Kilcunda Surf Fishing

Kilcunda and surf fishing are synonymous. I've fished here for Australian Salmon, Tailor and even Gummy Sharks since 1979! It's well worth a visit. There's some good accomodation available. So you can make it a weekend away. Although it's certainly close enough to Melbourne for a day trip.

I’ve fished Kilcunda on and off since 1982. Quite accidentally in fact.

I was studying Geography in my final HSC year at High School. Each person had to study an aspect of the coastal system at Kilcunda.

What did I choose?

“The spatial distribution of fisherman and fish catches” in the Kilcunda area of course!

Naturally this required interviewing fishermen and fisherwomen. To do this I had to go incognito onto the beach. Surf rod* in hand.

You get the idea! Yes – I passed the Research Project in flying colours. Having had a ball doing it. Catching lots of fish!

Kilcunda – Three Fishing Environments

The Kilcunda area is actually broken up into three distinct kinds of fishing. Though it’s normally associated with surf fishing from the beautiful nine kilometres of ocean beach. The fact is it also has excellent rock fishing opportunities. Plus some estuary fishing on the Powlett River.

Needless to say I’ve tried all three many times.

Kilcunda Surf Beach
Image Credit Kilcunda Railway Bridge Zzrbiker

9km Of Beautiful Pristine Ocean Beach Fishing

From the rocks of Black Head below the caravan park to the Powlett River is 9km of unbroken ocean beaches.

My favourite surf fishing spot was just below and slightly to the left of the cemetery. Sometimes called the Blue Hole.

Standing on the old railway line, looking towards the breakers you’ll see a darker blue area.

This hole is a great place to cast and catch species like Australian Salmon and Tailor.

There are a large number of these holes along the length of the beach. Some of them to change according to current and weather action.

Spotting them is always easiest from atop the dunes.

Kilcunda Beach Surf Fish

  • Australian Salmon Australian Salmon
  • Tailor Tailor
  • Mullet Mullet
  • Gummy Shark Gummy Shark
  • Shark (Other Than Gummy:School) School Sharks
  • Leatherjacket Kilcunda Leatherjacket (off the Rocks at Black Head
  • Luderick Kilcunda Luderick (off the Rocks at Black Head

Surf Beach Tackle & Bait

Elastic Bait Thread
Elastic Bait Thread*

While I’ve seen people using 9-foot spinning rods here I’m going to suggest you try an absolute minimum of a 10-foot beach rod. However – I recommend you use a surf rod of 12-foot and up*.

The reason is – to reach the “holes” in between the breakers you’re going to need the rod length to match the necessary casting distance. You’ll also want to make sure you’re using a hefty sinker. A star surf style sinker is ideal. The current is pretty strong here.

Bait wise – I recommend tough baits – or at least bait that’s held onto your hook with some bait holding thread*.

A Paternoster Rig* is a great choice. Though a running sinker works well too.

Regardless of the rig I always add some flash to the bait. Such as luminous skirts and beads.

Good Bait Choices At Kilcunda

Leatherjacket Kilcunda
Luderick Kilcunda
  • Pilchards
  • Whitebait
  • Bluebait
  • Squid
  • Mullet or Whiting Tails
  • Chicken – as always I have mine marinated in my secret sauce.
  • Soft plastics – like Gulp sandworms* right on the hook
  • Pipi, Prawns & Small Crabs for Luderick and Leatherjackets.

Black Head Rock Fishing – Fun But Dangerous

Fishing the rocks at Black Head, Kilcunda is certainly a lot of fun – but it comes with the caveat that a number of people have lost their lives doing so.

black head kilcunda fishing

Please – if you’re going to go rock hopping, particularly on ocean rock platforms, wear appropriate gear. Spike shoes are a must. So is a life jacket.

Do not – ever – turn your back on the ocean. Remember that it is the odd wave that catches you unaware. They are not a question of “if” but “when.”

At Kilcunda catches of Australian Salmon and Tailor are possible off of the rocks. As are Leatherjackets and species such as Luderick.

Powlett River Estuary

The Powlett River estuary is often blocked at the sea. Causing it to swell out at the mouth like a giant, shallow lake.

Sitting on the sand dunes and casting out as far as you can often yield small Australian Salmon and at times some fair-sized bream.

Toadfish are a major hassle in the Powlett River. Remember to return them safely to the water alive. They are fully protected.

Bourne Creek

The Bourne Creek estuary rarely flows through to the sea, except after major flooding. The beach acts as a major sandbar.

The creek is shallow and doesn’t contain much by the way of fishing opportunities. However it does make an excellent swimming hole and is safer than swimming in the surf.

Bourne Creek also makes an excellent land mark for surf fishing. There are some excellent holes to fish out into the surf here from the surf beach.

Final Note On Kilcunda

One of the saddest things to happen in Victoria in recent decades, in my opinion, is the addition of the wind turbines and the desalination plant.

They look bloody awful!

mutton bird kilcunda

These projects were added, purportedly, to assist with environmental issues in Victoria. Namely the generation of “clean electric power” with the wind turbines. It’s debatable how much power they produce for the grid. However, examination at their base shows their affect on Mutton Birds that nest in the dunes. I have seen large numbers of these birds dead at the base of the turbines suggesting they are flying into the blades.

To be fair the Mutton Birds do die in the dunes yearly due to Winter storms. So I cannot say for certain what degree the wind turbines are responsible.

The desalination plant is yet to be used at the potential for its intended purpose, even though it has been ready for many years now. Its introduction was hotly debated due to its impact on dinosaur fossils in the area.



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.