Steer clear of ships while chasing kingfish in the Rip

With many Victorians on holidays and the weather heating up, we expect to see Victorian recfishers taking the opportunity to get out onto the water for a fish with family and friends. As the water temperature rises, yellowtail kingfish become a popular target for fishers in the Bay.

With Port Phillip Bay being a popular area for fishing, boating and yachting as well as other water based activities, it is important to be aware that it is also a pathway for large commercial ships travelling to and from the ports in Melbourne and Geelong.

The ‘canyons’ in the Rip provide an ideal structure for kingfish and combined with the strong comeback of kingfish in Victorian waters, there has been an increase in the number of boats accessing the fishery.

For those fishing in Port Phillip Bay, it is important to remember to Steer Clear of the Ships in the Rip, to ensure the safety of all fishers within the area. Any recreational fishers who fish within the Port Phillip Bay area should familiarise themselves with the following tips to safely and responsibly enjoy all that Port Phillip Bay has to offer.

Vessels must not anchor or drift within the transit only zone (TOZ). Please keep to the landside of the TOZ beacons which have a yellow cross on top.

Ships can weigh more than 150,000 tonnes and cannot change course suddenly. They often are travelling faster than you think.


  • Anchoring and trolling in the rip is extremely dangerous
  • The Rip in Port Phillip Bay is a high traffic area for ships
  • Don’t leave it too late.
  • If you cannot see the ship’s bridge they cannot see you
  • Steer clear of ships at all times
  • Ships cannot alter course in the rip
  • Penalties may apply


  • Covers the Port Melbourne Channel south of Breakwater Pier, the water approximately 500 metres to the west and 200 metres to the east of that channel
  • Includes the Eastern By-Pass Channel and the Western By-Pass Channel (beside the Port Melbourne Channel)
  • Extends approximately 3 nautical miles to the south of Fawkner Beacon.

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