Inland fishing equipment

Vic Fishing Rec Guide 2015

The number, shape and size of equipment used to catch fish in Victoria is important in determining whether it is legal or illegal to use.

In addition, some types of legal equipment cannot be used in certain locations (e.g. closed waters), at certain times (closed seasons) or to catch some species (e.g. spear guns to take rock lobster).

Not all the fishing gear for sale in tackle shops or online is legal to use in Victorian waters.

Inland waters

Inland waters are any waterway from its mouth to its source and any inlet or lagoon connected with it and any swamp, lake, lagoon, backwater, billabong, dam, river, stream or public water storage reservoir.  Inland waters do not include the Gippsland Lakes, Lower Lake of Mallacoota Inlet, Lake Tyers and Wignan Inlet and Victorian waters that are not inland waters such as (but not limited to) Port Phillip Bay and Western Port.

Summary of legal equipment for inland waters

The following equipment can only be used to catch or attempt to catch fish (including invertebrates species) in Victoria’s inland waters. Before you use this equipment you must be aware of the rules that govern its use.

Click here for more information on using equipment in inland waters.

Equipment TypeMaximum number permitted in inland waters
Lines with hooks2
Hooks per line2, or 1 bait jig
Baited lines with no hook10
Bait pump (hand-operated suction)1
Bait traps - labelled2
Dip/landing net1
Hand cranking electric reelsCan be used. Click here for more information.
Bait net (hauling net)Can be used in certain waters only. Click here for more information.
Hoop nets - labelledUp to 5 hoop nets can be used in 11 river systems. In all other inland waters a combined maximum total of 10 hoop nets and/or open top lift nets can be used. Click here for more information.
Open top lift net - labelledOpen top lift nets cannot be used in 11 river systems. In all other inland waters a combined maximum total of 10 hoop nets and/or open top lift nets can be used. Click here for more information.

Hand-held spears and spear guns cannot be used in inland waters.

Barbless gaffs can only be used to assist in landing your catch. Click here for more information.

Labelling your gear correctly

Cherries

Hoop nets, open top lift nets and bait traps must be attached to a tag that remains above the water's surface with the recreational fisher's full name and place of residence clearly and legibly written.