River fishing in Victoria is actually divided, for the most part, into three kinds.
The slower moving, wide and deep, warmer and mighty rivers to the north of the Great Dividing Range. Such as the Murray, Ovens and Goulburn.
The rivers to the south that are generally smaller and cooler and run directly into the sea in Victoria itself.
The mountain rivers that are often streams that offer trout fishing conditions similar to those one might expect in the Northern Hemisphere. Trout, of course, being an introduced, but carefully managed, fish species in Victora.
Victorian Rivers – Fishing Locations
While inland rivers over the Great Dividing Range tend to be warmer coastal streams vary considerably in temperature and are generally more variable and cooler.
Some are navigable by boat, particularly the slower, deeper rivers such as the Murray and Goulburn rivers.
Many of the larger rivers are dammed, sometimes in several places. These make extensive lake systems that further alter the natural fishing environment. This has affected the flow of those waterways. As the dams were built for agricultural irrigation the flow is often faster during the summer months when outflows are increased due to demand.
It should be noted that the damming of rivers has been detrimental for some native fish species. Fish like Murray Cod tend to spawn during floods. Dams often reduce flooding and wetlands. Reducing spawning opportunities.
Freshwater Fishing Hotspots
Victorian Rivers Fishing Map
Victorian Rivers Fishing FAQ
What fish can I catch in Victorian Rivers?
Sadly one of the most prolific fish species in Victorian rivers is the obnoxious, imported pest the “European Carp.”
While some people do target this species – and eat them – for the most fisho’s they are an annoying by-catch that causes massive damage to native fish stocks and muddying of the waterways due to their mud foraging activities.
Carp should not, by law, be returned to waterways when caught. They are a proscribed pest and should be dispatched as quickly and humanely as possible.
I’ve found a good use for carp – digging them into the compost and veggie garden. That’s what I do with any I catch.
However – there’s a range of excellent native species that most people do enjoy catching. Some are also imported and even managed by the Victorian State Government Fisheries Authority.
These desirable species include Redfin (English Perch) and Brown and Rainbow Trout.
A wide variety of baits and lures can be used to target these species include worms, Bardi grubs, chicken, artificial fly’s and lures, soft plastics etc.
While native species include the prized Murray Cod, Yellowbelly, River Blackfish, native catfish, freshwater crayfish, yabbies etc.
Native species take a variety of baits and lures. Murray Cod and Yellowbelly are often targeted on diving lures such as “Stump-jumpers”, spinners, surface lures and soft plastics. While baits include worms, Bardi grubs, yabbies, fish fillets and chicken.