St Kilda Pier Fishing

AddressSt Kilda Pier
Lat/Lng-37.864754, 144.965916
Distance5.8 km from Melbourne
Current Temp32.1 °C- Stable - Station: Melbourne
Barometer1011.0 hPa - Stable
WindNE - 6 km/h
Fishability Fishing Forecast Rating Star Fishing Forecast Rating Star Fishing Forecast Rating Star Fishing Forecast Rating Star Fishing Forecast Rating Star 5/5

St Kilda Pier Fishing Overview

Fishing St Kilda Pier FishingSt 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 fishing St Kilda Pier for flathead.

Rock Wall Addition – 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.

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.

Fishing St Kilda Pier Bait Choices

When fishing St Kilda Pier 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.

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.

There’s an exception to the “stale bait” issue with fishing St Kilda Pier – or any other..  That’s specially prepared bait.

I often prepare and preserve my own bait, flavours and scents added. Then refrigerate.

Done right I can keep any bait in A1 condition in the fridge for a full season.

St Kilda Pier Fishing Best Bait

Paternoster RigI recommend the following bait when at St Kilda Pier fishing.

  • 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.

Usually, a pilchard or bluebait, cut to suit the hook size.

The running sinker can assist in setting the hook with a 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 Go St Kilda Pier Fishing

The best times to St Kilda Pier fishing 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 At St KIlda Pier

Given this can be a heavily fished area, due to its 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 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.

So – smile nicely. Then bloody well 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.

St Kilda Pier Fish Species

Fish SpeciesQuick Info
Australian Salmon
Season: All Year Round
Seasonal Note: Common for schools to move through, chopping up the water before moving on. Can be common during cooler months.
Suggested Bait: Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Flathead Fillets, Mullet Fillets, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Squid Hoods, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait, Whiting Fillets

Black Bream
Season: All Year Round
Seasonal Note: Can become less active during Winter. Activity picking up late August. Active during warmer months.
Suggested Bait: Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Crabs, Earthworms, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Whitebait

Season: All Year Round
Seasonal Note:
Suggested Bait: Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Flathead Fillets, Mullet Fillets, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait, Whiting Fillets
Season: All Year Round - More common in cooler months.
Seasonal Note: 40 or More Species found in Victorian Waters
Suggested Bait: Small pieces of fish, bread, pippis or chicken suspended beneath either a float or feeder float are popular garfish rigs.

Season: All Year Round
Seasonal Note: Can sometimes be the only game in town during cooler weather.
Suggested Bait: Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Earthworms, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Squid Tentacles

Pinky Snapper
Season: All Year Round. But much more prevalent during warmer months.
Seasonal Note: October through to March.
Suggested Bait: Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Flathead Fillets, Mullet Fillets, Pilchards, Pipis, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait, Whiting Fillets

Season: Later September to end of March.
Seasonal Note: Adult specimens often come closer towards shore to feed on reefs during rougher weather.
Suggested Bait: Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Crabs, Flathead Fillets, Mullet Fillets, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Squid, Squid Hoods, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait, Whiting Fillets

Season: All Year Round.
Seasonal Note: Best fished when waters are clear with little turbulence. Top times can be during June to September.
Suggested Bait: Squid Jig - artificial or with a bait such as minnow, whitebait, bluebait, pilchard or prawn.

Season: November to April
Seasonal Note: Known to migrate from Victoria to South Australia during cooler months.
Suggested Bait: Bluebait, Chicken Breast, Mussels, Pilchards, Pipis, Prawns, Sandworms, Squid Tentacles, Whitebait
*Some fish species vary according to time of year and local environmental conditions.

Kayak Fishing St Kilda Pier

Kayak Fishing St Kilda

Lincoln from Landfish TV gets into some flatties off St Kilda Pier

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.

Accessing the water for your kayak 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.

St Kilda Pier Fishing Tips

    • Fish light. No point fishing heavy here. 6 to 10lb main line. 6 to a 9-foot rod.
    • Focus 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.
  • Fishing St Kilda 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.

Fishing Hotspot Video

Lincoln from LandFish TV has a great video on fishing St Kilda pier.

Lincoln uses soft plastics and is a huge Zman user!


Fishing Hotspot Map

St Kilda Pier Fishing Review Summary

Fishing St Kilda pier has improved since the addition of the rock wall.

This is great as it was always a top spot in my opinion.

Certainly worth a trip down targetting flathead and pinkie snapper!

My biggest gripe for this spot ends up being the public toilets.

We've all got to go - but going at St Kilda can be an ordeal.

Look.  I've seen toilets overflowing with faeces right out the door!

If you're young enough to hold on, then you'll probably do fine.

But as you get older it can get close to impossible after hours on a pier.


  • 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


  • 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

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David Scott Kane - Fishing Writer, Software Developer, Founder Getfished


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.