Fishing around Melbourne includes the fantastic Port Phillip Bay, nearby Western Port Bay, the Yarra, Marrybinong and their tributaries.
When fisho’s think of Melbourne they often think “Port Phillip Bay Snapper.”
While snapper fishing is fantastic, Melbourne has a smorgasbord of other species and fishing opportunities that are easily overlooked.
These not only include saltwater species. Freshwater fish like Trout, Redfin and even natives like Murray Cod can be caught within the Melbourne suburban region. Many of these waterways are actively restocked by the Fisheries department.
In the Yarra Estuary, common fish species include Pinkies (Immature Snapper) and Adult Snapper during the warmer months. Mullet, Flathead, Mulloway, Bream, Whiting at times throughout the year.
Upstream in the freshwater stretches Redfin, European Carp, Eels are quite common. Occasional Murray Cod are present north of Eltham around the Warrandyte area. Trout, both Rainbow and Brown can be caught in the shallower, faster sections from Launching Place upstream past Warburton.
What type of fishing can you do around Melbourne?
From the beautiful Port Phillip Bay. The large tidal flows of Western Port Bay. The estuaries of the Yarra, Maribyrnong, Werribee and other rivers – Melbourne has a lot of fishing variety.
You can fish from the beaches for bream, mullet, flathead and whiting. The piers for all of those species – plus snapper, Australian Salmon, Silver Trevally, Calamari (squid) and even gummy shark.
You can get out in the estuaries and the bays in a boat, increasing your fishing opportunities and available species.
While in the “fresh” you can target freshwater species such as Murray Cod, Redfin, trout, eels and even the insidious European Carp.
What licenses do I need to go fishing in Melbourne?
There are exceptions to the license requirement including people over 70 or under 18 years of age. Some pensioners including aged and disability. As well as some indigenous people. Always check the VFA website above to see if you meet any exceptions.
In addition, you need to familiarise yourself with regulations including catch limits, size, seasons and protected species.
If you are using a powerboat you will require a boating license. There are exemptions for interstate boats – providing you have a license in your state of origin.
Are there sharks in the Yarra River?
Yes. At times. Though in most cases they are harmless Gummy Sharks (known as flake when cooked and served with fish and chips) Some smaller Schooling Sharks are present at times. I have personally caught a juvenile 7 Gill shark at the Warmies in Newport. Larger species have been reported and caught in the lower reaches around the docklands but they are extremely rare. In February 2021 I caught (and released) a Broad Nosed Shark in the Yarra River mouth,
What Are The Best Fishing Times In Melbourne?
The best fishing times in Melbourne are usually an before and after dawn and dusk. When those times coincide with a high or low tide then these times are considered to be more ideal.
Additionally some people believe the moon plays a factor in selecting fishing times. While this is hotly contested (and has no scientific evidence to support it) it is said a new moon is a peak fishing time. When combined with the tide and sunrise/sunset the day is considered to be the best day that month.