Yarra Estuary Fishing – Fishermans Bend

Information
AddressFishermens Bend Port Melbourne
Lat/Lng-37.830421, 144.900682
Distance5.8 km from Melbourne
Current Temp16.3 °C- Stable - Station: Melbourne
Barometer1007.0 hPa - Stable
WindN - 6 km/h
Fishability Fishing Forecast Rating Star Fishing Forecast Rating Star Fishing Forecast Rating Star Fishing Forecast Rating Star Fishing Forecast Rating Star 5/5

Yarra Estuary Fishing – Fishermans Bend Overview

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.

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 Yarra Estuary

Northern-Pacific-starfishWhile 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-hearted.

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

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

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.

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 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.

Yarra Estuary - Fishermans Bend Fish Species

Fish SpeciesQuick Info
Broadnose Sevengill Shark
7 Gill Shark
Season: All Year Round
Seasonal Note:
Suggested Bait:
Australian-Salmon
Australian Salmon
Season: All Year Round
Seasonal Note: Common for schools to move through, chopping up the water before moving on. Can be common during cooler months.
Suggested Bait: Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Flathead Fillets, Mullet Fillets, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Squid Hoods, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait, Whiting Fillets

Black Bream
Season: All Year Round
Seasonal Note: Can become less active during Winter. Activity picking up late August. Active during warmer months.
Suggested Bait: Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Crabs, Earthworms, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Whitebait

Flathead
Season: All Year Round
Seasonal Note:
Suggested Bait: Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Flathead Fillets, Mullet Fillets, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait, Whiting Fillets

Mullet
Season: All Year Round
Seasonal Note: Can sometimes be the only game in town during cooler weather.
Suggested Bait: Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Earthworms, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Squid Tentacles

Mulloway
Season: All Year Round
Seasonal Note:
Suggested Bait: Squid, Pilchards, Whitebait, Bluebait, Pippis, Prawn, Chicken, Fish Fillets

Pinky Snapper
Season: All Year Round. But much more prevalent during warmer months.
Seasonal Note: October through to March.
Suggested Bait: Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Flathead Fillets, Mullet Fillets, Pilchards, Pipis, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait, Whiting Fillets

Snapper
Season: Later September to end of March.
Seasonal Note: Adult specimens often come closer towards shore to feed on reefs during rougher weather.
Suggested Bait: Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Crabs, Flathead Fillets, Mullet Fillets, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Squid, Squid Hoods, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait, Whiting Fillets

Squid
Season: All Year Round.
Seasonal Note: Best fished when waters are clear with little turbulence. Top times can be during June to September.
Suggested Bait: Squid Jig - artificial or with a bait such as minnow, whitebait, bluebait, pilchard or prawn.

Whiting
Season: November to April
Seasonal Note: Known to migrate from Victoria to South Australia during cooler months.
Suggested Bait: Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait
*Some fish species vary according to time of year and local environmental conditions.

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Yarra River Estuary - Fishermans Bend Ramp Review Summary

Yarra Estuary fishing in this spot 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.

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

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Family Friendly Fishing Forecast Rating Star Fishing Forecast Rating Star Fishing Forecast Rating Star Fishing Forecast Rating Star Fishing Forecast Rating Star Environment & Pollution Fishing Forecast Rating Star Public Toilets Fishing Forecast Rating Star

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David Scott Kane - Fishing Writer, Software Developer, Founder Getfished

G'day!

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.