Welcome to the Aire River Fishing Guide. The Aire River is a scenic fishing destination located in the Otways region of Victoria. Roughly a 3 hours’ 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.

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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 Miates rest walk, Otway treetops adventure walk and clifftop walks. The Great Otway National Park and Port Campbell National Park has 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, Johanna Surf Beach.

 

Fishing the Aire River

Fishing here is really broken down into 2 different offerings. The first option is Fishing 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.

Best access to the river with a kayak is the two camping grounds located closer to the river entrance. The camping grounds 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 have good bank access for those land base fishing.

Here you can target bream, estuary perch, salmon, mullet, flounder, trout, mulloway and snapper too. 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.

When flicking lures and plastics you will need an ultralight spinning outfit. This would start with a light rod around 7 foot 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 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. For bait fishing again 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 baits Aire River

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

Recommended lures and soft plastics Aire River

Targeting Bream at Aire River

Bream

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 structure 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 your 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 an excellent choice. These imitate small baitfish which 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 foot in length. Coupled with a 1000 or 2000 size reel spooled with 2-8 pound line and equivalent fluorocarbon leader. When bait fishing uses a 2-4 kilo rod around 7 foot 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

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 into 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 prawn. remember that Mullet have small mouths 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 2-6-pound braid and equivalent leader. Here are some helpful tips on catching Mullet with soft plastics.

Targeting Salmon at Aire River

Salmon

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, vigorous head shakes. Do keep an eye out for gutters which are patches of deeper water that Salmon will swim through in schools.

 

 

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.

We recommend watching our guide on great lures to catch bream.

Acknowledgements

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

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