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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:     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.

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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