If you’re looking for the best fishing spots in Melbourne, you’re definitely in luck. Within the greater metro area, you’ll find no shortage of robust waterways, meaning small freshwater creeks and large ocean bays and everything in between. Fly fishing. Pier fishing. Beach fishing. It’s all just a short drive away. Indeed, why roll into Rockpool Bar & Grill when you can hit up an actual rockpool for some quality saltwater fishing?
Should you Google “best fishing near me” and end up at one of Melbourne’s freshwater hot spots, you can expect to find an abundance of trout or perch. When fishing in saltwater, the potential explodes by way of salmon, snapper, flathead, bream, whiting, and much more. Catch and release is often encouraged (for native species), but on the other hand, there’s usually a barbecue close by…
To save you both time and effort, we’ve put Melbourne’s best fishing spots in one convenient place. Most of these locales are fairly well-known, but we’ve also tried to include a few secret fishing spots as well. Let’s dive into it.
Types of Fish in Victoria
When fishing in the freshwaters of Melbourne, you’re most likely to hook some form of trout or perch. Take the action out to Port Phillip Bay and pretty much anything might pop up. While it’s exciting to catch any fish on a day out, there are some very strict rules in place and you’ll have to know the difference between a fish and a ‘Noxious Aquatic Species’ in Victoria. First, here’s a table outlining some of the fish you might catch.
|Common Types of Fish in Victoria|
|Atlantic salmon||Chinook salmon||Freshwater catfish||Prawn||Spider crabs|
|Australian bass||Short-finned eel||Gummy shark||Rainbow trout||Squid|
|Australian grayling||Long-finned eel||Golden perch||River blackfish||Trout cod|
|Black bream||English perch||Leather jacket||Two-spined blackfish||Whiting|
|Brown trout||Estuary Perch||Macquarie perch||Silver perch|
|Carp||Flathead||Murray cod||Australian snapper|
Rules for Noxious Aquatic Species in Victoria
Noxious Aquatic Species such as Cyprinus carpio are known for their aggression and are a major contributor to the decimation of native fish – a full list of these species can be found here. The Victorian Government has some very clear outlines when it comes to fishing these fish, including;
Without a permit, don’t:
- Bring noxious aquatic species into Victoria,
- Take, hatch, keep, possess, or sell noxious aquatic species
- Transport noxious aquatic species
- Put noxious aquatic species into any container
- Release noxious aquatic species into protected waters
Without a permit, don’t:
- Import or bring koi carp into Victoria
- Keep, sell, trade, transport or possess koi carp
Source: Victorian Fisheries Authority
The rules are around European Common Carp are even tighter, the Victorian Fisheries Authority states;
“Cyprinus carpio or European Common Carp is a declared noxious aquatic species in Victoria, which makes it an offence to possess, transport or release live carp, or use live carp (including all forms of carp and goldfish) as fishing bait.”
In May 2016, the Commonwealth Government announced $15 million over 2.5 years for the development of a National Carp Control Plan (NCCP). More information on the NCCP can be found via this link.
Fishing Licences in Victoria
The bad news is that you’ll need a recreational licence (RFL) before you can fish in Melbourne. The good news is that the licence is downright affordable, especially when you purchase it online. Here’s a breakdown of how much it costs to fish in Victoria:
- 3-day licence for $10 (same price online).
- 28-day licence for $21.50 (same price online).
- 1-year licence for $37.70 ($35.50 if you buy online).
- 3-year licence for $102.20 ($96.80 if you buy online).
Best Fishing Spots in Melbourne, Victoria
Sorry to keep you waiting, but as an experienced angler, you’re probably used to it! Without further delay, we present the best fishing spots in Melbourne and Victoria.
Note: To find exactly what fish is at each location, we recommend taking advantage of the Fish Brain app. Think of it as the Instagram of fishing apps, simply type in a location and see exactly what other anglers have caught. We use it every time we’re out by the water and it gives you a great idea of what to expect.
1. Albert Park Lake
While indisputably popular amongst dog-walkers and urban dwellers, Albert Park Lake is 120acres of the best fishing in Melbourne. This man-made lake is relatively close to the CBD and perched (ha-ha) right next to the Grand Prix track and golf course, it makes for the perfect urban getaway. Brave the thicket and cast your line and you might be surprised at what bites.
Type of fishing: Lake
Expect to find: Trout, Perch, Carp
Rules or hazards: Catch and release are encouraged for non-invasive species.
2. Patterson River
Head out to the suburbs to discover one of Victoria’s best fishing spots and one of its busiest boating spots as well. Stick near the river entrance and you might find snapper, flathead, or even squid tugging at your line. Take a boat or kayak upstream to lure in bream, salmon, mullet, and other species. Meanwhile, the river is flanked by various parks, BBQ facilities, fishing stations, amenities, trails, gardens, and even an art centre.
Type of fishing: River
Expect to find: Snapper, Flathead, Squid, Salmon, Bream, Mullet, Mulloway, Flounder, and more.
Rules or hazards: Be wary of boat traffic and poisonous wildlife (snakes, etc)
3. Altona Pier
Thousands of Pokémon Go players once gathered for a proverbial fishing expedition of their own at this veritable hotspot, which is also home to nearby playgrounds, restaurants, and a popular beach. As you can probably guess, it gets quite busy during peak summer hours or basically anytime when the weather is nice. Should pier fishing be your sole conquest, arrive early to avoid the crowd. You’ll be rewarded with an accessible parking spot and a healthy variety of fish species.
Type of fishing: Pier
Expect to find: Snapper, Flathead, Salmon, Trevally, Mullet, Squid, Garfish, Leather Jackets, and more.
Rules or hazards: Be wary of other anglers so as not to tangle your lines, and keep a close eye on any young children because the pier can get slippery
4. Brimbank Park
Located on the outer reaches of Maribyrnong River, this popular trout fishing destination in greater Melbourne is bustling with activity both above ground and below the water. Cast some live bait and you just might reel in a redfin or carp as well. More than one of the best fishing spots, Brimbank Park is your gateway to adventure.
Type of fishing: Bank, kayak, or jetty
Expect to find: Trout, Bream, Garfish, Salmon, Redfin, Eel, Carp, and more.
Rules or hazards: Be wary of nearby snakes
If you live in the Melbourne area, you might want to hit up Anglesea for an entire weekend because it takes some driving to get there. Situated before the entrance to Great Ocean Road, it offers both clean beaches and sizable estuary systems. That means you can choose to fish by land or by boat, taking in some gorgeous scenery all the while. Go beach fishing at night and you just might reel in a gummy shark.
Type of fishing: Beach or river
Expect to find: Salmon, Snapper, Leather Jackets, Trevally, Gummy Shark, Garfish, Flathead, Bream, Mullet, and more.
6. Yarra River
Were someone to hypothetically cruise Melbourne and ask random people, “What’s the best fishing spot near me?”, then he or she would hear about Yarra River in no time at all. An Australian icon if there ever was one, the epic waterway ultimately stretches for over 250 km. Along the way, you’ll find boat cruises, parks, nightlife, events, a casino, and yes, some seriously good fishing spots.
Type of fishing: Bank or river
Expect to find: Bream, Estuary Perch, Mullet, Mulloway, Redfin, Carp, Murray Cod, and more.
Rules or hazards: Only 2 fishing lines are permitted, catch & release is encouraged, and certain restrictions or prohibitions may apply when fishing from specific areas.
7. Barwon Heads
Welcome to Barwon Heads, home to some of Victoria’s best fishing and so much more. Located on the southern coast of the Bellarine Peninsula, this scenic township delivers tons of activity in every sense of the word. Go surf fishing for salmon and you’ll rarely come up empty-handed. Or you can charter a boat out to the Bass Strait to find a plethora of species.
Type of fishing: Beach or strait
Expect to find: Snapper, Flathead, Snook, Barracouta, Salmon, Squid, Shark, and more.
Rules or hazards: If you’re fishing from Barwon Heads Bluff—which is a marine sanctuary—then restrictions may apply
8. Jells Park Lake
Nestled within Dandenong Creek Valley, Wheelers Hill, this man-made lake includes three different jetties, but you can only fish from two of them. The park itself is a wildly popular destination, welcoming over a million visitors each year. Come for some of Victoria’s best lake fishing, stay for the hiking trails, cafes, picnic areas, sporting facilities, and other attractions.
Type of fishing: Jetty
Expect to find: Redfin, Carp, Eel, and more.
Rules or hazards: Anglers must fish from one of the designated jetties, boating or canoeing is prohibited, and catch and release are encouraged for non-invasive species.
9. Sorrento Pier
Originally constructed in 1870, this historic pier continues to draw anglers in search of whiting, squid, snapper, salmon, and other species. Even if you’re not fishing, however, there’s plenty to do and see in these parts. That includes nighttime snorkeling, boating, kayaking, golfing, or watching hordes of spider crabs migrate in Autumn. Mornington Peninsula is closeby, as are wineries, lighthouses, mazes, playgrounds, and more.
Type of fishing: Pier
Expect to find: Whiting, Squid, Snapper, Salmon, Trevally, Flathead, Leather Jackets, and more.
Rules or hazards: Be wary of other people on the oft-crowded pier
10. Bostock Reservoir
Let’s be honest, all the secret fishing spots in Melbourne and Victoria wouldn’t stay a secret very long if everyone knew about them. However, Bostock Reservoir might be the next best thing, as it’s not exactly on the radar. Come to this underrated destination for some rewarding trout fishing and quality family time, amongst some of the best fishing in Victoria.
Type of fishing: Bank
Expect to find: Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Redfin, Tench, Carp, Roach, Eel, and more.
Rules or hazards: Shore fishing only (no boats or fishing with waders), the use of berley is prohibited, catch and release of all native species is encouraged, European common carp must not be thrown back, and be wary of snakes.
Where can I fish in Victoria?
Presuming you have a recreational fishing licence, there is no shortage of places to fish in Victoria. That includes certain spots in or around Port Phillips Bay, Yarra River, and Maribyrnong River.
Where can I fish for squid in Melbourne?
You can fish for squid in Melbourne at some of the following locations: Rye Pier, Mount Martha rocks, Port Welshpool Long Pier, Queenscliff, Frankston Pier, Sorrento Pier, Blairgowrie Pier, Flinders Pier, and Portsea Piers.
Where can I get snapper in Victoria?
Delicious snapper isn't too hard to come by in Victoria, presuming you take your expedition out to saltwater territory. Popular snapper fishing spots include St Kilda in Port Phillip Bay, Hastings in Western Port Bay, and the Port of Portland.