casting out as far as you can often yield small Australian Salmon and at times some fair-sized bream.

Toadfish are a major hassle in the Powlett River. Remember to return them safely to the water alive. They are fully protected.

I have caught a small sea-run Brown Trout while the estuary mouth was blocked from the sea. I say “sea-run” as the waters were decided brackish, even without the inflow of fresh seawater.

River Floods Frequently

I found the upper reaches to be normally discoloured.

While the area before the mouth to be often very clear.

The river does flood quite often.

This is when it breaches the rock and sandy bar and the mouth and flows freely into the ocean.

Over the years it has produced some good catches of mullet, black bream and even estuary perch for me.

Listen to the Podcast Fishing Powlett River Estuary

Powlett River Fishing Kilcunda

As with many estuaries in Victoria, the short-finned eel spends are a good part of its life in the upper reaches of the Powlett River and tributaries. Often up to Twenty Years. These eels are capable of traversing surprising distances over land. Including dam walls.

They then move downstream into the estuaries and out into the ocean. Travelling up into the Coral Sea. Where they spawn. The offspring are then pushed by the East Australian Current south. Where they re-enter the estuaries and move upstream. Repeating their parent’s lifecycle.

Even after hearing about this decades ago I still find it awesome. Just to contemplate the eels lifecycle.

Fish Light On The Powlett River

I’d recommend fishing light here. It’s what I’ve done. The toadfish can cause a problem for bait fishing. So a soft plastic is often ideal. As are hard body surface lures. While toadfish will certainly take some lures it reduces catching them to a larger degree than bait.

Look. That’s been my experience with most places with high numbers of toadies. Places like Melbourne’s Black Rock when fishing Half Moon Bay being a prime example.

There is now a caravan park at the Powlett. This has been added in the years since I first began fishing there. Back then you needed to stay in Kilcunda then driven to the Powlett. This is no longer required. Though I never found it hard to do so.

What Fish Can You Catch At The Powlett River?

Fish Species Suggested Bait
All Year Round.
Can sometimes be the only game in town during cooler weather.

Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Earthworms, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Squid Tentacles
Black Bream
Black Bream
All Year Round.
Can become less active during Winter. Activity picking up late August. Active during warmer months.

Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Crabs, Earthworms, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Whitebait
Short Finned Eel
Short Finned Eel
All Year Round
Bardi Grub, Blood Worms, Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Earthworms, Mullet Fillets, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Scrub Worms, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait
Australian Salmon
Australian Salmon
All Year Round
Common for schools to move through, chopping up the water before moving on. Can be common during cooler months.

Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Flathead Fillets, Mullet Fillets, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Squid Hoods, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait, Whiting Fillets
Brown Trout
Brown Trout
Has a Closed Season in Some States of Australia. Victoria's Trout Season can be checked here.
Bardi Grub, Earthworms, Scrub Worms

*Some fish species vary according to time of year and local environmental conditions.

Powlett River Map & Location

Address: Powlett River, Victoria, Australia
Lat: -38.5787598
Lng: 145.5332945
Proximity: 129km from Melbourne GPO

Location Review & Rating


  • Beautiful Environment for both fishing, swimming and site-seeing
  • Can produce some excellent fishing at times
  • Close enough to Melbourne for a Day Trip - but staying over recommended.
  • Accomodation both locally at the Powlett and nearby Kilcunda and Wonthaggi. Choices are Caravan Parks or Motels.
  • If the fishing is slow on the Powlett you can choose from miles of Ocean Beaches as well as the rock platforms at Kilcunda.
  • Nearby Attractions include the Fairy Penguins, Seal Rocks and the Koala Sanctuary at Phillip Island. As well as Coal Creek Museum at Korumburra.


  • Fishing can slow down when the river is blocked to the sea by the sand bar
  • A lot of toadfish at time which can be a pest by-catch. Return them safely to the water please!
  • Toilets - other than the Caravan Park, which is private, I'm not aware of any here.
  • The Powlett has claimed lives during flooding. So caution required. Always the case of course with little children.

Review Overview

Fishability Review StarReview StarReview StarReview StarReview Star
Public Toilets Review StarZero Rating Review StarZero Rating Review StarZero Rating Review StarZero Rating Review Star
Parking Review StarReview StarReview StarReview StarReview Star
Family Friendly Review StarReview StarReview StarReview StarReview Star
Environment & Pollution Review StarReview StarReview StarReview StarReview Star


Overall the Powlett River Estuary is a great place to fish - best fished when the river is open to the sea in my experience.  This is usually the case for some months after flooding upstream.

With caution, it is family-friendly when not in flood.  Obviously small children always require continuous observation in any environment!

Be careful of snakes.  Tiger snakes, in particular, inhabit the dunes as they prey on ground-nesting birds, like Mutton Birds and even penguins.  As well as native small mammals and introduced rodents.

Treat the local environment with respect.  People have lost their lives in the Powlett River.  No fish is worth your life!
Rating Review Star

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I'm Dave, I live and fish in and around Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
When it comes to fishing I love going out to land-based fishing spots, heading out in the tinny (aka an Aluminum Boat) and kayak fishing.

I've been fishing since I was a teen. Beginning way back in the 1970s. It was a hobby I picked up myself as my family certainly had no interest. Making me the black sheep! My favourite fish is Flathead and Snapper. Though I'm partial to Flake (Gummy Shark) and Calamari too! While I enjoy fishing for freshwater species like Redfin and Murray Cod I prefer eating saltwater species. They're just so mouth-wateringly tasty!

I love writing about some of my favourite Melbourne Fishing Spots while fishing around Victoria. As well as the tackle I use and test.
If you see me while you're out fishing say "G' day" - I'll be the one in a bush hat.

When I'm not fishing I'm working on my websites, such as Getfished, or writing computer software (my profession.)

I try to be as accurate as possible on this website. Most of the information is based on personal experience. However, if you spot an error or think there's something that I should add - no worries! Please use the Contact Form.