Welcome to the Aire River Fishing Guide. The Aire River is a scenic fishing destination heading towards the great Otways region of Victoria. Roughly a 3-hour drive with access to the river and campgrounds off Sand Road. A nice drive beyond the Great Ocean Road west of Melbourne, surrounded by the close townships of Apollo Bay and Cape Otway, Johanna. This is a wonderful location for fishing, kayaking, camping, and walking. It also offers great surf closer to the sea entrance of Glenaire Beach.

Things to do at Aire River

This is a great place to bring the family camping. The Aire River East Campground has 20 available unpowered campsites suitable for tents, swags, and caravans too. Nearby attractions include Mates rest walk, Otway treetops adventure walk, and clifftop walks. The Great Otway National Park and Port Campbell National Park have the world-famous Twelve Apostles. The Great Ocean Walk along the Great Ocean Road provides stunning coastal landscapes. Lush tall forests, and rocky shoreline. Along your travels, you can also see the Cape Otway Lighthouse, shipwreck, Blanket Bay Rockpools, and Johanna Surf Beach. A quick note when camping at locations like the Aire River West campground ensure you take insect repellent as we have been eaten alive by mosquitos whilst camping.



Workshops | Giveaways | Podcasts | Competitions | Reports | Maps | GPS Marks | Rigging Tutorials | Sounder School | Exclusive Footage | Tackle Talks | Gear Guides | Kayak Club | Much More

Become a FishingMad Member


Fishing the Aire River

At Aire River, you can catch ( see how to target each species below )

  • Bream
  • Estuary Perch
  • Salmon
  • Mullet
  • Sea Trout
  • Flathead

Aire River Fishing Guide. Fishing here is really broken down into 2 different offerings. The first option is Fishing in the estuary waters of the Aire River or you can venture closer to the river entrance and rough seas of Glenaire Beach. In fact, it’s one of the few fishing destinations where you can target both estuary and saltwater fish species at the same time. It’s not uncommon to catch bream, estuary perch, salmon, and sea trout in the same outing.  We highly recommend reading our guide on the best lures to catch bream. The best access to the river with a kayak is the two camping grounds located closer to the river entrance. The camping grounds are known as the East and West sections. The West area is the largest area and provides a small gravel ramp and jetty, ideal for kayak launching. The Eastside also has two small gravel ramps. The section between the bridge at the camping area and the mouth of the river has good bank access for those land base fishing.

Here you can target bream, estuary perch, salmon, mullet, flounder, sea trout, and mulloway. With bream likely being your primary target and a great year-round option. A great starting point here for bream and other species would be a 2.5-inch grub or paddle tail on a 1/16 or 1/20 ounce of a jig head. Covering distance and casting towards any visible structure. Working surface lures, shallow diving minnows, and soft plastics will account for countless small salmon and mullet. You will need to work through them ideally closer to the entrance to target a prized bream which does like to reside near the rocks and weed. Fishing near the cliffsides is scenic and can be productive grounds, along the bridge edges and jetties.

This is a great location for lures and soft plastics. There are 2 effective retrieval methods the slow roll and the hopping/twitching techniques. The slow roll requires you to cast your lure or plastic and do a slow continuous roll of the reel. The natural built-in action of the lure or soft plastic will create the necessary swimming action. Alternatively, you can use the hopping/twitching technique which requires you to add subtle lifts, twitches, and pauses to imitate a wounded bait fish. Both techniques work well here across a variety of soft plastics and lures.

When flicking lures and plastics you will need an ultralight spinning outfit. This would start with a light rod around 7 feet in length either a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo class. There are so many great options to choose from in this range which can be quite confusing for beginners. When choosing a reel make sure you pick a 1000, 2040 or 2500 size that is best, spooled with a 4-6 pound braid and finished with a 2 or 4-pound leader. Again the range of reels on the market is amazing and the budgets vary greatly depending on your skill level and spending habits.

If you plan on fishing with baits then we would highly recommend using sandworms, maggots, scrub worms, pilchards, mussels, yabbies, & chicken. On a light-running sinker rig, paternoster rig or suspended from a float. For bait fishing, a light rod setup is best. A 2-4 kilo class rod with a 2500 size reel would be a great option spooled with a 6-pound line. Beginners can go a little heavier with a 3-5 kilo rod. We would encourage you to watch our video below on how to catch bream with bait or read our detailed guide on Bait fishing for Bream.

Recommended lures and soft plastics Aire River

Need some help choosing lures & soft plastics. The video is a detailed guide to get you started. 

  • Zman grubZ
  • Zman slim Swimz
  • Cranka crab
  • Berkley powerbait grub
  • Damiki Monster Miki 2.5 sp
  • Jackall Chubby
  • Savage Gear Fathead Crank
  • Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
  • Gulp 3 inch minnow
  • Dawia Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
  • Squidge wrigglers
  • eco gear ZX40
  • Daiwa Double Clutch
  • EcoGear SX40
  • Squidges biotough grub
  • Nories laydown minnow
  • StrikePro cyber vibe
  • Pro lure live yabby
  • OSP bent minnows
  • Hurricane twitch 50 shallow

Recommended baits Aire River

  • yabbies
  • Scrub worms
  • sandworms
  • maggots
  • mussels
  • pilchards
  • prawns

Targeting Bream at Aire River


This is a great location to target bream with lures and soft plastics. The options available are almost endless so make sure you read our guide on the best lures to catch bream. Recommended options include crab imitation, shallow diving cranks, paddle tail soft plastics, curl tail soft plastics, minnow imitations, vibes, and blades. Also, try your luck with surface lures which is an exciting form of fishing with light gear. Bream is all about finesse fishing so you will need an ultralight spin outfit. We recommend a 7-foot rod in a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo class, paired with a 1000, 2000, or 2500 reel spooled with 2-6-pound braid and equivalent leader. There are so many amazing bream outfits on the market and budgets vary greatly depending on your skill level and spending habits.

Bream reside within the structures such as jetty pylons and stumps. Enticing them away from the structure onto your lure will take some time to master. Remember to work your lures and plastics slowly and mix up the retrieval techniques. If you targeting bream with bait then we would highly recommend sandworms, maggots, scrub worms, mussels, yabbies, & chicken. A 2-4 kilo class rod paired with a 2500 size reel would be a great option spooled with 6-pound line. We would encourage you to read our detailed guide on Bait fishing for Bream.

Targeting Estuary Perch at Aire River

Estuary Perch

Another highlight of fishing in this area is targeting Estuary perch with surface and shallow diving lures. The action can be frantic on warm balmy evenings with low wind. listen for the sound of breaking water which indicates EPs are feeding. The excitement an angler gets from an EP smashing a surface lure on light gear is something that truly needs to be experienced. It almost catches you by surprise when that aggressive strike comes. Small surface poppers, cicadas, blades, surface minnows, and pencil lures work well here. So do shallow diving hardbody lures. Noteworthy options include bent minnows, Rapala countdown series, nories laydown minnows, and shallow diving cranks. Basically, anything that doesn’t dive too deep and makes a good vibrating action will work well. You can use any colour choice we often start with silvers that mimic small baitfish or mullet.

EPs also respond incredibly well to a whole range of soft plastics lightly weighted. Including curl tails, paddle tails, and minnow imitations. The trusty 2.5-inch grubs and minnows are an excellent choice. These imitate small baitfish that the EPs are actively feeding on. We would recommend mixing up the retrieval speeds and pauses and playing around with different colours. Where possible fish along the structure and stay alert for signs such as breaking water. Fishing for Estuary Perch requires finesse. We recommend an ultralight fishing combo consisting of a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo spin rod around 7 feet in length. Coupled with a 1000 or 2000 size reel spooled with 2-8 pound line and equivalent fluorocarbon leader. When bait fishing use a 2-4 kilo rod around 7 feet in length. Coupled with a 2500 size reel either a float or small running sinker to a swivel and very fine leader.

Targeting mullet at Aire River

Poddy Mullet

This is a great location to mullet a bread and butter species that school up in big numbers. They are fun to catch on light spinning gear and a great fish species to introduce beginners to fishing. Mullet respond well to berley, so berley an isolated area with a mix of bread, tuna oil, and chook pellets. Good baits include bread, dough, live maggots, pilchard, and prawns. remember that Mullet have a small mouth so remember to cut these baits up into small pieces. You can also use soft plastics small minnow and grub style soft plastic with a slow constant retrieve. Scents such as S-Factor or Procure certainly helps. Most mullet is quite small therefore a 7-foot rod in a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo class, paired with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 reel spooled with a 2-6-pound braid and equivalent leader.

Here are some helpful tips on catching Mullet with soft plastics.

Targeting Salmon at Aire River


Winter is a great time to target salmon as they’re active and schooling up in big numbers. Salmon is a powerful sports fish that punches well above its weight. When hooked they produce strong bursts of speed, powerful runs, and vigorous head shakes. Do keep an eye out for gutters which

Places to fish near Aire River


Any time of day, though some fish will be more active at Dawn and Dusk. Always be careful when the river entrance opens. During this time the tidal flow can be very strong and quite dangerous. Like all rural areas always take notice of areas that might hold snakes.

Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All other images and videos shown on the Aire River Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.

Thank you for visiting the Aire River Fishing Guide. If you feel this location guide is missing any key information or needs any corrections made, then please let us know by emailing our team at enquiries@fishingmad.com.au Please feel free to visit the FishingMad Youtube channel which has lots of fishing Videos around Melbourne and Victoria.