Welcome to the Warmies Fishing Guide. The Warmies gets its iconic name from the Newport power station that runs annually in Winter flushing warm water directly into the inlet heating up the temperature of the surrounding water. When this happens it attracts Tailor, Australian Salmon, Mullet and even prized catches of Mulloway. During these times it’s common to see rows of anglers standing side by side keen to get into the action. When the power station is running you can almost catch a fish a cast with bait and lures.

The Warmies also known as the Hotties is located beyond the West Gate Bridge behind the popular kid’s attraction Scienceworks in Spotswood. Close to the townships of Newport and Williamstown. It’s a well-known fishing destination part of the Yarra River which feeds water from the entrance of Port Phillip Bay. It’s a challenging fishing destination with lots of snags that offer a large variety of fish species that can be caught all year round. Snapper in summer, Mulloway in winter and a must-visit land-based fishing destination when those pumps are running.


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Things to do The Warmies or Hotties

Located in Newport is Scienceworks which is a popular destination for families, particularly during school holidays. There is also the Punt ferry service which operates daily and transfers cyclists from one side of the Yarra River to the other. Along the Yarra River, there are walking tracks, cycling tracks and plenty of open grasslands to run around on. Just be careful near the rocks which are quite slippery. Do keep an eye on the kids and my young kids have caught jellyfish and blue ring octopus from this location when fishing.

Watch FishingMad as they fish the Warmies during a cold winter

Fishing the Warmies or Hotties

The Warmies offers seasonal fish species such as

  • Tailor
  • Australian Salmon
  • Snapper ( pinkies )
  • Mullet
  • Mulloway
  • Flathead
  • Snook
  • Bream
  • Gummy Sharks
  • Silver Trevally
  • King George Whiting

The Warmies is a great land-based fishing destination for big runs of Australian Salmon and Tailor during the winter months between June and August especially when the pumps are running. I prefer to target them with soft plastics however they will happily take a wide variety of soft plastics, lures and baits. Here you will also get a big run of pinkies and Snapper between January and March. We have seen some big snapper caught there over the years on boats and soft plastics. If you’re brave enough to fish through the night then you’re a decent chance to catch a prized mulloway. The peak hype of fishing the Warmies is those days when the pumps are running that mass of warm water brings in salmon and tailor in big numbers. This is where you are likely to see anglers standing side by side in masses trying to get into the action.

The key to fishing the Warmies is really honing in on a target species. Knowing which part of the year they are active and picking gear that’s specific for that target species. Gear selection is a mixed-bag fishing as one day you might target more finesse species like bream or mullet and the next day maybe target something bigger like snapper, Australian Salmon or Mulloway. So it depends on what you’re fish species targeting. If you’re targeting species such as pinkies, bream, mullet and flathead then a light rod setup is best. We would suggest a 2–4-kg rod coupled with a 2000, 2500 or 3000 reel. Something nice and sensitive to feel the bites and inquiries. If you targeting bigger fish including snapper, mulloway or Gummy Sharks then you’ll want to fish with a heavier outfit. You might start with a 7 or 8-foot 4-7 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 4000-size reel spooled with a 12-20 pound line keep moving up to a 10-12 foot rod if you feel you need a longer casting distance.

If you plan on casting large soft plastics or light metal lures for tailor and Australian salmon then we would recommend a 7 foot 3-5kg rod paired with a 3000 size reel or if you want something heavier and longer for casting distance a 9 or 10-foot rod in a 6-10 kilo class coupled with a 3000-size reel. Spooled with 10-14 pound braid and equivalent leader is ideal.

When fishing at the Warmies with bait we suggest using pilchards, raw chicken, squid, maggots, scrub worms, and mullet which are all good options. A paternoster rig works well with sinker options to suit your desired casting distance. In winter when the pumps are running pelagic species such as salmon and tailor come through in big numbers during these times small slugs and metal lures will also work well. You can cast them far and retrieve them at a medium to fast pace. Soft plastics also work really well in this area if you can avoid getting snagged. Soft plastics work well on flathead, pinkies, bream salmon and other species.

The choice of lures is almost endless to make things easier we created a detailed video on the best lures and how to use them.


Best Baits for the Warmies Port Melbourne

Bait Choices

When fishing at the Warmies we highly recommend the following baits presented on a light running sinker rig, paternoster rig os susp[needed from a float. The size of the bait, hooks and sinker will very much depend on the species you are targeting.

  • pilchard
  • pipis
  • blue bait
  • silver whiting
  • garfish
  • salmon
  • raw chicken strips
  • prawns
  • maggots
  • silverfish
  • squid
  • mussels
  • live baits including yakkas and mullet for mulloway

Best Lures and soft plastics for the Warmies Port Melbourne

Soft Plastics

When fishing at the Warmies we highly recommend the following soft plastics and lures.

  • Paddle tail soft plastics in natural colours
  • Zman grubZ 2.5 and 3 inch Grubz
  • Berkley Gulp turtleback worm
  • Small metal lures
  • Zman slim Swimz
  • Berkley powerbait grub
  • eco gear ZX40 & SX40
  • Daiwa Double Clutch
  • Squidges biotough grub
  • Zman StreakZ
  • Munroes 3.75 inch paddle tails
  • Kietech swim impact fat
  • Zerek fish trap
  • Samaki Vibelicious

Tips for fishing the Warmies

  • Soft plastics work great in this area and allow you to walk the banks. Small soft plastics like 2.5-inch grubz and paddle tails for pinkies, tailor, mullet, juvenile salmon and 4-inch curltails and paddle tails for Australian Salmon, Snapper and Mulloway.
  • If your bait fishing berley up an isolated area hard and re-berley regularly as this will bring in the bait and the smaller fish like mullet.
  • It can be a highly polluted area with poor water clarity so we would recommend not eating fish caught in this area. Consult the EPA if you need more specific details here.
  • It can be muddy and slippery and sharp rocks. We prefer to wear boots in this area.
  • Respect the boat traffic coming in and out from the ramp and give them plenty of space
  • Its a very snaggy area so retrieve your bait, plastics and lures quickly when near the bank edges


Targeting Tailor at the Warmies

Tailor are aggressive predatory fish with sharp teeth that fight surprisingly hard. They have a similar profile to an Australian Salmon and often 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. 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 or even on light wire trace if they’re shredding your leaders. When fishing in estuary systems we would typically use a 7-foot rod in a 2-4 or 3-5kg class, paired with a 2500 or 3000 reel spooled with 6-8-pound braid and a slightly stronger leader. Handle them carefully they have sharp teeth that can do some damage.

Targeting Australian Salmon at the Warmies


I prefer targeting Australian Salmon with light spin gear. It makes the experience enjoyable and easy to use. A 7 foot 2-5kg spin rod paired with a 2500 or 300 size reel and 12lb braid and leader works great. Winter is a great time to target salmon as they’re active and school 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 are patches of deeper water that Salmon will swim through in schools. These can be identified by the darker colour of the water. When bait fishing pick a surf rod between 12-15 feet 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. P



Targeting Snapper at the Warmies


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 are 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 Mulloway at the Warmies

Mulloway AKA Jewfish are a prized catch that sits on the top of many Victorian angler’s bucket lists. 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 naturally as possible or use live baits. Mulloway can be caught at any time of the day, but are most active at night, during peak tides and moon phases. We have found that lures are quite productive during the day and bait is more productive at night.

Targeting Flathead at the warmies

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 out 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 bait choices include pilchards, mussels, squid, chicken, whitebait, Pipis, blue bait and prawns.

Targeting Bream at the Warmies


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 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 Snook at the Warmies


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 a medium pace including minnows, paddle tails, and grubs. Adding scent to the soft plastics 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.


Targeting Gummy Shark at the Warmies

Gummy Shark

We would recommend targeting gummy sharks 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 single or double snelled rig or a paternoster rig. You can use an Ezi rig attaching a sinker to the clip and 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 mullet at the Warmies

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 responds 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, pilchards, and prawns. 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 help. Most mullet are 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.


Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All other images and videos shown on The Warmies Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals. Thank you for visiting The Warmies Fishing Guide. 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

The biggest hazards you will face fishing in this area will be snags. So many casts will get stuck amongst rock and debris making it a frustrating place to fish at times. So make sure you have plenty of spare rigs and lures. Throughout certain parts of the year, the Warmies can be infested with plague proportions of starfish, jellyfish and large rats. I have also caught a few blue ring octopus and scorpionfish which are very venomous. There is always a debate about eating fish from this area and that will be a personal preference. Don’t forget in 2018 there was a chemical spill in Footscray which caught fire and contained asbestos. So always be a little mindful of keeping and catching fire from this area.