Australian Salmon local fish species facts and Limits. Australian Salmon are a great sports fish to target in the colder months. They may not be the biggest fish you will ever catch but you will know when you have hooked a salmon. They go on long fast and aggressive runs and they will put on an aerial display as they jump out of the water trying to spit the hook. They’re a great fish to target by bait, metal spoons and plastics. They will school up in huge numbers chasing baitfish. If you happen to stumble upon a huge school then lookout as the fishing action is frantic.

Check out this video we recorded stumbling onto one of the biggest schools of salmon we have ever seen an amazing video.

Scientific name:

Arripis spp

Size & limits:

The minimum legal size is 21cm and a daily bag limit of 20 over legal size. Salmon vary in size when fishing small estuary systems you can stumble upon large schools which are quite small in size. However, in the bay and surf, you can catch them much bigger typical catches between 35-55cm and some bigger.

Best baits to catch salmon

Good baits for Australian salmon include pilchards, blue bait, whitebait and squid. When fishing in the surf there are products such as bait mate that help the bait from falling off the hook.

Best lures to catch salmon

Metal spoons are a good primary choice when targeting salmon on lures. They come in a huge range of colours and sizes and your choice will depend on where your fishing, how far you need to cast and the water depth. Eg if your fishing in the surf a larger and heavier metal spoon would be best so you can cast further out. Good choices of metal spoons include Halco Twisty, Savage Gear missiles, Maria Mucho Lucir, EcoGear Teibo jig. All ranging from 20 to 60 grams in weight to provide long casting distances.

You will also catch salmon with paddle tail soft plastics, grub and minnow style soft plastics in natural colours. They also respond well to long casting hard body minnows in natural bait looking colours.

Tips for salmon fishing

Please also check out our detailed guide on how to catch salmon in the surf around Victoria

If you’re in the bay or estuary look for breaking water or lots of birdlife gathering in the one spot, this is a great sign that schools of salmon are in the immediate area. Here is a video we recently recorded whilst kayak fishing which highlights us heading towards bird activity which ended up being a big school of salmon. this exact point. If your targeting salmon in the surf then take some time to look for gutters and deeper pools in the water.

When lure fishing cast as far as you can then use a steady medium-paced retrieve which will get the attention of an aggressive salmon.

Rod and rig setup for salmon

When your bait fishing in the surf you can go past a long fishing rod between 10-14 foot in length. There are plenty of options for surf fishing that meet different budget requirements. We like surf fishing with 12-foot rods which keep the line above breaking waves and allows us to cast long distances. We generally pair the rod with a 4000 to 5000 size reel spooled with 12-pound monofilament line. There are 2 bait rigs we like to use the first is a paternoster rig with a large star sinker. Star sinkers keep your baits and line in the one spot rather then being crushed by incoming waves. The other rig is a running sinker to a swivel. Then 20-pound leader and size 4 circle hook or double snelled hooks.

When lure fishing light to a medium class fishing rod that is quite stiff is ideal. Generally a rod between 9 and 12 foot in length in a 4-6, 6-8 or 8-10 kilo class. Generally, I have fished with a 10 foot 6-8 kilo rod which is light enough to be able to cast all day and enjoy the battle. Yet heavy enough to cast heavy metal slugs without worrying that the rod tip might break.

Eating rating for salmon

Typically considered not to be a good eating fish and often used for cat food. However many anglers will argue if there bled properly when caught that they can be very good to eat. Australian Salmon is very different from the Atlantic Salmon that were used to eating in restaurants

Best times to catch salmon

Salmon can be caught any time of the day but are more active in the colder winter months

Great locations to target salmon

You can catch salmon in Port Phillip Bay, Western Port, Lorne, Gunnamatta surf beach

Recreational fishing guide

You can obtain a free Victorian recreational fishing guide from the Victorian Fisheries Authorities

Additions or Corrections for this fish species

If you feel this fish species guide is missing key information or needs any corrections. Then please let us know by emailing our team at with specific details in the email. Thank you