Category Archives: Fishing Spots

Camden Haven, New South Wales

Lower Camden Haven River is one of the NSW North Coast’s prime fishing locations.

Watson Taylors Lake and Queens Lake form part of the lower river, and these shallow tidal waters are renowned for prawns and blue swimmer crabs.

There is also bream, luderick, whiting and flathead fishing to be had from the lower rock walls, along with access to the sea for boaters.

The Camden Haven River catchment starts in the Great Dividing Range and runs east through Kendall.

The river flows into Watson Taylor Lake, Queens Lake and Gogleys Lagoon before entering the sea near Laurieton, Dunbogan and North Haven.

The river has bass in the upper reaches.

Perhaps the best landbased spots are the North Haven and Dunbogan rock walls in the estuary, with bream, flathead, whiting and luderick the main catch.

The sea entrance walls produce some quality fish, including big bream, flathead and tailor, with mulloway best after rain.

The best time to fish is early morning or dusk at the turn of high or low tide.

Available local baits include beach worms and nippers.

Queens Lake and Watson Taylor Lake are among the best prawn and crab locations on the north coast.

During the dark moon, prawns run for sea on the run-out tide. Dip or scoop nets are used to catch them. A light is used to see prawns and crabs.

Hand-hauled prawn nets can also be used for prawning. These are 6m long nets dragged through the water by two people. These nets must be registered with NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Boaters must beware the shallow sections in the river and lakes.

There is good beach and rock fishing at Diamond Head, Point Perpendicular and Bonny Hills, with mainly tailor, mulloway, whiting, flathead and bream.

Beach worms are usually readily available but are not easy to catch.

Book your fishing stay early at

fish finder book

Camden Haven tides
Camden Haven coastline on Beachsafe
NSW fishing regulations
NSW marine parks

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Portarlington pier and rock walls, Victoria

Portarlington pier and marina rock walls are productive fishing locations in Corio Bay, within Port Phillip Bay.

The pier itself gives access to reasonably deep water with some reefy bottom off the end.

The associated long marina rock wall fishes well, and the marina provides calm water for yakkers to fish when this part of the bay gets choppy.

Both the rock wall and pier are great fishing locations but can be busy during holidays, especially in summer.

The most commonly caught species are salmon, flathead, squid, leatherjackets and snapper.

Also caught are yelloweye mullet, garfish, sand and spotted whiting, blue crabs, bream and silver trevally.

Occasional small kingfish, luderick, john dory and mulloway are caught.

Rays and sharks also show up here, possibly attracted by occasional fish pieces discarded from commercial boats.

The pier is used to load commercial fishing boats, so there can be vehicular and boating traffic at times.

Port Arlington fishing calendar

It is important to target the right fish at the right time of year or you will be waiting a long time between bites.

Juvenile salmon bite all year, while bream are best from June to November.

Flathead, garfish and spotted whiting are best in the bay in summer, with whiting biting through to April.

Silver trevally and snapper are best from October to May.

Mullet are from April to October.

Kingfish are best in summer.

Squid can be caught all year, but are usually best from June to October.

Bait, lures & tackle

Like most public jetties, Port Arlington gets fished regularly and the fish can be a little “educated”.

Use fine tackle and fresh bait for best results.

Pilchards, bluebait, prawns and squid are popular baits.

For pink snapper, fish fillets or small whole fish work well.

For those who make the effort, local livebait such as worms and bass yabbies, can make all the difference.

Lure fishing works when the water is clear, especially for salmon, where small chrome slices are a good all-round lure.

Paternoster rigs are popular for bait fishing from piers.

Port Arlington weather

This part of the bay can really chop up in windy weather, and this dirties the water.

Dirty water can be good for snapper fishing, but less so for squid.

At Melbourne Airport the mean wind speed is between 20km/h and 24km/h through the year, with April, May and June being calmest and August and September the windiest.

Melbourne winds tend to blow northerly in winter, and southerly in summer.

Easterlies are rare.

Winter fronts bring gales, while summer brings strong afternoon sea breezes.

Victoria’s tidal range is small, with most boat ramps useable throughout the tidal range.

Book your fishing stay early at

fish finder book

Port Arlington tides
VIC fishing regulations
VIC marine parks

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How to catch Port Phillip Bay snapper

The Victorian Fisheries Authority revealed the mysteries of Port Phillip Bay’s pink snapper migration by using acoustic tags implanted in fish.

From November 2011, tags were surgically inserted in fish.

Acoustic tags emit acoustic signals that can be detected by listening stations, which were installed throughout the bay.

The listening stations could detect tagged fish from 300m to 400m away.

The tagging system allowed fisheries staff to log data on dates, time and unique ID of each fish.

This allowed mapping of each snapper’s movements, giving fishermen unprecedented new information on overall snapper migrations through the year.

By December 2013 about 150 snapper from 22cm to 87cm in length had been tagged in Port Phillip Bay.

The movements of the fish were monitored until January 2015.

The results showed snapper had an annual migration into and out of the bay that was subject to water temperature.

Adults schooled in November in the Carrum Bight to Hobsons Bay region near the Yarra River outflow, loitering in a large eddy.

This eddy held the snapper eggs and larvae in a good feeding environment.

Adult and juvenile snapper showed navigation talent, being able to repeatedly find artificial reefs, and could find their way in and out of the bay, arriving only days apart each year.

The earliest tagged snapper arrivals were on September 2, but most fish arrived in October each year.

Two periods of snapper departures were discovered, the main one being December-January, and a smaller one from April-May.

Most snapper arrived though Port Phillip Heads when the water was between 13-16C.

Peak detections on fishing grounds were in November, when the water temperature were between 16-18C.

As temperatures reached 19C adult snapper moved away from the Carrum Bight spawning region and many left the bay, those that stayed went south and likely stayed in deep water off Mornington.

During October-December the adult snapper were seen to move around, rarely spending any more than a day near a tag listening station.

Adult snapper commonly moved up to 10km in 24 hours, some fish moved across the bay from north to south in 24 hours, covering 50km.

Adult snapper used artificial reefs, particularly in November, and often moved to and from specific locations, showing navigational skill.

Small snapper (pinkies) stayed longer at locations, often for months at a time.

Pinkies on artificial reefs used these habitats over spring/summer but moved to natural reefs in the north of the bay (Mordialloc-Hobsons Bay) in autumn/winter.

Pinkies tagged on natural reefs almost exclusively used natural reefs.

Some pinkies moved long distances from Carrum Bight to Geelong Arm, following shallow reef to the north and west.

Only two pinkies left the bay over the 400 days of their tag life.

Pinkies showed dependency on shallow reef habitat.

The information proved to be invaluable for fishos, who now know when the best times are to target the bay’s snapper.

Snapper respond well to most fresh baits presented on paternoster rigs.

The turn of the tide is a fine to catch them, with high tide best on shallow reefs, and night fishing works well in busy areas.

The bay’s artificial reefs were clearly a good spot to target these fish, and given how mobile they are, yesterday’s dud spot could be firing today, and visa versa.

Book your fishing stay early at

fish finder book

Melbourne (Williamstown) tides
VIC fishing regulations
VIC marine parks

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