Where To Fish in Victoria

Victoria is a fantastic place to go fishing, thanks to its numerous lakes, rivers and bays. Having trouble narrowing down locations for your next trip? We've made a list of the five places we think offer the best fishing in Victoria. These areas stand out because of their convenience, range of fishing opportunities or overall unique experiences.

What You Should Know Before You Go

Most people fishing in Victoria need a Victoria fishing license. However, you may be exempt if you fall into one of these categories:

  • People under 18 or over 70 years old
  • Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders
  • People who have a Veterans' Affairs Pensioner Card or TPI-coded Repatriation Health Card
  • People with a Commonwealth Pensioner Concession Card coded DSP, DSP Blind, AGE, AGE Blind or CAR

Licenses expire on July 1st. You have the option of buying three-day, 28-day, one-year or three-year licenses. These can be purchased directly from the government online or in person at authorized agents. Digital one-year and three-year licenses are cheaper than plastic card licenses. You can use your confirmation email as proof of your license or connect your license to the Service Victoria app.

Bag limits vary widely between fishing areas and can change from season to season. We listed current limits, but you should always check current regulations before your trip.

The depth of streams and rivers in this state varies widely from season to season. A jack plate and a set of power poles are handy for getting around shallow waters.

Patterson River & Port Phillip Bay

The Patto is a one-hour drive from Melbourne. This river runs just 5 km before emptying into Port Phillip Bay. This area has the busiest boat ramps in Victoria, since it has access to great river and saltwater fishing.

The bay and the mouth of the river have snapper, flathead and squid, while going upstream gets you bream, salmon and mullet. However, the biggest draw for river fishing is the huge stock of bream. Salmon are also common in cooler months, as they move downstream to spawn.

Yarra River

Like the Patto, this river empties into Port Phillip Bay, but it runs through the CBD. In Melbourne, you can fish for bream, estuary perch, mullet and mulloway. However, eating your catch isn't recommended due to water pollution. Move down to Hobsons Bay or Port Phillip Bay and you have access to saltwater fishing. The area around Punt Road Bridge is renowned for its giant mulloway. Yarra Bend Park starts just north of the CBD. This park is a great place to fish for carp, eels, estuary perch and redfin. Catch and release is encouraged to keep up fish stocks, although invasive European carp should not be returned.

Warrandyte State Park is just 24 km upstream. Foraging isn't allowed, so you'll need to bring your own bait. It has the same fish as Yarra Bend, as well as brown trout.

In winter, the Yarra is the best place in Australia to catch salmon, as they move downstream to spawn. Be sure to check fishing reports to see if they'll be in your area.

Devilbend Reservoir

This is the newest South Australia fishing spot, and one of the best. After six years and over 1.5 million dollars in renovations, this former water supply facility is again open to the public. Located near Tuerong, it's about an hour drive from Melbourne. This body of water is stocked with rainbow and brown trout as well as estuary perch. Thanks to the recent reopening, there are plenty of opportunities to get trophy-sized fish. Redfin are also present here in small numbers.

Boats can be launched from the picnic area. Watch out for yellow buoys: These mark areas restricted to nonmotorized watercraft. Restricted areas cover 33 of the lake's 250 hectares. Other areas may be blocked off for ecological preservation. Even with these restrictions, there are plenty of fishing areas to discover, both in open water and along the coasts.

Lake Eildon

If you're looking for trophy fish, this lake has some of the best freshwater fishing Victoria, Australia, has to offer. Snobs Creek Hatchery releases almost 10,000 trout into the area each year. Better still, this includes brood fish, which are already 4-5 kg when they reach open water.

Lake Eildon is a 2.5 hour drive from Melbourne. The lake is open for year-round fishing, making it one of the few spots you can fish in winter. Bag limits are five per person per day, and only two of these fish can be over 35 cm.

Lake Sambell

Lake Sambell was formed on top of an old gold mining site in 1928. Since then, the area has become a major tourist attraction, both for its history and natural beauty. In other words, it's a great place to take your non-fishing friends and family, since they'll have plenty to do while you're on the water.

A four-hour drive from Melbourne, this lake is a great place to fish for yellowbelly, redfin, trench, rainbow trout and trout cod. Trout are regularly stocked by a local hatchery. Trout cod was introduced in 2008, and opened to fishing in 2015. Other fish are self-sustaining. Redfin are at their most active in summer, while trout are more active in winter.

Victoria is a fantastic place to go fishing, thanks to its numerous lakes, rivers and bays. Having trouble narrowing down locations for your next trip? We've made a list of the five places we think offer the best fishing in Victoria.