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Posted 23th September 2022

The Warmies- What's Hot in Melbourne

The Warmies- What's Hot in Melbourne
The Warmies- What's Hot in Melbourne

By Jesse Rotin

It’s often said, if you’re not happy with Melbourne’s weather then give it 5 minutes, believe me this is the truth. Melbourne’s weather has definitely gained the unpredictable reputation, shifting from one extreme to the next in a matter of minutes.

These inexplicable changes can be a handful, not only to the fish but anglers alike and can often leave one wondering whether braving the cold is worth the effort. Now, what if I was to tell you there’s a location that’s sure to warm the spirits, teeming with an array of fish species and is found within city limits. The little gem I’m referring to goes by many names but the one that’s stuck like mud is “The Warmies”.   

What is the “Warmies”?

Situated on the south-west banks of the famous “Yarra River” the Newport Power Station is a natural gas plant which utilizes water taken from the river to cool turbines and supply Melbournians with secondary energy. Once the cooling process has passed its way through the plant, it is then released into a rock lined channel adjacent to the station known as “the Warmies”.

This is indicated when steam is seen emitting from its large chimney and is like a signpost for anglers to grab a rod and head down. The turbulent outflow of water reaches temperatures of up to 25 and is the reason why many species seek refuge in the passage during these bleak times. Masses of baitfish like whitebait and pilchards swarm to the warmth, attracting the attention of predators like snapper, bream, mulloway, Australian salmon, flathead, snook, silver trevally and, funnily enough, even tailor, a species not usually found in other parts of Port Phillip Bay.

Now because the power station is used as a backup source, it isn’t always pushing warm water. However, fish will linger close to the area as residual heat remains in the water well after the pumps have been turned off, and will instead retreat to the many deep holes littered throughout the system.


Fishing the low light periods around dawn and dusk definitely yield great results, however the turbulence created by the pump often leaves the water discoloured, therefore providing plenty of cover for the fish to feed comfortably throughout the day. The channel maintains a decent depth meaning tides aren’t as influential on the feeding habits as it is in other locations. 


An attraction to this location is it’s warm welcoming to both bait and lure anglers alike. Personally, I enjoy a lure-based approach with a backpack and a rod in hand. This allows me to be mobile whilst casting a few lures as my sessions are often limited to small windows of opportunity. May I suggest that bait-fishing is a wonderful way of introducing young or new anglers to our amazing sport as it teaches us the fundamentals of how it all works. Both techniques are deadly and whichever you aim to pursue, you’re in with a good shot. Bait-wise, the ever-reliable running sinker rig works a treat, match your hooks to the species you’re aiming to target and ensure that you select a sinker weight just heavy enough to get your bait to the bottom. If you’re leaning more towards an artificial approach, then a well-presented soft plastic is hard to pass up. They have the ability to cover a variety of depths or bottom types and there is usually a shape to entice a fish. Baitfish love to congregate in this area as I mentioned earlier and the Bait Junkie 2.5” Minnow undoubtedly suits these little baits to a tee and is definitely one of my go-to’s. Grubs and other soft plastics in the same size range yield great results, but mix and match your lure choice until you strike gold.

Retrieves can vary, but just like lure choice it’s important to change it up and the fish will let you know what they want. Whether that means fishing the lure closer to the bottom, or keeping it up high in the water column if say fish have been spotted smashing bait on the surface.

In addition to soft plastics, hardbodies can also be lethal. In particular, the Double Clutch range are a dead ringer for the local bait and if a school of hungry Salmon or Tailor show up, these things drive them crazy. 

Get Ready

Packing for a session on the Hotties couldn’t be simpler, the entire location can be accessed by foot and the heated water flows its way through the entire system, so there isn’t really a bad spot. The Warmies is home to an array of species both big and small, so it can be a challenge choosing an outfit to do it all. However, if I had to select one to do most, then it’s hard to go past a 2-4kg outfit.

This lighter, more user-friendly tackle perfectly suits a whole range of fish types, whether casting a few lures or soaking baits. Rods 7ft or longer help gain long casts and double up in assisting fish around the rocks. 2500-3000 size reels, spooled with braid in the 8-12lb range will match these rods perfectly. Some absolute giant mulloway and snapper frequent the spot from time to time and if you aim to target a few of these bigger models, then I suggest upping your tackle to a 3-6kg setup.

My Gear

* Guide Backpack

* Bait Junkie Minnow 2.5/Bait Junkie Grub 2.5 (Ayu, Pearl Trout, Baby Bass, Copper Flash, Pearl Watermelon) on 1/16th-1/8th jig-heads in either 1 or 1/0 hook sizes

* Double Clutch 60/75SP (Ghost Wakasagi, Lazer Perch, Ghost Perch, Blue Smelt)

* Warm Clothing (gloves, beanie, rain jacket and pants) and headlamp (fishing after dark)

* TD Zero 702LFS/TD Sol 2500 MQ LT

* J-Braid Grand Island Blue 8LB mainline/J-Thread Flurocarbon 10lb leader

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