Freshwater fishing in Victoria includes a wide variety of habitats and climate zones.
From cool mountain streams to mighty inland rivers to broad estuaries emptying into bays, Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean.
While the northern border of Victoria divides the state and NSW by the Murray River the watercourse belongs to New South Wales up to and including the banks.So Victorians fishing the Murray should keep in mind that an NSW fishing license is required when fishing that river.
See the Freshwater FAQ
Victorian freshwater fish include many native and introduced species.
In some cases, such as the Murray cod, native species have been introduced into areas where they do not natively occur. Such as the Yarra River.
The most popular native species include Yellow Belly, Murray Cod, a variety of eels, freshwater catfish and river blackfish.
All freshwater native species are subject to extensive limits on size and quantity of catches. The VFA is actively involved in fish stock management and hatcheries with many native fish species.
Introduced species include Brown and Rainbow trout in rivers and streams. As well as Chinook Salmon in some lakes. These species are actively maintained by the Victorian Fishery Authority and have closed seasons to manage breeding numbers.
Species such as Redfin (English Perch) are present, but not maintained. They have no minimum size limit or season. However, the laws state this species must not be transported alive across the countryside in order to limit the spread.
European Carp are present in plague proportions in many rivers and lakes. This species is declared a noxious pest. No European Carp, when caught, may be returned alive to Vic waterways.
Goldfish, tench and roach are also prevalent and considered noxious in Victorian waters. The Chinese Weather Loach is also present. Many of these species are likely to have been released accidentally or on purpose by aquarium keepers and from overflow from fish ponds.
It depends largely on the size of the fish and the species.
Trout, for example, can be caught on regular fishing tackle using traditional bait and hooks. However many people prefer to use soft plasticSoft Plastic Lure and hard body lures to target trout.
The art of fly fishing is almost synonymous with trout fishing worldwide and many Victorians engage in this artful form of fishing too.
Redfin can be caught on many of the same bait or lure rigs as trout.
Species such as Murray cod and Yellow belly are often targeted using heavier rigs with bait such as Bardi grub, yabbyYabby The "yabby" is an Australian freshwater crustacean, similar to the "crawdad" found in the United States.
They are actually very good eating when prepared properly, while making an excellent bait for native and introduced species such as Murray Cod, Yellowbelly, Redfin etc.
The most productive method of catching yabbies is via a net, available from tackle stores. In recent years the "opera house net" has been banned in some states (including Victoria) due to their design being a drowning trap for turtles and platypus. Approved nets protect these creatures from becoming trapped while allowing yabbies to remain in the net., chicken and even cheese.
While specialist hard body cod lures such as stump jumpers are used equally well. If not more effectively.
Increasingly fisho’s are using larger soft plasticsSoft Plastic Lure with excellent results on Murray cod and other larger native species.
Carp eat a variety of baits including chicken, dough, bread and corn. Heavier tackle is often advisable for this species as they can weigh in many kilos surprisingly often.