Welcome to the Australian Salmon Fishing Guide Victoria. Australian Salmon are a great sports fish to target in the colder months. They may not be the biggest fish but you will certainly know when you have hooked one. Salmon are powerful and will go on long fast and aggressive runs putting 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. Salmon can be caught at any time of the day but are more active in the colder winter months. 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.
The scientific name is Arripis spp. 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.
Check out this video we recorded stumbling onto one of the biggest schools of salmon we have ever seen an amazing video.
How to catch Australian Salmon Fishing in Victoria
Please read our detailed guide on how to catch salmon around Victoria. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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. If your targeting salmon in the surf then take some time to look for gutters and deeper pools in the water.
Check out this video we took some beginners out to learn the basics of kayak fishing than stumbled upon a big school of hungry salmon given away by many surrounding birds.
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 than 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.
The best locations to catch Australian Salmon in Victoria
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
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