Something's fishy around Geelong and the Bellarine
Surrounded by many great beaches, rivers and bays, Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula is renowned for its great fishing, whether you are a novice just looking to catch your first fish or an avid fisherman keen on a catching a whopper to feed the whole family.
Armed with a boat, Corio Bay presents great opportunities for fisherman. Launching off the beach around Point Henry beside the famous Alcoa Pier provides anglers the chance to catch many delicious fish, with flathead, snapper and whiting providing the 'Corio Bay Special' while if you're lucky you may hook a big kingfish or gummy shark, but be prepared for a fight! Other popular locations which are more suitable for beginners include the St Helens Boat Ramp or Limeburners Point, just a short drive around the bay from Point Henry. For those who do not have the luxury of a boat at their disposal, there are many piers within the bay that also provide excellent fishing. For this, Limeburners Point is a popular location, as well as several jetties along the city's pristine waterfront.
Early morning fishing in Corio Bay
Another popular fishing location is Port Phillip Bay, accessible from the Bellarine Peninsula towns from Clifton Springs around to St Leonards, with each town such as Clifton Springs, Indented Head and St Leonards having popular boat ramps. In the summer months and on nice days, you may have to wait a while before launching your boat but it is well worth the wait as there is nothing better than a nice day out on the bay. These locations present similar opportunities to the Corio Bay locations, with snapper and flathead the most common catches, with whiting and salmon also frequenting the area. Be wary of the hideous toadfish and the unwanted banjo shark which are also common catches here, often leading to disappointment! The Portarlington Pier is also a popular land based spot, often crowded with anglers trying to catch a feed.
A haul of flathead caught out off Indented Head
Swan Bay is another popular location, accessible by boat and off the long pier, with some great fishing in the area, but be careful not to fish in the marine park which takes up a large part of the bay. When the conditions are right, the mouth of Swan Bay presents many snapper, flathead and gummy sharks amongst a range of other species. Fishing is sometimes difficult in the bay however due to lots of seaweed.
A few nice pinkie snapper taken from Swan Bay
Further around the coast there is some great ocean fishing locations, from Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff to Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads. Here fishing off the beach is popular, while the Point Lonsdale Pier is popular amongst experienced anglers hunting sharks. Out on a boat these ocean locations present anglers with the opportunity to catch a large range of fish, with large snapper, pike, salmon and barracoutas featuring regularly on the menu, while when the conditions are right, the elusive kingfish is more than popular with the locals.
The region also offers some excellent freshwater fishing options for those with a taste for bream and trout. If this is your game, head to the Barwon River or the Moorabool river, where trout, bream and eel are the common catches while if you're lucky you may snag a decent sized mulloway or silver trevally.
Whenever you're fishing, be sure to make yourself aware of the rules and regulations in place. In Victoria you must have a recreational fishing license which is available from theDepartment of Environment and Primary Industries and make sure you pay attention to size and catch limits, as well as other regulations available from here.
If boating, make sure you obey the speed limits within the bay and comply with the regulations set out by the transport authority (such as licensing and rules as to what you must carry on your vessel, for example flares and life jackets).