Portarlington Pier is a great, comfortable pier to fish.
Good water depth. A nice reef just off the far end.
Portarlington is located just on the outside of Corio Bay, which is a part of Port Phillip Bay and not that far from Port Phillip Heads.
It can be busy during the summer months when the tourists are in town.
But it’s quieter in the off-peak periods and quite productive.
The local beaches, adjoining the pier, including in front of the caravan park, are great flathead grounds. Especially if fished at night.
Portarlington Pier supports a local commercial fish industry, too. So early morning and early evening tend to be a time where the pro’s load and unload their vessels. This can mean 4wd’s and refrigerated trucks moving up and down the pier for a little while. They’re great people doing their job, so respect them and give them room. Especially if you have the kids with you.
Species, in general, include flathead, pinky snapper and snapper. Garfish, Australian Salmon, Whiting and squid.
I strongly recommend using a berley bucket or distributor. Failing that a good quality fish attractant. This goes for both frozen, live bait, hard lures and soft plastics. This advice applies to all saltwater fishing – not just Portarlington Pier.
As always, try to berley with the kind of bait you’re fishing with. So if you’re using blue bait or tuna then an oil fish berley is right. Same goes for prawns etc. The attractants tend to be a little more generic. So they fit well with whatever you’ve got. Be liberal, but don’t overdo it either.
Portarlington Pier Recommended Tackle
On the pier, a regular 7 to 9-foot spinning rod is about right.
On the beach, a 10 to 12-foot beach rod will get you out into flathead or “lizard” territory.
I recommend a paternoster rig on Portarlington Pier, while either a paternoster or running sinker on the beach.
In light conditions fish with a lighter sinker.
Even on the beach. You’ll need a little more led if it’s choppy
Portarlington Caravan Park – Fish From Beach
Lat: -38.112577, Lng: 144.644481
Bellarine Bayside Holiday Parks, Portarlington VIC, Australia
Fishing from the beach at and after dusk and then before and just after dawn can be great for flathead.
Rig either a paternoster or running sinker. Use a beach rod – 10 or more – to get out of the shallows.
Some pretty decent flathead are taken off this area each year. Sometimes by campers located inside the caravan park – on the beach in front of them.
This is a great spot to introduce the kids to some evening flathead fishing from the beach. You might like to read my How To Catch Flathead guide for some tips and hints about this awesome table fish.
Portarlington Boat Ramp
Lat: -38.1120795, Lng: 144.6341746
Portarlington Recreation Reserve, Portarlington VIC, Australia
I don’t recommend fishing off boat ramps unless a designated area is available.
The beach area adjoining the boat ramp, however, is fine for shore-based fishing.
Use a beach rod or surf to get out from the shallows.
Keep lines reasonably light.
Choose a sinker according to conditions.
Just enough to keep it down on the bottom without to much drift.
Portarlington Holiday Park Boat Ramp
Lat: -38.11001075610624, Lng: 144.6406186190186
This boat ramp is provided for the caravan and camping patrons.
Given the amount of available beach that’s close by and away from the boaties
I recommend choosing another spot. Crowding out boaties is unnecessary, unfair and dangerous to them, you and other members of the public.
Courtesy and consideration will always go to improve our hobby.