Fishing Werribee River has increasingly become a better option in recent years.

The efforts by the Victorian Fisheries Authority to stock the river with species like Estuary Perch are very welcome.

The river starts its life near the townships of Ballan and Bachus Marsh.  Mostly as small pools linked by what is a small creek.

The river itself flows through into the Melton area.  There’s where Melton Reservoir fishing for Redfin has become a popular spot.  Landbased and especially kayak.

As the river flows out of the reservoir towards the sea it begins to widen to a much larger degree.  By the time it makes it to the Werribee Open Planes Zoo and the golf course where it becomes increasingly more brackish before meeting the sea at Werribee South.

Werribee River Fishing Overview

To be clear – above the Werribee Weir the water is fresh, below that it gradually becomes saltier.

Bream range from the river mouth all the way up to the Golf Course.

Werribee River fishing opportunities, therefore, include the Melton Reservoir and below for Redfin and Carp.  The brackish zones where kayak fishing is awesome.

Then on into the Werribee River Estuary at Werribee South where you can fish the Werribee South PierWerribee South Beach and out to Port Phillip Bay from the Werribee Boat Ramp.

The amount of flow in the river is controlled by the Melton Reservoir and the Werribee River.  Both of these reduce or increase the amount of flow which in turn affects the depth of the river.

Werribee River Fishing Tackle Recommendations

In the fresh chasing Redfin, I’ve had some success with the Strike Tiger Nymph patterns in the past.  My favourite is the Black Caviar.

But I’ve done one with regular spinners with a flash of red and a silver blade with Reddies too.

In the estuary, I have targeted Bream using a wide variety of tackle.  Including bait and lures.  I have had more success with bait.  However, that is not an experience shared by all fishos with a huge number doing well on a variety of soft plastics.

Bait wise I’ve had success using chicken (with my “secret sauce”), pippis and pilchards.  I’ve only caught flathead using prawn here.

Keep your lines light unless you are hunting Mulloway exclusively (not my pick of locations if that’s the case.)

For most fishing on the river, a 6 to 7-foot spinning rod is going to work well.

I’d probably keep hook and jig sizes small too if I were you.  Bigger fish are going to be caught on the smaller-sized hooks.  This may result in a lot of smaller numbers, but at least you’ll land fish.  Not just get bites.

Werribee River Fish Species – Saltwater & Freshwater

Fish Species Quick Info
Black Bream
Acanthopagrus butcheri
All Year Round. But much more prevalent during warmer months.
Estuary Perch
M. colonorum

European Carp
Cyprinus carpio

Season: All Year Round – Noxious Imported Species. Must *not* be returned to waterways alive. Help our freshwater systems – actively target carp. Seasonal Note: Suggested Bait: Earthworms, Corn, Chicken
Platycephalus sp
All Year Round
Mugilidae sp
All Year Round
Can sometimes be the only game in town during cooler weather.

Season: All Year Round Seasonal Note: Suggested Bait: Squid, Pilchards, Whitebait, Bluebait, Pippis, Prawn, Chicken, Fish Fillets
Pinky Snapper
Chrysophrys auratus
All Year Round. But much more prevalent during warmer months.
This name applies to juvenile specimens of Snapper
Rainbow Trout
Oncorhynchus mykiss

Season: All Year Round Seasonal Note: Has a Closed Season in Some States of Australia. Victoria’s Trout Season can be checked here. Suggested Bait: Bardi Grub, Earthworms, Scrub Worms,Soft Plastic Lures, Spinners, Spoons, Flys
Redfin (English Perch)
Perca fluviatilis

Season: All Year Round Seasonal Note: Sometimes known as English Perch. Can be less active in warmer weather. Suggested Bait: Bardi Grub, Chicken Breast, Earthworms, Scrub Worms, Yabbies. Soft plastics. Spinners – love dashes of Red and even a bit of green colour on lures

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.
Cherax destructor

Werribee River Fishing Hotspot Video

Werribee River Fishing Review Summary

This river has been used and abused for decades, sadly.

However, it is exciting to see the start of a plan for its restoration.  Both with the reduced inflow of pollutants and stocking by the Fisheries Department.

It has a long way to go.  The nitrate-based fish kills that still happen in agricultural and sewerage treatment are still a significant issue in the estuary.

The opportunity for a deep, wide river and associated kayak fishing for Estuary Perch and Redfin, Trout and Carp in the freshwater sections (above the weir) is pretty awesome.

I’ve rated this five stars.  I love the river.  It deserves better than its historical treatment, like all Melbourne rivers, sadly.

Definitely get out there and try some Werribee River fishing.  Whether that be in the fresh or the salt.  Both are well worth it.  If you’re a kayak angler its definitely worth getting your Yak wet!

Werribee River Trail, Werribee VIC 3030, Australia , -37.8949165 , 144.6511841

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