The Yarra Estuary on the Port Melbourne side of the river is often known as “Fishermans Bend.”

As you might suspect from the name it’s a good spot to go fishing.  It’s a great spot to take the kids fishing.

Historically the area was the home of the General Motors Holden Plant.  The spot where Australia’s first mass-produced car was made.

Generally, I stick to the embankment just to the north and below the Westgate bridge but below the Westgate Punt Service dock.


Fishermans Bend – Yarra Estuary Fishing Overview

There’s a channel to cast out into for deeper water. Be careful of snags as the Yarra River estuary here contains quite a few rocky snags at and below the drop-off to the shipping channel.

Flathead, bream and mullet are the target species for many fishos here. Pinky snapper is also amongst the more common catches here.

For those up to the challenge, the prized mulloway does frequent the Yarra Estuary right up to Richmond

Pontoon Jetty Fishermans Bend – Yarra Estuary

While there is a small floating pontoon jetty I’ do not recommend it.

Larger boats (like tugs) can and do put out some pretty big wakes at high speed – in spite of posted speed restrictions.

This jetty becomes a bit of a trampoline at this point. Not for the faint of heart.

Expect the Northern Pacific starfish (Asterias amurensis) to steal fresh and frozen bait.

You may even reel some in.

This pest hitches a ride from South East Asian ports on ships in their water ballast.

When the ships purge their tanks the juvenile starfish are purged with the water.

They’ve managed to infiltrate Port Phillip Bay, the Yarra and even the Maribyrnong river as far upstream as Essendon!

Watch Out For The Ship Wakes Fishing Fishermans Bend Area

Your bait is going to be thrown about by both commercial and private boats and ships. It’s not unusual for a container ship to suck the water away from the bank, then it all coming back in a rush.

Some wakes can produce some sizeable wash. This can cause sinkers to become snagged on rocks and other structure.

So a ball sinker has worked for me here, rather than pyramids, beans etc. I also tend to rig the sinker as a break-off so that if the sinker snags I don’t loose the whole rig.

This is an issue throughout the Yarra Estuary system and also at other nearby locations, including the famous Warmies fishing hotspot.

Parking facilities are fairly good early mornings, evenings and weekends. However, there’s hefty competition for parking spots during the week after 8:00am.

Toilets, however, are some distance away (2km) and were being rebuilt on my last visit. Expect to travel back to Port Melbourne or even South Melbourne if you need to avail yourself of these.

The tide can be strong. The incoming tide seems to be great for mullet and pinkies. The slack and outgoing tides have worked better for me when it comes to targeting flathead.

But like all fishing – there’s a range of factors involved. Including time of year, moon and what food is prevalent for predator species.

Use A Smaller Rig On At Least One Rod

I’d definitely recommend smaller hook sizes for most species. Consider between a 6 to 14 hook.

Sounds small, but many of the fish in the Yarra estuary system have smaller mouths.

If you’re using berley the smaller fish will bring in larger fish anyway.

You can always change up to a larger rig later.

Smaller rigs are great for kids, too. They’re more likely to “catch a fish”, albeit small, than with a larger tackle setup.

That helps sustain their interest – and makes their – and your – day more enjoyable.

I’d definitely recommend using berley in the Yarra river estuary. Attract the fish to you. You’re going to find that easier than casting about any which way. Aim your rod at a likely spot, then focus your berley there.

You can cast a berley cage out on your line. Used either a running sinker or a paternoster rig.

Try a fine breadcrumb berley mixture infused with tuna oil, a few drops of aniseed and even a touch of garlic can work well.

Just keep in mind – a little flavour goes a long way – and too much drives the fish away. Be subtle. Experiment!

Berley cages spread the slick around your bait, without “feeding the fish”. Increasing your chances of a hookup.


Fishermans Bend Fish Species

Fish Species Quick Info
Australian Salmon
Arripis trutta
All Year Round
Common for schools to move through, chopping up the water before moving on. Can be common during cooler months.
Black Bream
Acanthopagrus butcheri
All Year Round. But much more prevalent during warmer months.
Eel

Flathead
Platycephalus sp
All Year Round
Pinky Snapper
Chrysophrys auratus
All Year Round. But much more prevalent during warmer months.
This name applies to juvenile specimens of Snapper
Snapper
Chrysophrys auratus
All Year Round. But much more prevalent during warmer months.
Adult specimens often come closer towards shore to feed on reefs during rougher weather in warmer months.
*Some fish species vary according to time of year and local environmental conditions.

Fishing Hotspot Video


Fishermans Bend – Review Summary

Fishermans Bend on the Yarra river Estuary fishing can be extremely productive.

It’s one of Melbourne’s historical hotspots and can produce good catches to this day.

I have caught species ranging from mullet and bream, pinky snapper and even small 7 Gill Sharks over the years.

I recommend it highly.  There’s often plenty of free parking. However, toilets are a long walk away.  So plan to drive (last time I tried a few years  back they were closed when I got there around 1:00 pm on a weekday.)

Like most spots in the Yarra Estuary and Marrybinong river system, I’d not be inclined to eat what I catch.

That’s due to over a century of industrial abuse that sadly has continued at times right up to the present day.  While effluent outflow is now controlled legally – and dumping/leaks subject to large fines that fact is it still happens. Sometimes it, at least appears to be a case of, not what you’ve done but who you know.

Pros

  • Just 5.7 km from Melbourne
  • Often plenty of FREE parking
  • A variety of fishing habitats to choose from
  • A variety of Fish Species
  • Good spot to take the kids fishing under supervision

Cons

  • No toilets in immediate vicinity
  • Car parking is limited at times during weekdays and warmer months
  • The pontoon jetty can bounced like a tennis ball when tug boats exceed the speed limit

Features At A Glance

FishabilityPier ConditionParking
Family FriendlyEnvironment & PollutionPublic Toilets

Fishermans Bend, Port Melbourne VIC 3207, Australia , -37.8273582 , 144.9025421


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