Joe Farr with a bluefin tuna in Portland Victoria

Joe with a Bluefin Tuna caught offshore from Portland in Victoria


Joe holds a current Coxswain certificate with Marine Safety Transport Victoria meaning he is legally able to take passengers offshore up to 15 nautical miles. He also holds a valid Port Phillip Heads Endorsement meaning he is legally allowed to take passengers through Port Phillip Heads into Bass Strait. He holds a current first aid certificate.

A bit about Joe:

Born and raised in Gig Harbor, Washington state in the USA, (near Seattle), my backyard was the Puget Sound which was my equivalent to Port Phillip Bay or Westernport. I grew up on the water with a fishing rod in my hand and have never looked back. Beach spinning, downrigger trolling and mooching (drifting live and dead baits) for King and Silver salmon was what I lived for. I’ve followed the fish all over the world and have landed on the Mornington Peninsula with my Australian partner Emily. Since 2002 I’ve been fishing Port Phillip Bay and the Victorian Coastline non-stop. After suffering a severe workplace injury I had the opportunity to make a career change and saw charter fishing as a viable option I could sustain for years to come. It suddenly made so much sense that I could make a living out of what I loved, was good at and had grown up doing since I was three years old.

Joe Farr with a catch of Australian Salmon

When Joe’s not fishing, he’ll generally be found fishing.

After working as a deckhand on the Gold Coast, Darwin and Port Phillip Bay I went all out and purchased my first charter vessel, ‘Flying Fish’. I began my vision of running a service unique to the southern end of Port Phillip Bay – a specialty charter for NO MORE THAN 5 PEOPLE..for people who really love their fishing or were keen to give it a go. I wanted my charter to give clients the space to fish a couple of rods and to get the most out of their time on the water. I wanted a charter small enough that I could keep fresh bait on my client’s hooks and could provide them with the best opportunity to catch good fish, plus I could clean and fillet their catch for them. I wanted a charter that catered to small groups who wouldn’t usually have a say on what they’d like to do aboard the bigger group charters. Plus I wanted a family and tourist friendly charter where we could quickly change fishing spots or mix in a bit of sightseeing variety (like a visit to one of Port Phillip’s seal colonies or some of the cool historic structures in the middle of the Bay) to keep everyone entertained. ‘Flying Fish’ was small and quick enough for this.

Then one day ‘Seamphony’ was up for sale, a Steber 28 with an inboard motor. She was a similar length to ‘Flying Fish’ but a bit wider and with deck area where the outboard motors aboard ‘Flying Fish’ used to be, optimising on space. Plus she had all the mod cons including a heated indoor cabin and whats more, ‘Seamphony’ was originally built for the Coast Guard so she was a safe workhorse through and through. Perfect for a boat that gets used nearly every day!

Joe Farr reeling in a fish aboard Joe Farr Fishing Charters

Joe reeling one in alongside a customer so that everyone goes home with some fish, aboard ‘Flying Fish’

I bought ‘Seamphony’! She offered my clients more shelter than my previous charter and with more space for the same amount of people (now up to 6, legally 10), there is now room for some camping chairs and a few eskies! I’m really happy with ‘Seamphony’ and all of my clients are really impressed as well. I can see her fishing Port Phillip Bay far into the future.

I’ve fished all around the world but I love the lifestyle of operating fishing trips from Sorrento and Queenscliff into Port Phillip Bay. We’ve got an incredible variety of good eating fish that we can catch year round. We’ve got fish for all ages and abilities meaning that anybody from ages five to eighty five will enjoy their fishing. There’s an amazing amount of wildlife out there. I have come across little penguins, a huge variety of bird life, regular bottlenose dolphin visits, seen fur seals, turtles and have even had a Southern Right Whale and her calf swim right underneath my boat. You never know what you’re going to come across while you’re fishing, and every day it’s something new.

Joe Farr skipper of Joe Farr Fishing Charters from Sorrento Mornington Peninsula smiling at corporate clients on their fishing charter experience for stakeholders

Fishing is a fantastic hobby. It gets people outdoors, active, eating healthy and seeing things firsthand that they would never see from home or even from land! There’s nothing like the feeling of being a little fella and having your catch sitting there on the dinner table. And for me, there’s nothing like being able to get people out onto the water and give them the opportunity to learn to love fishing as much as me!

See you on board!