Hooked On Bellarine: The free one-day seafood and fishing festival coming in October

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Hooked On Bellarine: The free one-day seafood and fishing festival coming in October

With free kids fishing clinics, cooking demonstrations and a waterfront backdrop, a visit to Portarlington’s ‘Hooked on Bellarine’ extravaganza is a must.

Whether it’s catching your own dinner with a rod and a line, or slurping up plump mussels, everyone has a sweet spot for seafood.

Eating and experiencing the ocean’s finest bounty is one of life’s simple pleasures, and we know the region thrives on getting together for a community festival, so when we discovered an event that naturally combines the two, it was love.

Keep up with the latest local food and booze news here.

Meet ‘Hooked On Bellarine’, the back with a vengeance seafood and fishing festival heading to Portarlington this October.

Destined to be a one-day Nirvana for recreational fishers and lovers of seafood, the family-friendly event will shine a light on the Bellarine Peninsula as a seafood and fishing mecca on the doorstep of Geelong and an easy day trip from Melbourne.

Taking place on Sunday, October 9, seafood enthusiasts will be able to feast on pescatarian treats, learn the art of fishing, and take home a new skill with cooking demonstrations while surrounded by the stunning sea view backdrop from the Portarlington Safe Harbour foreshore.

Kicking off from 10am, the foreshore will transform into a thriving hub with free ‘come and try’ fishing clinics for kids and novices (with rods, bait and tackle all provided), free casting clinics, free kids activities, free fly casting clinics, and have the opportunity to chat to Tigers legend and VFA Ambassador Bachar Houli; Dr Corey Green from Fisheries about snapper, whiting and calamari research; and with Women in Recreational Fishing Network (WIRF) leaders who will share filleting and fishing tips for all.

There will also be an opportunity for punters to improve their seafood cooking skills with demonstrations and recipes that everyone can try at home, including dishes featuring locally grown mussels.

Festival punters will be able to buy fresh mussels and cooked delights, along with strolling through the market stalls showcasing locally made goods. Expect to find mussels, paella pans, the freshest fish and chips, among much more.

Hosted by the Victorian Fisheries Authority, the event coincides with the annual ‘Gone Fishing Day’, an Australian-wide event that celebrates fishing across the nation.

Whether it’s fly fishing, pier fishing or beach fishing, the appeal is all about the experience – the sense of adventure, exhilaration, and freedom that comes from being in and around Australia’s incredible array of waterways. Gone Fishing Day aims to champion that and challenge people to broaden their horizons and explore a new part of the wonderful world of fishing and waterways we have here in Australia. From exploring new rivers, lakes or stretches of coast for the first time to chasing a new target species, fishing is all about the journey to the unknown, full of anticipation, and that’s what keeps people coming back.

And that’s exactly what Hooked On Bellarine aims to celebrate.

To further celebrate the National day, a Victorian recreational fishing licence will not be required on National Gone Fishing Day anywhere in the state.

Fun, free lessons and the bounty of culinary delights over one seafood-filled day, what could be better?

Hooked On Bellarine takes place at Portarlington Safe Harbour foreshore on Sunday, October 9 from 10am-4pm. You can find out more about the event and book in for free clinics here