Freshwater streams, lakes and reservoirs provide good catches from the shore or boat. The most commonly caught species are trout, redfin, golden perch and Australia's largest freshwater fish: the Murray cod.
Meanwhile, Victoria's bays and beaches and offshore fishing grounds offer opportunities to hook into everything from snapper, King George whiting, flathead and kingfish to salmon, squid, tuna and shark – for those who are game.
Here are the best fishing spots in Victoria.
The mighty Murray River provides excellent fishing opportunities, particularly for Murray Cod, Golden Perch, Cat Fish and Yabbies with many visitors returning time and time again to fish their favourite spot. Best places to drop a line are Barmah National Park and Murray River Reserves near Echuca for some Murray Cod, Callop, Catfish, Bream and Macquarie or Kings Billabong in Mildura for Murray Cod, Perch, Redfin and Yabbies. In Gippsland, the Tarwin River is brimming with bream, and the Aron River is home to trout and redfin or head the High Country's Goulburn River for an almost guaranteed trout catch.
Devilbend Natural Features Reserve is home to the largest inland water body on the Mornington Peninsula which has been stocked with Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and Estuary Perch, making it a great place for recreational fishing. This reserve provides valuable habitat for waterbirds and shorebirds and non-powered watercraft are allowed in certain areas. Victoria's High Country is home to lush Lake Eildon, a fishing haven frequently used for fresh-water fishing sports events. Keen fisher folk and canoeing enthusiasts will not want to miss this little treasure at Lake Wartook surrounded by the mountains and forests of the Grampians National Park. Just half an hour from Halls Gap and boasting a big reputation for redfin and brown trout, Lake Wartook is suitable for canoeing adventures as well as fly, boat and shore fishing. In Gippsland, Blue Rock Lake is famous for its fly-fishing. Visitors to try their hand at trout fishing in the Goldfields, home to more than 1000 public and private trout lakes, and popular Lake Wendouree, Lake Eppalock and Cairn Curran Reservoir.
For those without the patience or experience, local fish farms guarantee a catch. Victoria has a number of family friendly fishing experiences that offer a fun introduction to fishing for young and old. Any fish caught at the farms are sold by weight and expertly cleaned by staff to enjoy on site or take home. Yarra Valley’s Buxton Trout and Salmon Farm, set amongst the tall shady gum trees of the Stevenson's River, include the hire of a rods, bait and bucket in the cost of admission. Tuki Trout Farm, near Daylesford, features a restaurant and accommodation on site and offers fishing rods, bait and nets for hire. Meanwhile, Harrietville's Mountain Fresh Trout and Salmon Farm welcomes visitors to feed to fish or take advantage of the free admission and equipment hire.
Spring Racing Carnival signals the snapper migration into Port Phillip is on in earnest, and the action continues until late autumn. Visitors should head to Patterson River next to Chelsea Beach, a favourite fishing spot for locals. In the shallow waters of Western Port, visitors can find King George Whiting, brilliant on the tooth, good fun fighters on a light line and unbelievably slimy. Fish in three to five metres of water among seagrass beds and sand patches, from late spring through autumn with pipis, sandworms, mussels, fresh squid and bass yabbies as bait on a 4-6 hook. Also, the piers and jetties of Port Phillip are popular destinations for a range of recreational activities including short walks, sightseeing, fishing, swimming, snorkelling and SCUBA diving. The Bellarine Peninsula area is an easy drive from Melbourne and a great spot for fishing during the warmer months. St Leonards Pier provides good fishing for snapper, squid, flathead and whiting. Pier fishing at Queenscliff is best in summer for mullet, while Portarlington Pier is worth the effort in rough weather for snapper.
Victoria's vast Gippsland region offers excellent surf fishing, from the renowned Pearl Point Cape at Cape Conran Coastal Park to Loch Sport Beach, Inverloch and the wild waters at Corinella. On the Great Ocean Road it's all about surf fishing around Portland and nearby Narrawong Beach. Meanwhile, surrounded by the beautiful Croajingolong National Park, Mallacoota Inlet in Victoria's north-east is a flathead oasis. Snapper-up the best catch on the Mornington Peninsula on a Port Phillip Bay fishing charter during the Crimson Tide, the annual snapper migration. Other bay beauties include whiting, gummy shark, school shark, quid, salmon, garfish, rock cod, flathead and elephant fish.
For more information about fishing in Victoria, including fishing licences, catch limits, seasons and more visit the Victorian Fisheries Authority.
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