Melbourne Fishing

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Yet another capital city, Melbourne, is the second most populated city in Australia and is Victoria’s crown jewel and state capital. Located around Port Phillip Bay, nearly 3.75 people (called ‘Melburnians’) populate this unique, bustling metropolis. Melbourne is one of the significant hub centers of the Asia-pacific region, with the main focus being commerce, industry, and various cultural activities.

The city is often referred to as Australia’s ‘sporting and cultural capital’ and was the host city of the 1956 Olympics, and more recently, the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Melbourne has a golden reputation as a beautiful place to reside, as proven by the Economist Magazine’s annual survey on the World’s Most Livable Cities. It has been named the top city three times in the last decade. However, soaring property price tags have made it one of the least affordable places to reside in the entire world over the previous several years!

This isn’t so great for year-round citizens. Still, there are many more things to focus on for travelers and visiting anglers worldwide, including the multitude of cultural events annually, a vibrant performing arts segment, and fantastic architecture to be seen from every corner. Melbourne is also considered Australia’s live music capital, with a large proportion of successful Australian artists emerging from the Melbourne live music scene.

Aside from the abundance of culture, there is incredible fishing to be experienced here as well! Port Phillip Bay is one of the most popular fishing spots in Melbourne. Known just as ‘The Bay’ to locals, Port Phillip is a giant marine bay totaling nearly half a million acres. Although highly shallow for its vast size — the deepest point is only 80 feet, with most of the bay reaching depths of only 15 feet — most of the bay is navigable for most fishing vessels.

Port Phillips flat topography makes it an ideal locale for most water sports other than fishing, including kite-surfing, windsurfing, sailing, boating and yachting, and scuba diving, as well as a multitude of beach sports and activities. Scuba diving, in particular, is very popular, with easy access available to several wrecks, reefs, drift dives, scallop dives, and wall dives.

The beautiful Peninsula port of Mornington, located on the eastern side of the bay, with various beaches, provides the perfect base for most of Melbourne’s professional fishing and diving charters. In addition, the area has some of the best Snapper grounds in Port Phillip Bay. Unlike many locations worldwide, which require a large amount of travel time, you will be casting your line within 15-30 minutes of departure from the pier here in Mornington Peninsula.

In season, the local catches are anything from Snapper, Gummy Shark, Garfish, Couta, Rock Cod, Whiting, Leatherjackets, Squid – and right through the year, Flathead is the predominant fish of the bay, with squid and Shark also being the catch du-jour.

FAQ

Where can I find most of the fishing charters in Miami?

Inshore Miami fishing charters run on average $600 – 800 for half-day (4 hours) with four anglers and around $1000 for full-day excursions. Offshore is a little more pricy with a half-day trip price average of $900 – 1200 and full-day 8-hour trips for anywhere between $1500 to over $2000. These trips offshore are for a maximum of 6 anglers.

Some Miami fishing charters offer shared trips where the cost is considerably less for those on a budget or traveling in smaller groups. The avg. price for a 4 hr. inshore trip is $70/person, while going out to fish for the big game fish offshore will cost $200/person on average. Shared trips usually have a minimum of four anglers, and if that number is not met, the anglers can split the total cost if there were four, or the charter will be canceled. Miami has a few party boats that can take you out for a great day on the water for as low as $60 for 4 hours.

These prices can vary based on the duration of the trip, the boat size and amenities offered, and the number of anglers. Also, many charters offer special trips and trips catered to your wants. Some charters also offer overnight and multiple day trips. But there are additional costs involved with these trips.

Does Miami offer year round fishing?

Miami has great fishing all year round.  The water stays relatively warm throughout the year, and because of this, hundreds of fish call the waters inshore and offshore of Miami home.

Is the fishing good in Miami?

Miami is hot, and the fishing in Miami is even hotter. No matter what time of year you come to Miami, the bite is on! The warm waters off the coast of S. Florida are teeming with trophy fish. Inshore, there are Tarpon, Redfish and Snook and Offshore multiple Billfish, Mahi Mahi and Wahoo and the delicious fish like Snapper and Grouper you want to put on your dinner table or fill your freezer.

When is sailfish season in Miami?

The state saltwater fish for Florida has been the Sailfish for over 30 years, and Miami is one of the premier spots in the world for the action-packed excitement of bill fishing. The Sailfish is in the waters year-round; however, the real action heats up from Late November to April because this is when the Sailfish migrate south.

Do you need a fishing license to go charter fishing in Miami?

The state saltwater fish for Florida has been the Sailfish for over 30 years, and Miami is one of the premier spots in the world for the action-packed excitement of bill fishing. The Sailfish is in the waters year-round; however, the real action heats up from Late November to April because this is when the Sailfish migrate south.

Do you need a fishing license to go charter fishing in Miami?

Yes, you do need a license for most fishing, except for a few residential licenses. But visitors to the “Emerald City” need to purchase either a 3 day, 5 day or, if you come down to Miami a lot, 1 year passes. All of these licenses are for either saltwater or freshwater.

To be safe, if you are fishing in brackish water, you might want to get both permits so that if you accidentally hook up with a Peacock Bass while fishing for Tarpon, you will not get in trouble.

In addition, there are some fish that you need special passes to bring into your boat. Snook, Tarpon, (if you are trying for an IGFA record; otherwise, they are strictly catch and release), and if you are not on a charter, you need free permits for Snapper and Grouper on the reefs. One good thing is that your pass covers the entire boat, so not everyone needs to possess a pass to go fishing. If you charter a Miami charter fishing boat for offshore fishing, they will generally include everything you need.

Where can I find most of the fishing charters in Miami?

There are many marinas throughout the city, but the best ones for finding and booking a Miami fishing charter are the big four: Crandon Park, Haulover Beach, Miami Beach and Bayside Marketplace.

Some of the best charter boat captains and fishing guides in the area can be found at Crandon Park Marina.

Haulover Beach Marina is the home base for multiple charter companies and a claim to the largest charter and drift-fishing fleet in South Florida.

Miami Beach Marina has a smaller fleet home to mainly private vessels. The Reward Fleet, with a popular party boat, is located here.

Bayside Marketplace is also a much smaller marina but has a much more relaxed atmosphere, and the private charters here are not pushing sales as much as other marinas and charters.

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