Location: Princetown, Victoria (Fishing Guide)

28 Sep 23
If you're looking for a relaxed, beachside getaway over summer offering fishing, beach access, 4wding and a secluded location still not too far from a town; you might have found it. Located on the western side of the Otways on the Great Ocean Road, Pricetown offers great fishing both in the Gellibrand River and surrounding coastline. It's also only 10 minutes from the main attractions of the Great Ocean Road- 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and Port Campbell, offering plenty of family options. Let's take a look at the fishing options; and leave the touristy stuff for other websites!


Princetown is situated right down where the mighty Gellibrand River reaches the coast and spills into a number of wetlands and a main channel. The largest river catchment in Victoria's wettest area, the Gellibrand flows fast and dark year round. The freshwater reaches are up there with the best for trout and blackfish anywhere upstream of Chapple Vale, and there's plenty of camping spots offering access all the way up to Stevenson's Falls. But closer to Princetown, below the Great Ocean Road, the estuary fishing is very under-rated. Estuary perch can be found in great numbers, as well as bream, salmon, mullet, sea-run trout and the occasional mulloway. A small boat ramp exists near the Old Coach Road bridge, however upstream boat access can be limited due to water heights and the small gap between the bridge and river. Kayak fishing opens up large sections of the Gelli, with landbased usually restricted to bridges, jetties or the sand flats at the mouth. Casting soft plastics, shallow hardbodies and flies on the reedy edges and flats below the bridge is a great way to connect to a few fish. The jetty near the bridge is a popular spot for families to bait fish; using worms, live shrimp or prawns will get you onto a few bream, perch and mullet. Above the bridge, reedy banks line the edge for some distance before the river narrows, deepens and becomes difficult to navigate due to fallen trees. These same trees do make top notch structure for big perch however.

On the other side of Moonlight Head, a little further down the Great Ocean Road, the Aire River also meets the coast in a similar fashion and fishing is very much the same. You could probably expect a few more bream and trout compared to perch in the Aire, and landbased options are a little easier too.


Whilst not as popular as estuary fishing at Princetown, a number of the local beaches do offer good fishing for salmon, sharks, snapper and mullet. Keep in mind the 12 Apostles Marine Park exists along the coast here however exclusion zones are in force on a few of the beaches which allows for fishing to take place. Gibson's Steps is one popular local spot which does feature a steep walk down the side of the cliff (assisted by stairs) but this steep sloping beach offers good deep water access and gummies can be found here at night. Clifton Beach is popular for salmon and mullet, as is Johanna Beach further east. Steep cliffs feature on most of the coastline which do create world famous scenery but also limit fishing options significantly. There's no boat ramps near Princetown; the only three options all feature a bit of a run. Port Campbell jetty (using the crane), Bay of Islands at Peterborough and Apollo Bay are the three closest ramps. If you do make it over here in a boat though; Moonlight Head is a seriously fishy area. The headland creates strong currents; both barrel and school tuna are usually in close proximity. The rocky reefs in this area too also hold monster crays, and are relatively unfished compared to more accessible areas closer to the ports. In fact, that really applies to most of the fishing around here!