Portarlington Rock Wall forms a safe harbour for boats and adjoins the Portarlington pier.

The Rock Wall has added a new dimension to fishing Portarlington. It’s now possible to move beyond the pier and cast out into much deeper water and offshore reefs.

That shifts the available fish species catches and sizes available.

While once the pier structure was the best fishing I’d have to say my recent experiences suggest the Rockwall offers a wider variety of species and catches.

Portarlington Rock Wall Fish Species

Those fish species include the flathead, trevally, pinky snapper, squid, Australian Salmon and many more.

The easiest access to the Portarlington Rock Wall is via the pier.

Though the southern wall can also be accessed directly by land.

While the pier tended to get crowded fast the Rock Wall is large enough to cater for a larger number of anglers.

Recently a lot of additional work has seen some shelter added.

While the addition of the ferry has made the area busier the rock wall has really added some fantastic opportunities for accessing the reef just offshore.

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.
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.
Mugilidae sp
All Year Round
Can sometimes be the only game in town during cooler weather.
*Some fish species vary according to time of year and local environmental conditions.

Bait & Tackle

I recommend a paternoster rig here. Though a running sinker will certainly work. Definitely use that berley, too!

Bait wise – the usual saltwater baits for Port Phillip Bay including pilchards, prawns, whitebait, pippies, squid and of course chicken.

Soft plastics seem to work well, with paddle-tails being a popular choice. I’ve seen motor oil colours work well, but also the Nuclear Chicken colors have been effective for me here too.

Whether you’re using bait or lures I strongly recommend berley. If you’ve read several of my articles then I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record. But berley is one of the most important tools for success. I also firmly believe in using attractants on bait and lures!

My choice of rods on the rock wall would be a minimum of 8 to 9-feet with a preference for something at least 10 to 12-feet long. This will give you some casting distance, getting you out into deeper water and the reefs.

I wouldn’t fish with heavier than a 15lb to 20lb mainline, personally. 10lb would be my lower limit. In terms of a leader, anything over 15lb’s should be fine.

Fishing Portarlington Rock Wall Review Summary

Used to be you’d see all the fishos crowded onto Portarlington Pier.

Nowadays the Rock Wall sees a lot of focus – and for good reason.

My advice is to try both.

If the squid is on then fishing Portarlington Pier is going to work well.

The same can be said for Bream and Mullet.

Go where the fish are.

If the Salmon are breaking the surface off the rock wall then you’re in for some great action.

On the other hand, if there’s a good blow from the west or south-west then in the warmer months some good Snapper models come in close.

Don’t forget having a crack at Bream within the harbor area.  Some good hunting grounds here, too.


  • Day Trip From Melbourne
  • Great Accommodation Options
  • Choice Of Fish Habitats
  • Family Friendly (Children Under Strict Supervision)


  • When The Fishing Is On It’s Really On – But Can Be A Long Time Between Bites Other Times
  • Busy During Holiday Periods

Features At A Glance

FishabilityPublic ToiletsParking
Family FriendlyEnvironment & Pollution

Portarlington Rock Wall Map

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