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Get to know Captain Joe Farr

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.

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. 

Joe Farr on a family fishing trip helping a young kid reel in a fish aboard his charter boat, which departs Blairgowrie (nearby Sorrento) on the Mornington Peninsula
Skipper Joe Farr smiles at the camera from his charter boat Seamphony, wearing a Joe Farr Fishing Charters boating shirt with the Joe Farr Fishing Charters logo in orange and blue

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!

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.

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“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!”



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.

Meg-an WindredGoogle Reviews
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Couldn’t recommend Joe’s Charters more!! Went on a sunrise charter with Joe and John, both really lovely guys - really easy going and friendly. My first ever fishing trip and they made it so enjoyable - would be a great charter for beginners to experienced, they cater to your level of experience.
Ben TeeTrip Advisor
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Excellent Fishing Charter for Families. Joe Farr fishing was one of the best fishing charters we have been on. We were two families with children and Joe and his deck hand made sure we were catching fish and squid. He ensured that we all had a great time on the bay. I personally recommend his boat for families with children as he was very accomodating. Cant wait to re book again when I am back in Melbourne.
Gianni Di CampliGoogle Reviews
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Thanks to Joe for a really enjoyable, action packed fishing trip! Heaps of fish, Joe was a confident and experienced guide, was helpful and great with the kids! Highly recommended!
Edward MTrip Advisor
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Much much better than we could’ve hoped for! Joe and John made it such a superb trip. Great fun for young kids. Caught flathead and calamari. Saw dolphins and seals. Lucky with weather but made even better with Joe and John running it. Highly recommend!
Cody WrightGoogle Reviews
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Joe is a great guy. He helps with the fish, fillets them, and evenly splits them among the boat. Very reasonable prices. The charters are a perfect length of time. I would highly recommend, and it is 100% worth the money.
Sophie RichardsonGoogle Reviews
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This was a fantastic and professional experience with Jo. Spotless boat. We went home with 1 huge bag of snapper and squid. Great value, will definitely be going back again. Thanks again Joe.
Bek BishopTrip Advisor
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We had THE most fabulous day. There was just my husband, myself and our 9 year old son on the charter with joe and we had a fabulous time. We caught plenty of fish and really enjoyed ourselves! This is our second charter with joe and we can’t wait for the next one! Joe is not only an excellent and knowledgeable fisherman, he is amazing with kids and is also an incredibly decent human being. Highly recommend!
The ETrip Advisor
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Great experience! Joe and John are the best - really nice people who care about your experience. Wouldn't book with anyone else!
DaveTrip Advisor
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Thanks Joe and your team - had a great day, relaxed but with purpose - to catch fish! Loved the personal touch on a boat with limited numbers. We travelled from Melbourne to Sorrento and would do it again every time.
AngusTrip Advisor
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Best Fishing Trip Ever! My name is Angus and I am 11 years old. We went on family fishing trip with Joe as a Christmas present. It was the best present I got! We started out very early and Joe took us to a spot to catch some Whiting. It was so exciting to finally catch a fish. They helped us cast our rods and put on bait and were extremely helpful. They taught us about the different types of fish. We then went and caught some Snapper and a Mackerel, then we caught some squid and at the end we went and saw a seal colony. We had lots of fish and calamari to take home and everyone was happy.
Paul PTrip Advisor
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Excellent Outing - never stopped trying to get us to hook up variety of fish all morning -which turned out to be quite good overall . Also the banter and camaraderie among fellow 5 fishers, Joe and decky was most enjoyable and really appreciated as it made it 'fun' morning.
Geoff LTrip Advisor
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Whiting and Calamari trip. Joe is one of the most knowledgeable person on fishing both within and outside of Port Phillip bay. Have been out a number of times and always had a great experience