Fishing Mordialloc Pier

Mordialloc Pier is a beautiful long pier extending 174 metres (570.86 feet). Located in the Melbourne bayside suburb of Mordialloc.  It provides excellent land-based fishing of Port Phillip Bay. Due…

Mordialloc Pier is a beautiful long pier extending 174 metres (570.86 feet).

Located in the Melbourne bayside suburb of Mordialloc.  It provides excellent land-based fishing of Port Phillip Bay.

Due to Mordialloc Pier’s length, it offers a variety of fishing opportunities.  However, fishing can be tough at times, probably more so than in the past. 

It’s not clear if this is due to pollution from the creek, fishing pressure, or the most likely reason – the massive dredging undertaken in the bay in recent years.

That’s the only reason I’ve given this awesome pier a Fishability Score of only 4.  Having done so doesn’t mean it produces no fish. 

It does. 

But you’re going to have to put some effort in.  That means Berley…

Berley, known as “chum” in some places, refers to fish attracting items that are thrown, cast or submerged into the water when fishing.

The idea is to not “feed the fish” but provide a reason for them to move towards your bait or lures.

In other words “bringing them into you.

For this reason, berley is often very fine, with strong flavours.

For example tuna oil, aniseed, garlic, sea salt and even the blood from offal – such as chicken offal. and experimenting with baits.

Just keep in mind it’s illegal to create berley in Victoria using the blood or offal from a mammal.

This is to prevent shark attack upon humans. So please stick to fish and chicken and stay legal!

Mordialloc Pier Observations & Notes

Target fish species includes Summer Snapper off the deep water end of the structure.  King George Whiting, Bream, Flathead and Calamari (squid.)

The pier has a shelter block (kind of like bus shelters) about 2/3rds of the way down for protection from rain – and wind. Depending on the prevailing direction (south, west or easterly particularly.) This is a relatively unique feature on Melbourne Piers. I’ve used it during a strong Westerly blow. It can make those conditions more tolerable.

Mordialloc Pier is listed as Spot #6 on the Victorian Fisheries Authority website.

When fishing the pier it’s important to keep in mind its length and height.  Because it’s long, but relatively close to the water extremely large waves can break over the pier.  In rough weather, this can be a safety hazard.

It can be very slippy and being swept off the pier has happened.

In fact, it’s claimed the lives of people fishing, during those conditions, over the years.

On the other hand that’s when fishing can be at its best. Just remember no fish is worth your life!

Some of the best fishing at Mordialloc Pier is had when there’s a really strong south-westerly wind blowing. Those are the conditions that see the large snapper moving into range off the pier.

Beyond larger – and rarer – snapper during a big wind from the south-west – there’s often a lot of smaller pinkies (immature, but some legal-sized, snapper.)

Mordialloc Pier Rough Weather
Mordialloc Pier Fishing In Rough Weather

For bream and garfish fish the left side (east) of the pier, next to the Mordialloc Creek estuary.

While to the right (west) side of the pier fish for garfish, whiting, pinkie snapper and flathead.

The west side (right) around a third to two thirds up is great for squid” (calamari]) jigging. That’s because there is plenty of seagrasses, interspersed with sandy patches. Squid forage on the sand and use the seagrasses for darting back into quick cover.

The seagrasses are attractive to whiting too.  But be aware that it’s easy to get snagged up in the reed here.  Particularly if you are using a sinker. If targetting fish at this section – rather than squid – and using a sinker try a Weedless Rig.

While you are fishing Mordialloc Pier make sure to keep an eye out for the stingrays. There tend to be a lot of them at times. They will take a variety of baits but are more of a hindrance than anything. Take care not to harm these beautiful creatures.

Remember that toadfish are a fully protected species in Australia. They are poisonous to eat, so must be returned unharmed to the water – by law in Victoria. Mordialloc Pier seems to produce a lot of them at times.

Mordialloc Pier is near much of Melbourne’s Eastern and North Eastern suburbs, compared to other great saltwater fishing spots – like Mornington and Frankston. So I tend to drive down fairly regularly in the summer months to drop in a line.

From personal experience and observation of others, the best catches of snapper, pinkies and flathead seem to come off the very end of the pier – facing into Port Phillip Bay. This is likely due to the offshore reef located just beyond this point – and the deeper water.

I’ve found you’ve got to get there pretty early to get a spot at the end. I’ve been there in the summer months at 4:00 am and keener (or more local) anglers have already taken up position.

DIY Fishing Trolley Cart - Step By Step Instructions To Make Your Own

What Fish Can You Catch At Mordialloc Pier?

Australian Salmon

While schools of Australian Salmon can appear all year round it is during the cooler months that the action hots up.

Aussie salmon are difficult to predict. The schools of fish tend to appear creating what is often called a “bust-up.”

A bust-up refers to how they are often spotted leaping from the water as they smash their way through baitfish. Spoons, surface lures and soft plastics can be an excellent way to target this species.

Especially during a bust-up.

Australian Salmon

Spotting a school can be easy as not only are they often visible breaking the surface of the water, but they’re often accompanied by whirling seabirds such as seagulls.

Certainly gets your heart pumping with excitement!

Sadly it’s pretty common for the school to move on and the action stops as quickly as it began.

Black Bream

Mordialloc Pier makes a great environment for Black Bream. With the structure afforded by the pier itself and the Mordialloc Creek Estuary with it’s moored boats.

I can’t emphasise enough the need to use berley when fishing for bream at Mordialloc. I also recommend strongly the use of attractant* to mask smells on the bait or lure. Bream are very picky and sensitive.

Many people believe that petrol, tobacco etc on your fingers can impact your fishing success. I agree with them on this.

You’ll see a lot of people fishing for black bream on the pier facing towards the Mordialloc Creek estuary mouth.

Though bream are present right the way along the pier on all sides.

Black Bream

Most of these folks are using baits like the traditional Pippi, whitebait, bluebait and even squid. Others use chicken, often treated with their own “secret sauce.”

They’ll usually do this fishing pretty light, in terms of terminal tackle. Though many use the massive European style fixed rod (no reel) often between 12 to 18 feet in length.

It’s actually quite interesting to watch them work these setups. They also seem to be fairly effective in catching fish!

Others fish using more common spinning rods, preferring to use soft plastics, surface and diving lures.

There’s not a lot of need to cast far to reach the fish. Fishing close to the pier structure works well for Bream. In fact, if you’re targetting Bream keeping close and even underneath structure, like the pier, is a perfect tactic.

Just be wary of getting snagged on the pylons as the fish run with your tackle.

Mordialloc Pier Fishing With Long Rods

Calamari (Squid)

Calamari is best fished to the north western edge of the pier.

The first 1/3rd of the pier being best, adjacent to some great sea
grass zones, along with sandy patches.

Excellent squid territory!

Try for squid when the water is clear and rains haven’t muddied the water from the creek.

I tend to find the cooler months, between May and August to be better for squid fishing at Mordialloc Pier.

Calamari

I’ve personally had more success with squid jigs* that are darker in colour with some brighter sections. For example black with neon green can be very effective here.

Use a light spinning rod. 6 to 7 foot is great. Certainly no longer than 9ft. A good clear mono leader is ideal. I’ve had success casting and slowly retrieving, as well as suspending a jig under a float and twitching.

Flathead

In years gone by I’ve caught big and small flathead along the entire length of the pier.

However, in recent years I’ve found flathead to be less common here. I suspect this is due to the massive dredging and subsequent silting, from where they dump the dredged up mud to the south of the bay.

So for flatties, the much deeper water off the end of the pier facing south seems to be the optimal location now.

I usually fish with a spinning rod. 8 to 10 feet being comfortable. The latter giving me a little more range for reaching the reef location due south of the pier end.

My personal favourite bait being chicken, with my secret sauce. However, pipis, whitebait, bluebait, pilchards and squid tentacles are all very effective.

Flathead fishing Mordialloc Pier

You might like to consider a running sinker for flathead if bait fishing. Though a paternoster can be equally effective.

A lot of folks use soft plastics. They do so with great success at Mordialloc. For myself, however, bait has tended to win hands down. Observation suggests their success lies with motor oil and darker soft plastics. Neither of which I’ve tried here – and you definitely should!

Garfish

While fairly bony Garfish make an excellent table fish.

The best time to target Garfish is between July and December. This is true throughout most of the Port Phillip and Westernport Bay region.

Fish light. Very light. No more than a 6 lb line (4 lb is good) with size 10 to 12 long-shank hooks being ideal.

You do not need a large rod for garfish. Anything from 6 to 9 feet maximum is perfect. Unless you’re using the long rod, no reel, technique and gear I mentioned, earlier. In which case you just drop the line into the water directly from the rod with your choice of float.

Small pieces of fish, chicken and even bread all make great garfish baits.

Garfish

My favourite method is using a feeder float filled with breadcrumbs, a little garlic and small pieces of fish.

The float suspends above the hooks. You can buy these already made up as rigs from some tackle stores. Neptune Tackle makes a nice one.

Other people use pencil floats. Once again you can make these up yourself or buy a pre-made rig.

Feeder Float

King George Whiting

While there are reports each year of King George Whiting catches off the Mordialloc Pier I have not caught as many here as I have in places such as the Altona Pier.

My preference is for a whiting rig* pretty much the same as I use everywhere – a paternoster.

A pre-made rig* makes this quick and painless.

Keep the sinker light, though a pre-made rig* for whiting usually has the correct sinker weight already included.

In terms of bait for whiting at Mordialloc Pier consider pipis, whitebait, squid, pilchards, prawns and even chicken.

I always add some attractant to the bait as well as making sure I use a good berley.

Mullet

Mullet can be caught off the pier at Mordialloc, as well as from the creek.

To target Mullet, you need to fish light. There are dedicated Mullet pre-made rig* designed specifically for Mullet that I tend to use.

You don’t need a big rod. Any 6 to 9 foot spinning rod will do.

Use berley, breadcrumbs are good, while using bait such as pipis, small pieces of fish or chicken.

Mullet make a great target fish for kids. They are perfectly editable (not to bad actually) and I recommend them as a good introductory species.

Snapper & Pinky Snapper

Catches of Snapper are taken every year at Mordialloc Pier.

Generally you’ll find immature snapper – know as Pinky Snapper or Pinkies – are pretty abundant. Some legal size.

The big mature snapper are more often caught during a big blow from the south or south west.

Just take care during these conditions. Waves can and do break over the pier making it very dangerous!

If you’re unsure on rigs take a look at my pre-made rig review for more information on what’s available.

For large snapper, you’ll need larger hooks, sinkers and a rod to match. Rod size from 7 to 10 feet is about right. With a reel size of around 4000 – 6000 to balance it.

For Pinkies I’d recommend lighter gear, even a rig that’s designed for Whiting.

You can target snapper using lures or try you hand using bait. Good baits include pilchards, bluebait, whitebait and squid tentacles.

I personally target pinky snapper using chicken breast. Spiced up with my own secret sauce.

Silver Trevally

While I’ve never caught Silver Trevally at Mordialloc a lot of folks do at times.

Though I suspect for most people they are more of a by-catch than something they are specifically targeting at Mordi.

If the Trevally are on baits like pilchards, squid, pipis and even chicken will work.

Regular spinning tackle with a 7 to 10 foot rod is good.

Use a running sinker or a paternoster rig*. Either will work well. A rig intended for flathead, whiting or even snapper will catch Silver Trevally, depending on the size of the fish in the school.

Bait & Tackle For Mordialloc Pier

Above I’ve mentioned some of the tackle I use on a species by species basis. This is because I firmly believe you will have more success targeting a specific species than going along trying to “catch anything.”

The fact is – when targeting one species it’s often possible to catch other species as a by-catch.

However, if I was going to recommend a “general rig” for Mordialloc Pier that will help you target a range of species I’d recommend a Whiting style paternoster rig. Using a small to medium sized reel (300o to 5000) and 6 to 10 lb line. Braid if you prefer, with a 15 to 20 lb leader.

Bait wise – try squid tentacles for a durable bait. Pipis, pilchards, whitebait, bluebait, beach worms and even chicken breast are all great options.

If you are using squid tentacles I’d recommend combining it with another one of the suggested baits above. Squid can be used to help keep softer baits on the hook longer. Creating a kind of “bait cocktail.”



Download Free Fishing Map

You can download this map based on my observations and experience of fishing at Mordialloc Pier for free.

Take it with you. Share it with a friend!

I’ve marked in the species and the zones on Mordialloc Pier that will help you to make sure you are more likely to be in the right place for the right fish.




Mordialloc Pier Directions & Location

Address: Mordialloc Pier, Mordialloc VIC, Australia
Lat: -38.0111573
Lng: 145.0841218
Proximity: 26km from Melbourne via Nepean Highway

Mordialloc Beach

During the summer months, Mordialloc beach gets pretty crowded. From swimmers, sunbakers to the local beach volleyball clubs.

Mordialloc Beach runs adjacent (to the west) of Mordialloc Pier.

That means there’s not a lot of room for fishing there during the day.  Especially during sunny weather. 

However, in the cooler months, or on days where people are less likely to use the beach, it can be a great place to fish.


Fish Species To Target

Catches can include Australian Salmon, whiting, pinky snapper, flathead and bream.

Unless you're going to wade out you are going to need a beach rod at least 9 to 10 feet. Use a sinker only heavy enough to get you the distance you need.

This will help you to cast a little further out from the shallows.

Baits include soft plastics, pipis, whitebait, pilchards, squid and chicken.

The main beach is located to the right of the pier.

A beach rod of around 10 foot is ideal. Fishing light though, unless you need the weight because of the wind.

There is however another beach on the other side of the Mordialloc Creek. This beach extends from the creek area to the adjoining suburb of Aspendale. 

While I have not fished it I have observed that it is often less used by swimmers at the creek end. Though less accessible.  It would certainly warrant further investigation for fishing opportunities.

Kayak Fishing Off The Beach

It's technically possible to launch a kayak from the beach. This can be a challenge when it's busy, or when the car-park is full.

You'll also need to navigate some fencing, gates, etc. I'd recommend considering the Mordialloc boat ramp for launching. It's just more accessible.


Beach Location & Map




Mordialloc Pier Tackle Shops

Game Fishing Fever


Address: Game Fishing Fever Mordialloc
Latitude: -37.988126
Longitude: 145.1077772

Owned and operated by Lee Rayner and Lee McDuffie Game Fishing Fever fishing tackle shop in Mordialloc “…was born from the pairs unhealthy obsession with game fishing…” according to their website.

Game Fishing Fever Mordialloc

They carry a wide range of fishing tackle, bait and supplies.

This includes frozen bait favourites such as pilchards, pipis, squid, whitebait, bluebait and prawns.

A great place to visit before heading out to the pier, creek or before embarking on a boat fishing trip on the bay

I’m inclined to prefer supporting bait and tackle shops over “big box stores” whenever possible.

That’s because smaller stores generally have local advice. Their bait is nearly always managed better and tends to be fresher (even frozen bait goes stale).

Plus – they represent examples of real small businesses who provide local employment for both the owners and community.

So, to me, it’s just common sense to support smaller bait and tackle stores whenever possible.




Videos




Location Review & Rating


Pros

  • Close and easy access via Nepean Highway
  • 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.
  • Shelter provided 2/3rds down the pier for wet weather protection.

Cons

  • Parking good, but can work out expensive during the day.
  • Toilets unpredictable.  Sometimes fair - sometimes rancid.
  • Can be a gathering point for youth gangs and evidence of drug use at times in toilets and scrub areas along the foreshore.
  • Creek polluted, so avoid eating fish taken from the creek - catches from the pier are fine.

Review Overview

Fishability
Pier Condition
Public Toilets
Parking
Family Friendly

Summary

I'd rate Mordialloc Pier 5 stars in fishability if it wasn't for the fact that fish catches are definitely down compared to past years.

This, in my opinion, is due to the extensive channel dredging in Port Phillip Bay for the super freighters undertaken in recent years.

It is likely that once the dredging stops, again my opinion, fish numbers will gradually be restored.

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.