Welcome to the Campbells cove fishing guide. Campbell’s Cove is located between Werribee South and Point Cook and is well recognized for its beach huts and kayak fishing. Whilst fishing in this location you will often be greeted by overhead flying planes from the nearby RAAF base. However, this location is a great location to catch squid, snapper, and a great spot for drifting for flathead.

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Things to do in Werribee Campbells Cove

Campbell’s Cove is 40 minutes or 40 kilometres from Melbourne. Its located between 2 growing townships in Melbourne’s west, Werribee South and Point Cook. The beach here is not really the best place for the kids. They can play on the sand but there isn’t much to do in the immediate area. You would be much better taking the kids a little further up to the Werribee south beach which has playgrounds, toilet facilities and better beach access and often less seaweed.

There are several local attractions including the Werribee Open Safari Zoo, The historic Werribee mansions and the state rose garden which is brilliant towards the end of spring. There is also the national equestrian centre and Werribee golf course. The Werribee River is close and flows into Port Phillip Bay which is great for boating and fishing.

Testing soft plastics at Campbell’s cove for flathead, snook and snapper

Fishing at Campbells Cove

At Campbell’s cove, you can catch squid, snapper, flathead, whiting, snook & gummy sharks. It also has plenty of pest species including toadfish ( puffer ), banjo sharks and rays. We like taking a few rod outfits at this location. A light spin rod to target pinkies and flathead with soft plastics, a medium spin outfit to target squid and a general-purpose heavier bait rod to target snapper and gummy sharks. If you just starting then take a general-purpose fishing rod around 3-5 kilos allowing you to target multiple species and quickly change rigs and baits. 

If you plan on fishing with bait then good options include pilchard, mussels, pippis and fresh squid. We do however prefer fishing this location with soft plastics. 3 inch and 4-inch soft plastics particularly minnow style, grub style and curl tails will work a treat. Just bouncing them off the bottom and pausing then continually repeating the process. This is a great way to catch many goods size flathead and pinkie snapper in this area. 

This is a great destination to target squid. Boats and kayaks will drift around weedy areas and have much success. Take some time to look for weed beds that are visible these are prime areas to target. The choice of squid jigs is almost endless here but pick something that will take advantage of the depth and water clarity. If fishing by land an 8-9 foot Medium-light rod is ideal to provide extra casting distance and a 6-7 foot rod is ideal when on a boat or kayak. Why not read our detailed guide on How to catch squid at Campbells Cove.

You can catch fish here any time of the day however dawn and dusk can be more active especially for squid and snapper. Here is a video of us catching pinkies during an incoming thunderstorm at Campbells Cove.

Kayak fishing at Campbells cove

Campbell’s Cove is a great spot to launch a kayak. Its located towards Werribee and Wyndham Harbour at the end of Campbells cove road. This is a long narrow unsealed dirt road that drives directly past the huts along the beach. At the end is a small unsealed carpark which can handle about 30 cars. Parking is free and there is plenty of room to park your trailer. This car park does have some strange things happening in the early morning so do take care if you are on your own and make sure your car and trailer are locked. Access to the water is very easy through a timber pathway that leads yo directly to the beach. At the end of the timber pathway is a small drop which can be quite awkward to lower and raise your kayak on especially when you are on your own.

Launching at low tide can be quite tricky and you will need to drag your kayak out a fairway. During the rising tide, the entrance can be full of seaweed which is a little unpleasant on bare feet. However, the fishing here is very good. Flathead, pinkie, snapper, snook, gummy sharks and squid are common catches without needing to venture too far out.

Boat and Kayak access at Campbells cove

As mentioned above this is a terrific location to launch a kayak. With parking and fish accessible only a hundred meters out from shore. If you have a boat then you will need to head further down and launch from the Werribee south boat ramp. The main boat ramp facility on Diggers road. Launching is now free. The boat ramp has multiple launching lanes, toilet facilities and fish cleaning tables. There are 6 launching lanes with dredging access out into port Phillip bay or the Werribee river. There are roughly 90 parking locations for both cars and trailers. The boat ramp is reasonably maintained but at times can have lots of weed making access a little slippery. Campbells cove Fishing Guide

Baits Campbells cove

  • pilchard
  • pipis
  • blue bait
  • silver whiting
  • salmon
  • prawns
  • squid

Lures and soft plastics for Port Phillip Bay

Check out our full-length video on the best soft plastics and lures for Port Phillip Bay

Targeting Snapper at Campbells cove

Snapper

We encourage you to read our detailed guide on how to catch snapper. Snapper season locally starts around October and finishes after March. The big reds migrate inshore during this time of year because water temperatures have increased providing ideal spawning conditions. With dawn and dusk are generally considered the best times to be on the water. The most common snapper rods are 7 foot 6 inches in length with a weight class of 4-7 kilos paired with a 4000 or 5000 size reel spooled with 15-30 pound braid or mono and 40 pound leader. You can choose to fish lighter or heavier. Recommended bait options include pilchards either full or half, silver whiting, squid, garfish, mackerel and mullet.

The best soft plastics are large jerk shads, whip baits, curl tails or paddle tails. Most between 4 and 7 inches in size generally coupled with a ½ or ¼ ounce jig head. Some good options include Savage Gear Fat Curl Tails, Daiwa Bait Junkie Jerk shads & Berkley 7 inch turtleback worm, Zman curl tails.

Targeting Gummy Shark at Campbells cove

Gummy Shark

We would recommend targeting gummy shark with a 7 foot 8-15 kilo rod paired with a 4000 to 6000 size reel spooled with 20 to 40 pound line. Finished with a strong leader ranging from 40lb through to 60 pounds. Ideal rigs include a running sinker rig to single or double snelled rig or paternoster rig. You can use an Ezi rig attaching a sinker to the clip then tying on a pre-made double snelled rig. Octopus or circle hooks from 5/0 to 7/0 are preferred for presenting chunks of salmon, trevally, squid, mackerel, Eel, mullet, pilchard, yakka’s, & garfish.

Targeting Flathead at Campbells cove

Flathead

We encourage you to read our detailed guide on How to catch Flathead. Flathead is a year-round prospect which can be caught at any time of the day. They are an ambush predator that waits in disguise for smaller fish to swim buy for an easy feed. This highlights the importance of keeping your baits and soft plastics towards the bottom. If fishing from a boat or kayak we would recommend drifting around the sandy flats until you find a good patch of them. Also, keep an eye for depth drop-offs which is a great location for an ambush predator to be waiting.

We recommend targeting flathead with a 7 foot 2–4 or 3-5 kilo fishing rod paired with a 2500 or 3000 size reel spooled with 8-12lb braid and equivalent leader. You can go lighter, but flathead has bristly teeth that can compromise your fishing line.

Flathead is not fussy and will happily have a go at many various soft plastics and lures. We would highly recommend reading our detailed guide on the best lures and soft plastics to catch flathead. Top choices include worm and yabby imitations, paddle tail soft plastic, curl tail soft plastics, deep diving hard body lures, vibes, swimbaits, and blades.

If your targeting flathead with bait, we recommend using a paternoster rig or running sinker rig. Using a small ball sinker to swivel, then 50cm of 8-12 leader to a size 6 long shank hook. Good baits choices include pilchards, mussels, squid, chicken, whitebait, Pipis, blue bait and prawns.

Targeting Squid at Campbells cove

Squid

Squid is a frequent catch on the pier towards the front and mid parts of the pier. Just look for the squid ink which is a great indicator of where to target them. Anglers do well-suspending squid jigs with the use of a float. Targeting squid is a fun form of fishing growing in popularity with the reward of fresh calamari. Squid can be caught all year round, you will find them in shallow weedy areas and they respond well to jigs in clear water conditions.

We recommend reading our detailed guide on How to catch squid around Melbourne. An egi rod between 7.5 foot and 9 foot in length is ideal and there are plenty of egi rods on the market fit for purpose. We recommend an 8 foot 3-inch rod paired with a 3000 size reel spooled with 15-pound braid. Squid jigs are prone to snags in this area, and we have found using slow sinking jigs in the smaller size of 2.5 and 3.0-gram jigs will help avoid this problem.

Cast your squid jig to allow time for the jig to sink then do a series of lifts and pauses to imitate a wounded prawn. The natural temptation is to strike Instead, a subtle lift to keep line tension and constant slow reel is all that’s required.

Check out this video a master class on Kayak fishing for squid in Melbourne.

Targeting Whiting at Campbells cove

Whiting

Whiting is a bread and butter species which are fun to catch on light spinning gear and taste great. Whiting school up in big numbers and they respond well to berley, so berley an isolated area with a mix of chicken pellets, Tuna oil and pilchards.  Whiting fishing requires finesse, so we recommend a light 1-3 or 2-4 kilo spin rod around 7 foot in length. Coupled with a light 1000-2500 size reel, spooled with 4 pounds or 6-pound line and leader.

When bait fishing a simple running rig with a small sinker to swivel, then 40cm of 4-pound leader to a small baitholder long shank hook or a paternoster rig with 2 hooks and a size sinker depending on your conditions. Watch our 25-minute whiting masterclass as we guide you through on everything you need to know to catch whiting.

Targeting Salmon at Campbells cove

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 their 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 which Salmon will swim through in schools. These can be identified by a darker colour of the water.

When bait fishing pick a surf rod between 12-15 foot in length which allows for long casts with heavy sinkers and to keep your lines high above the crashing surf. These will be 6-10 kilo class. We recommend a Paternoster rig with a star sinker. Giving you 2 baits at different heights. You could also attach a surf popper above. Port Phillip Bay Fishing Guide

When lure fishing first consider what weight lures your likely to be casting. We would recommend rods between 9-12 foot in length in 5-10 kilo class paired with a 3000 size reel spooled with 15-pound braid. Good lure options include Savage Gear Missile, Halco twisty, Ecogear Teibo, JM Gilles pilchard baitfish, Rapala X-Rap SXR, Lazer spoons, Zman slim swimz, trick swimz, Halco laser pro

Targeting Snook at Campbells cove

Snook

These toothy critters are fun to catch on light spinning gear. You will find them in shallow weedy waters often a bycatch for those targeting snapper, whiting and flathead. You can catch snook with staple baits such as pilchard, prawn, and squid. However, Snook loves natural-looking soft plastics retrieved at medium pace including minnows, paddle tails, and grubs. Add scent to the soft plastics really seems to help. Snook also respond well to shallow and mid diving hard body lures in shiny colours retrieved at a medium pace. Metal slugs and blades trolled slowly also work very well.

Do handle snook with care as they have razor-sharp teeth. Despite their sharp teeth it’s still best to target them with light gear that you would generally use for pinkies and flathead. We recommend a 2-4 or 3-5 kilo spin rod paired with a 2500 size reel, spooled with 8-12 pound line and leader. Check out this video of a crazy snook session when kayak fishing.

Targeting Mullowat at Campbells cove

Mulloway

Mulloway AKA Jewfish are a prized catch that sits on the top of many Victorian anglers bucket list. A stunning fish with a large mouth and distinctive silver or bronze colour. Patience and dedication are required to catch the elusive Mulloway which can reach up to 1.8 meters and 60 kilos. The minimum legal size is 60cm with a daily bag limit of 5 over legal size.

Live baits are a top choice when targeting mulloways such as mullet, salmon, and whiting. Pinning them behind the neck to allow the bait to swim freely. Other staple dead baits can include pilchard, trevally, garfish, prawns, chicken & squid. A running sinker rig to a single 5/0 – 8/0 hook or a double snelled hook to present the bait nicely. Soft plastics between 80mm and 100mm are also a great option. Good options include flick baits, shads, paddle tails and grubz. You can also purchase pre-made rigs and swimbaits which are designed to imitate a fish in its surrounding such as a mullet.

Choosing a Mulloway outfit Recommended gear to target Mulloway 6-10, 10-15 or 12-24 kilo rod paired with a 4000-8000 spin reel spooled with 20-50 pound line and equivalent leader.

Mulloway resides near river mouth entrances. They are often caught near structure such as bridges and pylons. Try to present your baits and lures as natural as possible or use live baits. Mulloway can be caught at any time of the day, but are most active at the night, during peak tides and moon phases. We have found that lures are quite productive during the day and bait more productive at night.

Targeting Trevally at Campbells cove

Trevally

Trevally pound for pound is one of the best fighting fish. In certain parts of Australia surface popping for Giant Trevally is one of the bucket list fishing experiences that you must tick off. However, in Victoria, you will mainly be catching the much smaller silver trevally. Good bait options include blue bait, whitebait, raw chicken, pilchards, pippies, squid and mussels. Trevally will also take a range of soft plastics including worm and minnow imitations, small surface poppers, and small metal spoons.

We recommend targeting trevally with a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 2000, or 2500 reel spooled with 4-8-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader. If there are larger trevally in the area than you can go heavier moving up the scale to a 3-5 kilo class spin rod spooled with fine 8-12-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader.

 Known hazards at Campbell’s cove.

This spot is choc-full of pest fish so to take care when handling them. This will include Toadfish ( puffer ), Rays and banjos which are quite common in this area. I once fished here in waders in 1-meter deep water and stood on a stingray. I was very lucky not to be stung so do take care.

Also, note that Campbells Cove for many years was a clothing optional nudist beach. In 2014 the beach was literally stripped of its clothing-optional status as the volume of residents had grown substantially and new townships such as Wyndham harbour were being built very close to the old nudist stomping grounds. That being said I have witnessed many strange activities here in the car park during early morning kayak launches and would advise not going there on your own during the early hours.

Acknowledgements

Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All other images and videos shown on the Campbells Cove fishing guide are Fishing Mad originals.

Additions and corrections of this location

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