Fishing Sandringham has proven to be very successful … Read More.. about Fishing Sandringham Jetties, Rockwall & By Kayak
Last Updated on by
Port Melbourne is the closest Port Phillip Bay fishing to the city.
Many of the local fishing spots are shared with commercial activity. Being Melbourne’s principal port the navy, ferry service to Tasmania and container ships use the area.
As such some areas are off-limits permanently, while others close according to usage. For example, Station Pier closes when the Spirit of Tasmania is docked.
Other nearby piers, that are always open for fishing, include Kerford Road Pier and Lagoon Pier.
Like many fishing spots nearby to Melbourne and suburbs the area is fairly heavily fished and there are many days when things are very quiet.
That’s not to say good catches aren’t taken. When the fish are on these spots can be excellent. Much of the area is adjacent to the Yarra River estuary system, which includes the Maribyrnong river.
Given the commercial usage of the area, the fact that it’s been heavily fished since European settlement it still produces large numbers of fish. Plus – it’s relatively easy to fish.
It produces some good-sized bream, mullet and flathead. While the odd mulloway can be targeted by those prepared to do the hard work needed to catch these monsters.
In the lower reaches of the Yarra estuary, pinky snapper is quite common, too. Plus, on occasion, larger adult snapper is taken.
Except for the unexpected catch, some surprising species make their way into the area at times.
A firm favourite fishing spot, going back to the nineteenth century, Station Pier Port Melbourne is located on Beach Street.
Fish species vary from Bream, Flathead to Pinky Snapper, adult Snapper and Whiting. Not to mention garfish at times and of course calamari (squid.)
When fishing the pier it should be remembered that at times it’s closed to fishing. This is because the pier is used for docking the Melbourne to Tasmania passenger ferry “Spirit of Australia.”
Other cruise ships and even naval vessels use the pier to dock from time to time.
Look, if you’re living in the inner suburbs around the city, or a Port Melbourne local then this is a great pier, in my opinion.
Stick to the legal limit of two rods. Take a net for landing your catch as you’ll find it easier than straining a catch up this high structure with just the hook and line.
I personally fish this pier using lighter tackle. No more than a 10lb line – or less. Keep your hook size down.
I recommend a rod no longer than 9 foot.
I generally use a paternoster rig, but on occasion have used a running sinker with success as well.
At times there’s a lot of foot traffic sightseeing. Both other fishos and people boarding ships and ferries. As well as well-wishers seeing people off.
So be cautious casting and keep an eye out for other peoples kids and your tackle.
Good baits include pillies, chicken, whitebait, prawns and sandworms. Most soft plastics will fish well here, too.
For calamari, I tend to prefer to put a float above the jig. But most people generally cast the jig and retrieve their squid jigs the normal way, without having a float attached. A matter of fishing style and preference, really.
However, if you’re living further afield, the west, outer north and outer eastern suburbs then there are other piers, not closed for shipping, that will be more worthwhile to visit.
Don’t overlook the fishing opportunities along the banks of the Yarra estuary, either.
Lagoon Pier is known to produce fish all year round. Because it’s so close to the city it can get busy at times.
I’ve tended to catch smaller flathead and pinkies here. Most I returned to the water, a few were of legal size. Some fishos report catching bream, mullet, salmon and trevally.
The pier can be a good spot for calamari at times.
Fish Lagoon Pier light. Standard spinning rod of 8′ to 9′ in length.
I’ve found the fish tend to start biting here on the tide change. Like many pier fishing spots on Port Phillip strong wind conditions tend to see an increase in snapper catches.
There’s a lot of rocks, so you need to cast out a bit further to avoid snagging your line on them.
For this reason, I tend to use a paternoster rig at Lagoon pier – along with a break-off sinker that I fasten with a cut-down hairclip.
I also tend to fish with lighter tackle, no more than a 10lb mainline, up to 15 to 20lb leader.
A whiting style paternoster rig makes a good all-round rig on these kinds of piers in my opinion.
A spinning rod with a length of around 8′ to 9′ is ideal. Some fishos recommend a running sinker. I personally prefer a paternoster rig here.
Soft plastics work well as lures. You can try a variety of retrieval techniques, as well as “bait and wait” fishing with sandworm or prawn soft-plastics set up on a standard paternoster rig.
As with all fishing, berley is your friend at Lagoon Pier. Breadcrumbs, tuna oil, chicken, garlic, aniseed all make good ingredients for your berley.
Good baits include pilchards, whitebait, prawns, sandworm, pippies and chicken.
Snapper and pinkies are more likely on the rising and high tide. While the low tide and running out seems to be when flathead’s on.
Note – the restriction on two fishing lines only here.
Kerferd Road Pier produces the usual fishing suspects on Port Phillip Bay.
Snapper, Flathead, Flounder, Trevally and Mullet and Calamari are all caught by anglers.
There’s the odd big snapper – especially during a big blow, with the vast majority of catches being smaller pinky snapper and flathead.
Fish the rising tide for snapper and pinkies, the low and running out tide for flathead.
Keep in mind, as with all fishing spots, these rules are never hard and fast.
You’ll catch different species of fish at different times, quite at odds with generalised advice.
A lot of fishos choose pilchards, raw chicken breast and squid.
Personally I’ve used whitebait, bluebait, prawns as well as soft plastics successfully at Kerferd Road Pier.
When fishing with bait I generally use a paternoster rig here. Though, on occasion will select a running sinker if the water is a bit rough.
Like all Piers close to the city this pier can get pretty busy. Split between folks fishing and people sightseeing.
Parking can be difficult at the weekend and public holidays. Also later in the day in warmer weather. Parking is not free beachside, but there is some free parking in the backstreets. Just make note of the signs.
I’ve found it can get pretty busy later in the afternoon and early morning.
So in the warmer months, it pays to get there a little earlier.
Recent upgrades have done a lot to restore usage of this pier, after being closed for some time. So it feels nice and solid underfoot again.
The Yarra Estuary on the Port Melbourne side of the river is a good spot to take the kids fishing.
Generally, I stick to the embankment just to the north and below the Westgate bridge. There’s a channel to cast out into for deeper water. Be careful of snags as the Yarra River estuary here contains quite a few rocky snags at and below the drop-off for the shipping channel.
Flathead, bream and mullet are the target species for many fishos here. Pinky snapper is also amongst the more common catches here.
For those up to the challenge, the prized mulloway does frequent the Yarra Estuary right up to Richmond.
While there is a small floating pontoon jetty I’d not recommend it.
Larger boats (like tugs) can and do put out some pretty big wakes at high speed. This jetty becomes a bit of a trampoline at this point. Not for the faint-hearted.
Expect the Northern Pacific starfish (Asterias amurensis) to steal fresh and frozen bait. You’ll probably even reel some in.
This pest hitches a ride from South East Asian ports on ships in their water ballast. When the ships purge their tanks the juvenile starfish are purged with the water.
They’ve managed to infiltrate Port Phillip Bay, the Yarra and even the Maribyrnong river as far upstream as Essendon!
Your bait is going to be thrown about by both commercial and private boats and ships. It’s not unusual for a container ship to suck the water away from the bank, then it all coming back in a rush.
Some wakes can produce some sizeable wash.
Parking facilities are fairly good early mornings, evenings and weekends. However, there’s hefty competition for parking spots during the week.
Toilets, however, are some distance away (2km) and were being rebuilt on my last visit. Expect to travel back to Port Melbourne or even South Melbourne if you need to avail yourself of these.
The tide can be strong. The incoming tide seems to be great for mullet and pinkies. The slack and outgoing tides have worked better for me when it comes to targeting flathead.
I’d definitely recommend smaller hook sizes for most species. Consider between a 6 to 14 hook. Sounds small, but many of the fish in the Yarra estuary system have smaller mouths.
If you’re using berley the smaller fish will bring in larger fish anyway. You can always change up to a larger rig later.
Smaller rigs are great for kids, too. They’re more likely to “catch a fish”, albeit small, than with a larger tackle setup. That helps sustain their interest – and makes their – and your – day more enjoyable.
I’d definitely recommend using berley in the Yarra estuary. Attract the fish to you. You’re going to find that easier than casting about any which way. Aim your rod at a likely spot, then focus your berley there.
You can cast a berley cage out on your line. Used either a running sinker or a paternoster rig.
Try a fine breadcrumb berley mixture infused with tuna oil, a few drops of aniseed and even a touch of garlic can work well.
Just keep in mind – a little flavour goes a long way – and to much drives the fish away. Be subtle. Experiment!
Berley cages spread the slick around your bait, without “feeding the fish”. Increasing your chances of a hookup.
The turning tide is often better for many species, as opposed to the slack tide.
At 1020 - "Fishing Is Plenty."
"When the Wind's from the West fishing is best. When the Wind's from the East fishing is least. From the North seek forth, from the south blows the hook in their mouth."
Fishing is often slower in the heat of the day, when the sun is overhead. Many species seek shadows which are less available during the afternoon.
The five days around the new moon are often considered the best fishing times.