Fishing Gem Pier

Gem Pier in Williamstown is steeped in history. So if you’d like to try an awesome experience of mixing fishing along with some fantastic Melbourne history –…

Gem Pier in Williamstown is steeped in history. So if you’d like to try an awesome experience of mixing fishing along with some fantastic Melbourne history – give Gem Pier a try! Plus you can get pretty close to some of the Australian Navies ships when they’re docked.

Gem Pier in Williamstown is listed as a historical site due to its connection with the navy. The pier is close to Melbourne which means it gets pretty busy with both people fishing and tourists. 

However, being steeped in history


I’d look at fishing weekdays, evenings or early mornings to avoid crowds in warmer weather. During weekends and on public holidays, Gem Pier is really too busy for my taste. But it is an excellent land-based fishing option.

gem pier

A lot of Pinkies, Flathead and Bream get reported as caught from the pier at times. Often on pilchards and prawns.

But I’ve seen some effective use of soft plastics for Flathead, too.

Some fisho’s claiming it tends to get more bites than when fishing Altona Pier. But in my own experience, this hasn’t been the case.

I tend to find it a bit busy quite often. There’s a lot of shipping traffic, at times the navy births here.

In terms of bait. The most common bay baits seem to work well. Pippis, squid, pilchards, whitebait, sandworms, chicken and of course prawns.

I’d recommend keeping the hook size down and the lines lightweight. Some of the smaller flathead and whiting rigs sold commercially would be a good fit.

Paddle-tail soft plastics perform well on flathead, bream and pinkies. They should not be overlooked as an effective alternative to bait.

Keep your rods on the shorter side. I wouldn’t consider anything over a 9-foot spinning rod in length. Paired with a 300 spinning reel would see you about right.

If fishing bait, in my opinion, you can’t go too far wrong with a nice lightweight paternoster rig*.

This should keep your bait above the weeds and debris at the bottom. While giving you the chance of trying out bait cocktails to see which works. Eg: One bait on one hook, another kind on the other.

Finally – I’d definitely use berley – mostly because it works, but also because other anglers rarely do. It can make the difference between landing a fish and random nibbles.

Gem Pier Fish Species

Fish Species Suggested Bait

Flathead
All Year Round. Can be more sluggish during cooler months.
Often more active between late September and March.

Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Chicken Liver, Flathead Fillets, Mullet Fillets, Mussels, Nippers, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Squid, Squid Hoods, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait, Whiting Fillets

Australian Salmon
All Year Round
Common for schools to move through, chopping up the water before moving on. Can be common during cooler months.

Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Flathead Fillets, Mullet Fillets, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Squid Hoods, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait, Whiting Fillets

Black Bream
All Year Round.
Can become less active during Winter. Activity picking up late August. Active during warmer months.

Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Crabs, Earthworms, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Whitebait

All Year Round.
Often targeted during July to August in Port Phillip & Western Port Bay


Whiting
November to April
Known to migrate from Victoria to South Australia during cooler months.

Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait

Mullet
All Year Round.
Can sometimes be the only game in town during cooler weather.

Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Earthworms, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Squid Tentacles

Pinky Snapper
All Year Round. But much more prevalent during warmer months.
October through to March.

Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Flathead Fillets, Mullet Fillets, Pilchards, Pipis, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait, Whiting Fillets

Snapper
Later September to end of March.
Adult specimens often come closer towards shore to feed on reefs during rougher weather.

Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Crabs, Flathead Fillets, Mullet Fillets, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Squid, Squid Hoods, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait, Whiting Fillets

*Some fish species vary according to time of year and local environmental conditions.

Pier Address

Address: Gem Pier, Syme Street, Williamstown VIC, Australia
Lat: -37.8620874
Lng: 144.9053318
Proximity: 14.6 km from Melbourne's GPO via M1

Location Review & Rating


Pros

  • Close and easy access most Melbourne suburbs
  • Family-friendly  - children under strict supervision
  • Good range of fish habitats and fish species
  • In the right conditions, you can target big Snapper
  • In clear, calm conditions Squid fishing can be productive.

Cons

  • Parking good, but can work out expensive during the day.
  • Toilets I'd rate as fair but often poor, not at all predictable.
  • Busy during summer months.

Review Overview

Fishability
Pier Condition
Public Toilets
Parking
Family Friendly

Summary

Gem Pier, even just for a visit and not fishing, is well worth the trip.

It has a history going back to the 19th century and the early years of Melbourne.

Fishing wise it's always been productive.  Bream and flathead being fairly common catches.

4

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Dave
Dave

G'day!

I'm Dave, I live and fish in and around Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
When it comes to fishing I love going out to land-based fishing spots, heading out in the tinny (aka an Aluminum Boat) and kayak fishing.

I've been fishing since I was a teen. Beginning way back in the 1970s. It was a hobby I picked up myself as my family certainly had no interest. Making me the black sheep! My favourite fish is Flathead and Snapper. Though I'm partial to Flake (Gummy Shark) and Calamari too! While I enjoy fishing for freshwater species like Redfin and Murray Cod I prefer eating saltwater species. They're just so mouth-wateringly tasty!

I love writing about some of my favourite Melbourne Fishing Spots while fishing around Victoria. As well as the tackle I use and test.
If you see me while you're out fishing say "G' day" - I'll be the one in a bush hat.

When I'm not fishing I'm working on my websites, such as Getfished, or writing computer software (my profession.)

I try to be as accurate as possible on this website. Most of the information is based on personal experience. However, if you spot an error or think there's something that I should add - no worries! Please use the Contact Form.