Portarlington Pier fishing is made pretty comfortable as it’s a good modern pier. Fish for Australian Salmon, Flathead, Pinkies and Snapper.

Good water depth. A nice reef just off the far end.

Portarlington is located just within 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 Fishing Overview

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.

On several occasions, I’ve seen the waters at Portarlington go from glass like calm to huge squalls – and back again within a few hours.

This seems to be related to its location on Port Phillip Bay.  The offshore Bass Strait winds from the south and strong northerlies blowing across the bay from the north play a role.

It’s worth keeping an eye on weather conditions, but that’s the case for most Victorian coastal areas, particularly our larger bays.

Fish Species Quick Info
Australian Salmon
Arripis trutta
All Year Round
Common for schools to move through, chopping up the water before moving on. Can be common during cooler months.
Black Bream
Acanthopagrus butcheri
All Year Round. But much more prevalent during warmer months.
Platycephalus sp
All Year Round
Gummy Shark
Mustelus antarcticus
All Year Round
Larger species are caught in Port Phillip & Western Port during April to July. With the Peak Month considered too be May.
King George whiting
Sillaginodes punctata
November to April
Known to migrate from Victoria to South Australian waters during cooler months.
Mugilidae sp
All Year Round
Can sometimes be the only game in town during cooler weather.
Pinky Snapper
Chrysophrys auratus
All Year Round. But much more prevalent during warmer months.
This name applies to juvenile specimens of Snapper
Chrysophrys auratus
All Year Round. But much more prevalent during warmer months.
Adult specimens often come closer towards shore to feed on reefs during rougher weather in warmer months.
Sepioteuthis australis
All Year Round.
Best fished when waters are clear with little turbulence. Top times can be during June to September.
*Some fish species vary according to time of year and local environmental conditions.

Kayak Fishing Portarlington Pier

The addition of the marina offers some sheltered kayak fishing opportunities. Both within the Portarlington pier, marina and the surrounding beach areas.

Be cautious of larger boats within the marina area. Launching your kayak should be possible from most of the beach-fronts and boat ramps.

Fishing Hotspot Video

Portarlington Pier Fishing Hotspot Review

Portarlington is, in my opinion, overlooked and under-appreciated by a lot of fishos in Melbourne.

There’s a range of good quality accommodation in the area.

It’s well supported by a shopping district and the local hotels and restaurants offer some great meals.

Definitely add this to your list of places to visit if you love saltwater land-based fishing!


  • Day trip from Melbourne via Princess Fwy then Portarlington Rd
  • Good local accommodation options
  • Good fishing habitats and a variety
  • Land-based fishing with some kayak opportunities in the marine and off local beaches


  • Can get busy during peak season and school holidays
  • I’ve found when the fish are on they’re on here, but when they’re not it’s a long time between bites
  • Addition of Ferry service has made the pier much busier.

Features At A Glance

FishabilityPier ConditionPublic Toilets
Family FriendlyParkingEnvironment & Pollution

Portarlington Map

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