How to catch Australian Salmon?

Australian Salmon are some of the best sporting fish for any land-based angler. Torpedo-shaped and powerful chunky body make these great little fighters worthwhile to catch despite their taste.

When it comes to targeting Australian Salmon often they are best fished from surf beaches. As schools of Salmon are often seen chasing down baitfish closer to sandbanks and shallow waters.

Generally, there are two methods of catching Australian Salmon passively and actively. Passively by finding gutters and throwing your baited rig in and waiting patiently to pick up any Salmon in search for food.

The other method is active which requires lure fishing. This method works very well but requires a lot more effort. Finding a beach with a great vantage point and locating schools will be your priority.

Some factors below do play a vital role and to help increase your success rate and efficiency these should be considered.


Weather conditions

What do perfect weather conditions look like when it comes to fishing for Australian Salmon? Well, it doesn’t matter if it’s a nice and sunny day or overcast. If schools of salmon are present then 80% of the time you will get a hookup.

More importantly, what you should be looking for is the clarity in the water. Fishing during crystal clear water conditions will be optimal as this ensures your lure or rig is highly visible.


Best time of day and tide

When it comes to timing, I’ve found the best time to fish is either at dawn or dusk when fish are actively feeding. Timing paired up with either a run-in or run-out tide will increase your success rate. Generally, you want there to be movement in the water. Ideally, one or two hours either side of high tide.


What type of setup should you use

When it comes to setting up it’s a matter of preference. But to cover both active and passive fishing methods we’ll look at both baited rigs and lures.



When it comes to baited rigs a simple paternoster or a modified paternoster rig can be used. Except with a few variations. Ideally, the hook you want to be using are either gang hooks, O’Shaughnessy hooks, and circle hooks.

Modified Paternoster rigs allow for two different hooks to be used simultaneously and this can be great to see what works best. Alternatively, you can switch out one of the hooks for a surf popper. As for sinkers, your best bet would be to use a star sinker for sandy bottoms.



Various lures that resemble baitfish work well when it comes to targeting Australian Salmon. Soft plastics and metal lures for me are the go to.

Generally, lure fishing requires various techniques and methods but I’ve found casting and retrieving quickly with sudden stops works well. As this imitates an injured baitfish swimming along.

Also, if the technique your trying isn’t working don’t be afraid to change things up. Below are a few examples of lures you can pick up at your local tackle shop.


Legal Limit and Sizes

Please check your local regulations as various states will have different size and bag limits. As for Victorians, suggested by ‘Victorian Fisheries Authority’ A minimum legal size limit of 21cm. Measured from the tip of the mouth to the tip of the tail. A total bag limit of 20 is also stated.

Image and Information credited to Victorian Fisheries Authority.

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