Welcome to the Marlo Fishing Guide. The Marlo estuary is widely considered one of the best bream fishing locations in all of Victoria. It’s a 4 1/2 hour drive or 400 kilometres east of Melbourne and 15 minutes away from the closet main township Orbost but well worth the trip. The word Marlo is an aboriginal term meaning white clay. It’s an all year round fishing location with lots of bream the system is very clean and the bream grow too big sizes. This is the very reason why premiere events such as the ABT and Hobie fishing tournaments are hosted here regularly. It’s a great spot for kayakers and small boats, which is why we see many Bream fishing videos and reports generated from this location.
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Check out our video on fishing at Marlo where we tackle the entrance, Brodribb river and Snowy river.
Things to do at Marlo
Marlo is a small township consisting of a pub, tackle store, general store and caravan park. At the end of the main street on beach road is the main boat ramp and a jetty which is great for land base fishing. East Gippsland is a beautiful location surrounded by beaches, lakes and rivers. It’s truly a magnificent location for those who love the outdoors, camping, scenic views, mountainside walks and recreational water activities. Close by there is a good range of shops, cafes, restaurants and accommodation including the Marlo hotel. There are many playgrounds for the kids including Patterson Park. Nearby attractions include the Lakes entrance beach, Buchan caves, Footbridge mini golf centre, Art gallery, Wyanga park winery, Lakes entrance boat cruises and fishing charters, Griffiths seashell museum, Raymond island. Nearby townships include Lakes Entrance, Paynesville, Bairnsdale, Metung,
Marlo is a beautiful fishing destination and home to premier fishing events such as the Vic Bream Classic. It has become a prime fishing destination by kayak with light fishing gear. It, however, offers great fishing for land-based anglers as well as boats and kayaks. Here you can target bream, estuary perch, tailor, luderick, flathead, mulloway. You can have success fishing with baits using shrimp, yabbies, scrub worms, prawns, sandworms, Maggots, Scrub worms, mussels, & Chicken. We encourage you to read our detailed guide on bait fishing for Bream.
The fishing possibilities at Marlo is off the charts and some local knowledge is key. Many anglers will target the main islands which are known as First island, Second island and honeymoon island. These 3 islands hold good numbers of bream, luderick, estuary perch, tailor and flathead. Many of the old school boaters in the area will anchor up along these islands and use prawns as bait and do remarkably well, whilst we have done very well flicking soft plastics and lures along the drop-offs.
The choice of bream lures is almost endless to make things easier we created a detailed video on the best bream lures and how to use them. We also recommend reading our guide on the best lures to catch bream.
Another spot very productive for sizable flathead in on the snowy river near the entrance to the bass strait. The corner inlet along the coastal reserve opposite Marlo Conran road is a great spot to flick soft plastics for a big flathead. However, beyond the islands is a myriad of canals and channels that open up further fishing possibilities. These are also great options on windy days. These include the channels of the snowy river, broadribb river and little snowy river. These areas are hidden away and offer great fishing for bream and estuary perch. You can launch your boat or kayak at the end of old Marlo road which provides direct access into the broadribb river. These channels then feed into Cabbage Tree Creek and on the opposite end Lake Corringle and Lake Watt Watt.
French Narrows coastal walk also offers nice access to the snowy river and further to the surf beach. Further out of town the Yerrung river offers an exceptional gorge like atmosphere and views and equally good fishing for bream and estuary perch. The main jetty within town also offers excellent fishing for bream, flathead, tailor and estuary perch in the evenings. With shallow diving, hard body lures worked aggressively a great option.
There is a tackle store on the main street which has all the gear needed to catch fish in the surrounding area.
Recommended baits Marlo
- Scrub worms
Recommended lures and soft plastics Marlo
- Cranka crab
- Daiwa Double Clutch
- Zman slim Swimz
- 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
- Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Zman grubZ
- Squidge wrigglers
- eco gear ZX40
- EcoGear SX40
- Squidges biotough grub
- Nories laydown minnow
- StrikePro cyber vibe
- Yo-Zuri pins minnow
- Pro lure live yabby
- OSP bent minnows
Targeting Bream at Marlo
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 you are 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 Marlo
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 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 Flathead at Marlo
We encourage you to read our detailed guide on How to catch Flathead. Flathead is a year-round prospect that can be caught at any time of the day. They are an ambush predator that waits in disguise for smaller fish to swim by 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 you are targeting flathead with bait, we recommend using a paternoster rig or running sinker rig. Use 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 Tailor at Marlo
Tailor is an aggressive predatory fish with sharp teeth that fight hard. They have a similar profile to a salmon and leap out of the water when hooked. They school up in big numbers hunting baitfish in packs and breaking water often a sign that there feeding. You can catch them trolling, casting lures or bait fishing from the banks or surf. Small metal slugs, curl tail soft plastics, paddle tail soft plastics are great choices. So is full pilchard mullet, blue bait and garfish. Either on a single hook, ganged hooks and even on light wire trace if there cutting through your leaders.
Picking a suitable outfit for tailor can be tricky as they have sharp teeth and can shred your leaders with ease. When fishing in estuary systems we would typically use a 7-foot rod in a 2-4, 3-5 or 4-6 kilo class, paired with a 2500 or 3000 reel spooled with 6-8-pound braid and slightly stronger leader. If your targeting them in the surf then a long casting surf rod spooled with 14-20 pound braid and equivalent leader would be suitable. Handle carefully they have sharp teeth that can do some damage. If you’re getting hook-ups but dropping a lot of fish then consider using a stronger leader or light wire trace.
Targeting Luderick at Marlo
Luderick is an underrated fish often caught as bycatch when targeting estuary species such as bream and estuary perch. They have good fighting and eating qualities, most caught locally are quite small but are known to grow up to 60cm. They look amazing with black vertical stripes over their silver body that resembles a zebra or drummer fish. Considered the vegetarians of estuaries Ludericks will surprisingly take staple baits such as sandworms, prawns, yabbies, bread or weed from the surrounding areas. These baits should be suspended from a float or running sinker rig. Berleying an isolated is recommended to encourage them into the area and get them into feeding mode. Whilst not as common Luderick can also be tricked into taking lures such as worm and prawn imitation soft plastics, blades and shallow diving hard body lures. For Luderick 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 pound or 6-pound line and leader.
Targeting Mulloway at Marlo
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 the 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 surroundings 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 structures 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.
Check out some of our favourite bream lures here.
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All other images and videos shown on the Marlo Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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