Welcome to the fishing location guide for Patterson River AKA the Patto River. Which is a very popular fishing destination located 1-hour drive from Melbourne in the southern suburbs near Carrum. This partly man-made river was constructed in the 1870s and is quite small spaning roughly 5 kilometres in length. The Patterson River is a very popular boat launching area and the gateway into Port Phillip Bay for those fishing around Frankston and Carrum. There are many launching areas and jetties which provide good access and structure when fishing. Its true delight is its great bream fishing for land-based. Bream love this estuary and there is plenty of structure. We see many bream fishing videos and reports generated from this location but there are also the allusive mulloway, flathead and mullet in good numbers.

Things to do at Patterson River

The Patterson River is located near Frankston and a little further on is the Mornington Peninsula. The entrance of Patterson River is one of the busiest boat ramps in Victoria. Boats are frequently coming in and out many heading into Port Phillip Bay to target species such as snapper, squid, flathead and more. However many will choose to take a boat or kayak up the river entrance to target species such as bream, mulloway, salmon and mullet.

This is a nice spot to take the kids with plenty of fishing spots with surrounding parks and BBQ facilities. There are also great amenities such as fish cleaning stations, toilets, jetties and multiple launching areas. There are also walking and cycling trails, cafes, bird watching and boating charters. Nearby are family-friendly beaches, the famous sand sculptures, arts centre, botanic gardens and parks. 

Fishing at Patterson River

The Patterson River is a diverse fishing destination with many species that can be targeted. You can target bream, mulloway, salmon, mullet, flathead, flounder, Trevally & estuary perch. However, bream will likely be your main target species. Fish can be caught any time of day, although they often get a little more aggressive on sunrise and sundown. At Patterson lakes, we would suggest moving away from the heavy traffic near the boat ramp facilities and finding quieter areas. Targeting the structure and jetties as that’s were your likely to find the fish residing for cover.

This is a great location for catch and releases fishing and in particular fishing with lures and soft plastics. We highly recommend using an ultralight spin rod. Starting with a 1–3 or 2-4 kilo capacity rod coupled with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 size reel. The reel should be spooled with light line 4 to 6 pound braid finished with a rod length of 4 pound leader would be our preference. This would make a great and sensitive outfit to feel the bites and inquiries of timid bream and mullet.

We enjoy fishing this area with shallow diving hard body lures and small soft plastics. Some of the best options include grub style soft plastics such as Z-man grubZ, squidgies wrigglers and Savage Gear pro grubs. Minnow imitation style soft plastics such as Z-man slim swimZ, Savage Gear slim minnows. My favourite in the warmer months when bream are sitting in the edges are shallow diving hard body lures such as EcoGear SX Range, Daiwa Double-clutch, Jackall Chubby, Atomic Hardz, Savage fathead cranks. Blades and Vibes also work well but prone to weed making them at times not quite as effective.

Why not have a look at our detailed video on the best lures and soft plastics to use when fishing Patterson River. Or our detailed guide on catching bream with lures.

You may also consider using surface lures such as small poppers or cicadas to target estuary perch. You can target them using the same gear that you would target bream. Surface fishing is an exciting way to fish it just needs some patience and finesse but the rewards can be high. This works best on warm summer nights that are generally calm with low water flow. Targeting weed beds and reefs trying to entice them out and engage their predatory instinctive reactions.

If you plan to fish with bait then yabbies, scrub worms, prawns, sandworms, maggots, pilchards, mussels, & chicken are good options. When bait fishing a 2-4 kilo rod with a 2500 size reel spooled with 6-pound line would make a suitable choice. Have a read of our detailed guide on how to catch bream with bait. We have found using a running sinker rig is the preferred setup.

Throughout the cooler months, large schools of salmon make there way up and down the river. During these times casting small metal lures around 20 grams in weight from the rock wall can be a lot of fun. This seems to be more frequent during choppy conditions as the salmon head deeper into the river to seek cover. Also, squid at times can be found close to the river entrance. Around the highway bridge, there are some shallow reefs were squid can be caught using lightly weighted squid jigs around 2.0 and 2.5 grams.

No doubt the most prized catch in the river is the elusive mulloway. You will certainly need to change your style of fishing if you plan to specifically target them. They will require heavier fishing rod outfits, larger baits, soft plastics or swimbaits.

Known Hazards at Patterson River

A large amount of boat traffic to be cautious of. All rural areas are inhabited by wildlife such as Snakes and Lizards, so be wary of venomous snakes such as Brown, Tiger and Red-bellied Black.

Additions and corrections of this location

If you feel this location guide is missing key information or needs any corrections made, then please let us know by emailing our team at enquiries@fishingmad.com.au with specific details in the email. Please also feel free to share any fishing pictures you have from this location with us. Thank you