Patterson River Fishing/Enthusiasts Fish Kill in Patterson Lakes
Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Patterson River Fishing/Enthusiasts Fish Kill in Patterson Lakes

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Action in the estuaries

The estuary action has been pretty hot locally and further out into Gippsland. For anglers targeting bream and flathead, the fishing is pretty good at
present – with some effort required to locate the fish but warm water and abundant food keeping the bite going.

Staff member Dylan fished with some mates out at Mallacoota over the weekend, and although the weather was abhorrent the fishing was worth it. With warmer
water feeding from the creeks and into the shallow bays the flathead were eagerly waiting for a meal on the flats, where they were caught on fly and
shallow running lures, and a handful on surface lures.

While the flathead were active, the bream fishing was also good – with around 50 fish encountered for the trip, up to 40cm. Schools of yellowfin bream
were found on the shallow gravel bars and snags pushing upstream and were caught on various lures. The standout lures for the trip were the 76mm bent
minnows in varied colours while bream and flathead were caught on small shrimp pattern flies as well. There were good numbers of small garfish and
shrimp in the shallows so as usual matching to the profile of the bait worked very well.

Closer to home in the local Patterson river the fishing has been good. Over the past week we have had patchy rain which has given the river a flush and
brought some easy food to the fish. With semi clear water conditions the bream have been easier to trick compared to during last week’s clear tides.
Customer Ronnie fished the river land based around the first gate to land some nice bream on scrubworms straight after the rain filtered into the system.
The rain that has pushed in to the river has also attracted schools of mullet, which has in turn created some interest from the larger predators. Customer
Goran caught a solid school mulloway after dark from the banks of the river during the week, so now is the time to be out there casting if you’re chasing

East coast

Some of the school holiday crowd head out towards the east coast of Gippsland and into NSW over the school break. With beautiful scenery and even better
fishing, there’s no wonder so many Victorians head out that way. Down around Bemm river in east Gippsland customer Mark got into some lovely bream
fishing the lake. The lake here will continue to heat up over the next month or so, and perfect timing with many anglers heading out this way around
Cup Weekend. Mark caught most of his fish between fresh prawn and sandworm on light running sink rigs.

Around the southern NSW coastline, customer Lilong camped out and fished with some mates from the rocks and wharves of the area. With a large offshore
algae bloom the fishing was slower than usual, but the guys caught plenty of couta, pike and salmon using a variety of lures. Casting slow jigs and
smaller plastics accounted for most fish between Tathra, Merimbula and Eden. The squid fishing in the area has also been good, with the same wharves
producing both calamari and arrow squid around last light on size 3.0 jigs.

Staff member Dylan was also situated around the south coast for a few days with a couple of rods packed. With cold water temperatures, there were plenty
of silver trevally, tailor and salmon around in the estuaries. Dylan spent a bit of time studying the habits of some nice luderick in the area and
tried a few methods of catching them on the fly rod. After a few days of different methods, he managed to work out their feeding habits a bit and got
into some. Fishing home tied ‘weed’ flies to fish around 1kg on the sand flats was the best method, with a handful making their way home to the table.
Among the luderick, he also caught flathead, tailor, silver trevally and salmon on fly in the local estuaries around Merimbula and Eden.

Further up the coast, customer Hendrik has been putting slabs of chrome on the rocks. Hendrik has been fishing around Southwest Rocks, and has been getting
cleaned up by some mulloway. Along this part of the coast the mulloway range in size from big to huge! Using a few techniques, Hendrik has landed fish
to around 1.1m. Fishing live baits of mullet and pike has been getting the attention of the fish, with scary big fish earning their freedom back in
the reef also. Another popular method along this part of the coast is casting big hardbodied lures and swimbaits to likely areas where these predators

Rain livens local estuaries

The recent rain has really kicked the local estuaries into gear around Melbourne. The freshwater influx has dirtied up a lot of the rivers and creeks and
washed food to kick the food chain along. 

Customer Tinh has found that the bream have been feeding up heavily during rougher weather and rain.Tinh has been fishing some of the piers like Frankston
and Mordialloc where the bream have feed foraging around the pylons. He has also found that freshwater yabbies have been the most successful bait for
him, especially when fished on a Gamakatsu ‘C10U’ hook.

Around Patterson river things have started heating up. Customer Tony has found that the bream have been more active since the rain, with the fish less
finicky and more inclined to bite on a variety of baits. The best baits have still been small freshwater yabbies, with Tony’s last session getting
him 4 very nice fish from about 8am onward. Tony also mentioned that the main river was very dirty but a bit cleaner inside the canal system. 

With all the rain that has made it’s way into the local estuaries, many keen anglers are thinking one thing; Mulloway. The Autumn rainfall can see these
fish pop up from seemingly nowhere and go on the chew, but it is really the concentrations of mullet schools that these fish follow. The increase of
freshwater in the estuaries can condense the baitfish and give the mulloway an easy feed.

Customer Peter reports of some activity around the local mulloway haunts, with this 110cm fish caught just a few days ago. Peter has been after a metre
mulloway for some time, and was stoked with this fish, which was released. The fish took freshly caught Mornington squid. 

Local bream waiting for the rain

The local estuaries are running quite clear at the moment and the bream fishing has been a little bit quiet, but as always the rewards are there for the
anglers with a bait or lure in the water. Speaking of lures, customer Ange has really nutted out some of the local creek fish, with chunky bream to
42cm taking small shrimp imitation soft plastics. Ange has found that for these lures to work effectively they must be rigged almost unweighted and
left to sink as natural as possible along any likely looking structure. 

Over the next few weeks we should find the bream activity to increase if we get some decent rain, as the influx of freshwater will flush more food into
the systems and give the fish some cover from predators. The Patterson and Yarra rivers will fire up if this event occurs, and it may even bring some
school mulloway into these systems.

Estuary species responding to rain

The heavy rain that Melbourne experienced may have put fishing off the cards for a few days but it has breathed some life into the bay and it’s estuaries.
Bream, mullet and mulloway have responded well to the flush out the local systems have received. Staff member Dylan took advantage of the clearing
water during the week and had an afternoon session chasing the bream on lures. After a slow start, about a dozen bream made their way into the net,
with a variety of lures doing the damage. Some new hybrid wakebaits caught their fair share of fish along with soft plastics.

Dylan trialed the new ‘biotough’ squidgy soft plastic range and it is safe to say that they will be as deadly as the time tested standard range. A handful
of nice fish scoffed the new biotough wriggler in UV bloodworm, including this 1.5kg plus model. Pop into the shop to check them out – they are a winner!

Customer Tony Conversano has also experienced some good local bream fishing during the week. Tony has been mixing up his baits to see what the fish are
interested in at the time with prawn, mussel and freshwater yabbies all doing their bit. With dirty water conditions a light berley trail of ‘snapper
magnet’ has helped dramatically, which consists of a prawn and mussel shell based scent.

The mulloway population have made their presence known after the rain also, with the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers producing some nice fish. Customer Jovan
has caught fish to around 7kg using live mullet (and patience) after dark in the metro rivers.

Melbourne estuaries fishing well

Melbourne’s estuaries are fishing well at present for bream and the odd mulloway for anglers using bait as well as lures. The standouts have been the Patto
and Maribyrnong rivers, although fish are being caught in the Yarra and Werribee also. As we have just gotten a good bit of rain things should only
improve in these estuaries, with baits like scrubworm and prawn working well. Customer Dave has been working the Patto with lures recently and has
been doing ok on the bream. Dave has found Zman 2.5″ grubs and Cranka Crabs the standouts recently, with the odd fish taking a hardbody also.

Customer Ryan has been fishing the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers lately and has caught some solid bream. Ryan has been fishing landbased along with in the
kayak and has been averaging fish to 35cm, with a few bigger fish as well. Ryan has found that soft plastics have been the most consistent producer
while small sinking hardbodies and vibes have also been getting a few.

Reports quiet in PPB


Reports coming from Port Phillip Bay have been a bit quiet recently. There has been a run of snapper hanging around since the start of the rough ‘winter’ weather which has gotten a few anglers excited, but action close to home has been a bit quiet. The salmon have been showing up around some of the local piers like Frankston, Seaford and Mordi during a bit of onshore southwesterly chop. Baits of bluebait or whitebait have been good, along with small plastics and metal slugs.

Around the estuaries the bream have been touch and go with the recent rain and average weather. Baits of prawn and scrubworm have been tempting a few fish out of the Patterson River. The ‘Patto’ has also seen a couple of mulloway caught recently as well. Customer Ben managed 2 in a session recently using plastics, with the bigger fish measuring 80cm.

Over towards Altona customer Tony reports of some reasonable squid fishing in close, with size 3.0 jigs doing the damage. Tony also caught some nice sized flatties on strips of freshly caught squid out deep.

Port Phillip

Port Phillip has had mixed fishing recently. With on and off weather, the reports have also been the same. Most of the late afternoons have been calm and cool, which has been perfect for some squid fishing. Customer Stefan fished down near Blairgowrie recently to land some nice squid from the shore. Gold based/orange cloth jigs worked the best for him, and he was lucky to bring a landing net as the squid were larger than he was expecting. Customer Cass fished for squid recently out near Werribee during the week to land a good bag of big squid. Cass fished in 3 – 4m of water and found that Keimura jigs in UV white and purple/gold were the best of the bunch for him. The hottest bite occurred about an hour before sunset.

While the squid reports have been good, the larger predators around the bay have also been active recently. There have been a few nice mulloway floating about in the bay and also areas like the Yarra, Werribee and Patterson rivers. Most of the fish have been in the 65 – 85cm size, with a few larger fish around a metre/10kg to be caught. Live mullet and freshly caught squid have been the most effective, with the odd fish taking pilchard and saury. Lure anglers fishing soft plastics and hardbodies have also been catching the odd fish as well. Customer Tuan was fishing the Yarra river last week when he hooked this nice mulloway on pilchard. This fish of 75cm is about average size for school fish around Melbourne at the minute.

Bay variety


The bay has been fishing hot and cold for a mixture of species recently. Winter species like gars and salmon have started making an appearance, along with runs of mullet and the odd mulloway in the rivers. Customer Michael had another successful outing on the mulloway during the week, with a school sized fish taking a bait of fresh squid. Around the river mouths of the Patterson and Yarra there have also been schools of smaller sized salmon which are providing fun for anglers of all skill levels. Most of the salmon have been around 400g but there has been a few much bigger fish of 1.5kg+ caught from the same areas, along with the foreshore of Frankston and Mornington. Baits of bluebait and whitebait fished under a float have been effective, along with small metal lures and soft plastics. Customer Michael recently fished the mouth of the Patterson river with pearl white coloured Squidgy Flickbaits to land a heap.


The squid have still been active in the bay recently with some calmer weather. The southern end of the bay has still been where most of the action is, and the northern section of the bay should start to improve the further we get into winter. From Mornington south towards Portsea the fishing has been the best, with Sorrento and Portsea being hotspots at the moment. Customer Damien fished out from Sorrento around the ‘Sisters’ in 8m of water where good numbers of solid squid were caught on larger 3.5 size jigs. Aggressive colours like ‘nemo’ worked the best. Down at Portsea pier on the weekend, customer Nigel caught some nice squid on red foil based 3.5 and 3.0 sized jigs.

Action in the local estuaries


The local land based fishing has been quite good at the moment, with most bread and butter estuary species on offer. In the Yarra, Maribyrnong, Werribee and Patterson rivers there has been god numbers of mullet to be caught, with the size ranging from 15 – 35cm. Small floats and fine grit berley are the key to success on these species. There has also been some nice bream being caught by both bait and lure anglers. Cutsomer Brendan has been killing some time down in the river fishing small soft plastics in search of a bream or two. Brendan was casting a small lightly weighted Zman grub from the shore and landed a nice chunky bream of 35cm. Brendan was rapt as he had been spending some time targeting the bream with lures and finally broke the duck.


The odd mulloway has also been caught by dedicated anglers fishing for them in the local estuaries. Customer Adrian had some success with a school sized fish caught towards the end of the river on a live mullet. These fish do take a bit of time and patience to work out, but the rewards are there for anglers doing so.

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Patterson River Estuary Fishing Access in Patterson Lakes / Carrum, Victoria

Guide and map to the best fishing spots for salt water species at the Patterson River Estuary


Author: Ultimate Fishing


Date Published: 4th of October 2015


Patterson River Fishing Boat Channel
The first 2km of river from Port Phillip Bay can get quite busy with boats. View Map

Patterson Lakes is a relatively new development area in the southern suburbs of Melbourne, adjoining the suburb of Carrum and a short distance from Edithvale and Seaford beaches. The estuary just after the entrance to Port Phillip Bay has been channelled, with housing developments having private access to the water and main river.

The estuary section, between Port Phillip Bay and the Mornington Peninsula Freeway, is known to be frequented by visitors such as Snapper, Flathead, Bream and Gummy Shark, to name a few.

However, access can be a little trouble for the land based angler. The main access point is via the boat ramps at Launching Way. While there is river access at the end of the car park for land-based fishers, there is also a huge amount of boat traffic, especially between 4am and midnight. This means the river’s productiveness is restricted, and also that you are often forced to sink bait so that your line does not become entangled with passing boats.

This section is however enjoyable for a day out, as there are park benches to rest rods on, an abundance of river side parking and covered electric barbecues. Meaning you can pack light and bring some lunch to cook up, should you not land many fish to cook from the river itself. Public toilets are available a short walk from the parking lot, at the very end of Launching Way just outside the entrance to the car park itself.

Night access to this section, however, is often restricted; the gates are normally locked at around 10pm until about 10 or 11am the next morning. This is due to complaints from locals about noise made by fishermen during the night. Although if you arrive after 10pm or before 10am, you will rarely have a chance to park river side, access is still possible by foot, and you can park about 100 metres away.

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The car park is known for a small amount of crime such as vehicle break-ins. While you will often see police doing their rounds, keeping your car locked and alarm on is highly recommended.

Many people choose to use the park area at the very end of the parking lot for convenience, however if going for a bit of a walk and fishing on your own is not a major issue, there are many more productive areas of the Patterson River to fish. The only downside to these areas is there is very limited parking available, and you will have to leave your car in a back street while making the rest of the journey on foot, where you can fish river side below the hill located behind the houses on the other side of the river.

Access to this area is via La Perouse Boulevard, but parking here is not often available. The recommended parking spot, if fishing the other side of the river, is the small court-like end of Station Street, where a few car parks are sometimes available. Keep in mind if parking here, although you can walk down the walkway direct to the riverbank beside the bridge, you will still need to walk around 10 minutes to your fishing location.

The idea of this side of the river is not ease of access, but rather if you walk far enough along the riverside towards the Mornington Peninsula Freeway, you will reach a section with little or no boat traffic, and hence easier and more productive fishing. There is no direct foot access further up, so once you find a spot away from the boats, you will need to tread carefully through low lying scrub bushes down to the riverbed. Beware of snakes in this region.

If this doesn’t sound like something enjoyable for your outing, there is easier access at the other end of the river.

Patterson River Best Fishing Spot
The best fishing spot is down the freeway end of the river, as boats rarely access this section. View Map

Beside the freeway is Wells Road, a local access road. Heading north after crossing the river there is a small side access street made of gravel – if you do a U-turn in here and head back towards the river, there is a small gravel car park with ample parking. There is a walkway/bicycle track that runs along the side of the river, and you can simply walk to this path and then proceed down the small hill for easy river access. The only downside to this section is the river is the fairly low, but bream are well known to be caught here regardless.

You may prefer to park in the gravel car park and proceed by foot back across the bridge, where there is another walkway. This section also has a small hill but the benefit of this section is that there is about 1km of flat sand access along the riverbank. If you are willing to wade about 30cm or so in water, you can easily walk about 1km along the most productive section of the river, with very good access for lure fishing .

Beyond 1km from the freeway, the river traffic becomes heavy as residents with channel access regularly take their boats out from this point, and 99% of them head out to the bay. This leaves the final 1km stretch of the estuary free for land-based fishermen and kayak owners to have a decent go at landing a fish, without the fish constantly being stressed or spooked by passing boats.

If you are dedicated and decide to fish these more difficult to access regions you will often be rewarded. Keep in mind, however, that the estuary itself ends at the freeway overpass. To catch salt-water species you will need to stay west of the bridge, between the bay and the freeway.

The water is dammed up at the freeway crossing and bay species cannot make it further up-stream from there.

Hopefully this inspires a few people to try out these much more productive regions of the river. If you are willing to sacrifice ease of access for better fishing conditions, the eastern section of the Patterson River Estuary can produce some really enjoyable fishing.

We would love to hear about the fish you have caught at the Patterson River locations mentioned in this article. If you would be willing to share a few photos and stories please Click Here to contact us .

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