The Warmies also is known as the hotties is located beyond the west gate bridge behind the popular kid’s attraction Scienceworks in Spotswood. It’s a well-known fishing destination part of the Yarra River which feeds water from the entrance of Port Phillip Bay. Warmies gets its iconic name from the local Newport power station that runs annually runs heating up the temperature of the surrounding water. When this happens it attracts good size pelagic fish in big numbers such as tailor and salmon. During these times it’s not uncommon 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 fish after fish quite effortlessly with bait and lures.
We had one fishing occasion last year during winter when the pump was running catching at least 50 tailor and salmon within a short fishing session. It’s a challenging fishing destination with lots of snags but offers a large range of fish species that can be caught all year round with multiple techniques. Sometimes the Warmies can deliver a prized size mulloway or snapper which makes it a very worth fishing destination.
Check out this video of us targeting big bream opposite the Warmies in front of the West gate Bridge
Things to do at The Warmies or Hotties
Located in Newport is Scienceworks which is a very popular destination for families particularly during school holidays. There is also the Punt ferry service which operates daily and transfers cyclist from one side of the Yarra River to the other. This is an OK location to take the kids. There are walking and cycling tracks. There is 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.
Fishing at the Warmies or Hotties
The Warmies offers seasonal fish species such as tailor, snapper ( pinkies ), flathead, Australian salmon, mullet, mulloway, bream, Gummy Sharks, trevally, whiting. 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 with a medium to fast pace. Soft plastics also work really well in this area if you can avoid getting snagged. Soft plastics work really well on flathead, pinkies, bream salmon and other species. This would include grub, paddle tails and minnow imitation soft plastics such as Z-man grubZ, squidgy wrigglers and Savage Gear pro grubs, Z-man slim swimZ, Savage Gear slim minnows.
Check out our detailed video guide on the best lures to use in this area to target bream
For gear selection, it’s a little bit of a mixed bag fishing at the Warmies. One day you’ll catch bream the next day maybe a big snapper or Mulloway. So it really depends on what you’re fish species your 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-kilo capacity rod coupled with a 2000-3000 reel. Something nice and sensitive to feel the bites and inquiries. If your targeting bigger fish including snapper, mulloway or Gummy Sharks then you’ll want a heavier fishing outfit. You might start with a 7 or 8 foot 4-7 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 4000 size reel spooled with 12-20 pound line keep moving up to a 10-12 foot rod if you feel you need longer casting distance.
If you plan on casting metal lures for tailor and salmon then we would recommend. 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.
The peak hype of fishing the Warmies is those few days of the year when the pumps are turned on. This creates a mass of warm water which brings in salmon and tailor in big numbers. This is where your likely to see anglers standing side by side in masses trying to get into the action.
In general, the Warmies is a good place to fish in the early morning at high tide. We just seem to catch more fish in those conditions. You get a big run of pinkies between January and March. You also get a big run of Salmon between June and August. If you’re brave enough to fish through the night then you’re a decent chance to catch a mulloway.
Known hazards fishing the Warmies
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 proportion 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 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.
Additions and corrections of this location
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