St Kilda Pier Fishing

St Kilda Pier Fishing on a warm summers night was how I started targetting flathead and pinkies as a teenager. St Kilda Pier has seen some pretty major…

St Kilda Pier Fishing on a warm summers night was how I started targetting flathead and pinkies as a teenager.

St Kilda Pier has seen some pretty major modifications in the decades since then.

It’s still a major icon on Port Phillip Bay and is rich in history.  Going back to 1853!

The addition of a rock wall and the harbour adjoining it significantly altered the longshore drift.

That’s to say – the currents that deposit sand and influence fish feeding opportunities. 

It seems to have been a positive – particularly for flathead.

Rock Wall – Like The Old St Kilda Pier, Only Better

However, fishing the rock wall offers all the advantages of the old pier. Access to the open and relatively deeper waters.

If I was to sum up St Kilda Pier fishing in a single fish species – it’d be flathead. I’ve caught numerous “lizards” off the old pier over the years.

St Kilda Pier Fish Species

While it’s been many years since I’ve fished it, other fisho’s seem to be experiencing the same thing. Flathead!

Of course, there’s plenty of bream and pinky snapper caught by folks too. As well as squid (calamari).

While not as fishing famous as, say, The Warmies, it’s certainly played a major role in recreational fishing throughout the last century and a half.

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

Squid
All Year Round. Best fished when waters are clear with little turbulence.
Top times can be during June to September.

Squid Jig

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

Bait Choices

Bait wise I always found frozen white-bait (fish) fished whole on a running sinker or a paternoster to work well.

However, I’ve also used prawns effectively too.

Just make sure you use the bait or lure that matches the preferences of the target species you’re aiming for.

With frozen bait make you buy the freshest you can. There’s a local service station near the St Kilda boat ramp that usually sells excellent quality frozen bait due to its high turnover.

Stale bait doesn’t work at St Kilda. Give yourself an edge and put in the effort to obtain premium bait here.


Whitebait

St Kilda Pier Best Bait

  • Pilchards
  • Whitebait
  • Bluebait
  • Pippies
  • Mussels
  • Squid – Tentacles
  • Chicken – I use with my own secret sauce recipe.

I’ve had success here fishing bloody chicken liver on a paternoster rig for pinkies. You’ll need to use some elastic thread to keep the liver on as it’s so soft.

For flathead, I’ve generally gone with a running sinker. Generally, a pilchard or bluebait, cut to suit the hook size. The running sinker can assist in setting the hook with flathead while keeping the bait down on the bottom.

Soft plastics seem to be working great. That’s judging by reports in the fishing forums and Youtube videos.

In my experience, it’s hard to go past a soft plastic in a motor oil colour if targetting flathead almost anywhere in Port Phillip Bay. Zman and Gulp* being notable brands. With Zman being more durable.

Rods Reels & Best Time To Fish

The best times to fish at St Kilda pier are dawn and dusk. I’ve found flathead bite better when the tide is starting to go out. While Pinkies and Snapper are better fished when there’s some wave and current action happening. The wind coming in from the West is good.

Having said that – I’ve caught flathead in the mid to late afternoon in late spring and early summer. Just be prepared for slower bites.

As already noted. This is a busy pier. You might get away with a 10 foot or larger rod off of the rock-wall. But I’d stick to something in the Estuary spinning rod size range. Say no longer than 9 foot or less.

I always fish light here. So I keep the sinker down to just enough to keep the bait positioned.

Berley Brings Baitfish

Given this can be a heavily fished area, due to it’s proximity to the city, I recommend the use of attractants* on your baits.  If you’re not using a proven pre-scented lure like Berkley Gulp* then try using some Squidgy S Factor.*

If you’re using natural baits S-Factor* works extremely well too.

Don’t forget to burley well.  Regular burley like breadcrumbs and tuna oil will bring the fish in closer to where you are.  It’s these things that always make a difference – no matter where you are fishing!

Ignore anybody telling you to stop using berley. There’s a few odd older fisho’s out there that I’ve met. Usually first thing in the morning – before dawn. A couple of these guys have demanded, both here at St Kilda Pier and at Mordialloc Pier, that I not use berley.

As far as I can tell, they’ve already added berley to their area of the pier and don’t want any competition. Smile nicely. Ignore them.

While you rarely seem to see soft plastic fisho’s using berley I’ve found the very fact it brings in baitfish the best reason to use berley even with this style of fishing.

Kayak Fishing St Kilda Pier

Kayak Fishing St KIlda Pier
Kayak Fishing St Kilda Land Fish TV

In recent times it’s become common to see fishing kayaks within the rock wall area.  It’s nicely protected and is a great way to get to the spots land-based fishos can’t reach.

Access for kayaks can be hard when the beach is busy. But isn’t too bad on quieter days, such as weekdays outside of the holiday season.

Of course, you could launch around the St Kilda boat ramp area, if the beach isn’t possible. Just be cautious as the boat traffic can be heavy throughout the summer season.

Blocking a boat ramp with a kayak is a sure-fire way to upset boaties, too. “Ramp rage” is a real thing, sadly, some ramps more so than others.


Fishing St Kilda Pier Tips

Garfish
Garfish Are Often Gather Under Pier Lights
  • Fish light. No point fishing heavy here. 6 to 10lb mainline. 6 to 9 foot rod.
  • Fish Species: Flathead, Bream, Pinky Snapper, Adult Snapper, Garfish and Mullet.
  • The rock wall facing the ocean for snapper & flathead. Inside harbour for bream & flathead.
  • Fish the incoming and outgoing tide, two hours either side will see you right.
  • Pier itself is good for flathead, mullet, bream, garfish and pinky snapper – well lit at night.
  • Night fishing is popular, though my preference early morning before & after dawn.

St Kilda Pier Map

Address: St Kilda Pier, Pier Road, St Kilda VIC, Australia
Lat: -37.8647544
Lng: 144.9659159
Proximity: 7.6 km from Melbourne

St Kilda Pier Video

Lincoln from LandFish TV has a great video on fishing St Kilda pier. Lincoln uses soft plastics and is a huge Zman advocate!

Location Review & Rating


Pros

  • Close to the city and suburbs
  • Family-friendly  - children under strict supervision
  • Good range of fish habitats and fish species
  • Great Flathead fishing location
  • In the right conditions, you can target big Snapper In clear, calm conditions
  • Squid fishing can be productive.
  • Kiosk

Cons

  • Parking good, but can work out expensive during the day.
  • Toilets frequently in a disgusting state
  • Can be a gathering point for youth gangs in recent years.  Which is a great shame
  • Parking can be hard in the Summer peak season

Review Overview

Fishability
Pier Condition
Public Toilets
Parking
Family Friendly

Summary

St Kilda pier has improved as a fishing location since the addition of the rock wall.  Which is great as it was always a top spot in my opinion.

Certainly worth a trip down targetting flathead and pinkie snapper!

The reason why my total score for this spot ends up being a mere 3.7 is the public toilets.  We've all got to go - but going at St Kilda can be an ordeal.  I've seen toilets overflowing with faeces right out the door!

3

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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.