Portarlington - Fantastic 4 Seasons Fishing Portarlington Victoria Australia

Portarlington fishing goes right back to the nineteenth and early twentieth century.  Where people would come by ferry to the township to take a holiday.

The area offers a unique fishing experience, compared to other location on Port Phillip Bay

This is largely due it the fact it is located at the entry to the smaller Corio Bay and a relatively short distance to the heads.

This means the location of the town puts it in the middle of fish migrations, currents and weather patterns.

Easy Access To Port Phillip and Corio Bay

The areas boat ramps give boaties excellent access to Port Phillip and Corio Bay.  With some good Gummy Shark grounds offshore.

While care should be taken to keep the shipping channels clear there are some good reefs to anchor off in several directions.

By boat (or kayak) both the Queenscliff area and Geelong surrounds are within easy reach in good conditions.

Watch The Weather At Portarlington – Squalls Can Blow Up Fast!

The weather patterns can be as much a blessing as a curse.  At times the water is glasslike and smooth.  However, it can quickly change.  With fast passing but very intense squalls.

The area has some impressive fishing hotspots.  See below for more information on Portarlington Pier, the various beach fishing opportunities, the boat ramps and other opportunities for recreational fishos.

It’s common for me to pack for several kinds of fishing.  This allows me to cover my bases if the weather changes.

This boat or kayak for the Port Phillip or Corio bay.   Some beach or surf rods for land-based.

I’ll use the latter either from the beaches in the area, the rock wall or even travel down to Ocean Grove and enjoy some surf fishing.

All of this is within an easy half-hour or so drive of the township.

Portarlington Pier Fishing

Portarlington Pier offers some good squid fishing (look for the ink stains on the pier decking).

Plus some great pinkie snapper, flathead, whiting and Australian Salmon fishing.

There’s bream under the pier, around the pylons, too.

Read More About Portarlington Pier Fishing

Portarlington Beach Fishing

The beaches around the township can in fact be productive at times.

I’ve caught – and have seen others – pull in some good flathead models over the years from the beach in front of the caravan park. 

To the West and East of the Boat Ramp.

However I’ve found flathead to be a little more common fishing the beach to the west of the boat ramp in warmer weather.

Read More About Portarlington Beach Fishing

Portarlington Boat Ramp

There are several boat ramps giving access to Port Phillip and Corio bays in the area.

While they can be tricky if a blowup has deposited sand or weed they are generally reasonably easy ramps to work with.

The closest to the township is the Point Richards Boat Ramp.

Portarlington Rock Wall Fishing

The rock wall is a fairly new addition to the area.   It is technically an extension to the pier.

This additional land-based area offers deeper water fishing, further from shore for land-based fishos.

Some good catches of flathead, pinky and adult snapper, Australian Salmon and Tailor are taken during the course of the year.

Read More About Portarlington Rockwall Fishing

Portarlington Accommodation

I’ve stayed at the Bellarine Bayside caravan park several times.  Both camping and renting a cabin.  The proximity to the boat ramp cannot be beaten.

Plus camping on the foreshore can make for some great late-night, relaxed fishing on the beach.

There are however several motels and hotels in the town.  I’ve stayed in most of them and can’t fault them.

In fact, the whole Bellarine Peninsula has some great family accommodation that I class as amongst the best in Melbourne.

While prices vary – and there are seasonal fluctuations – I’ve found the prices to be very affordable too.

Portarlington Target Fish Species

Fish Species Quick Info
Platycephalus sp
All Year Round
Black Bream
Acanthopagrus butcheri
All Year Round. But much more prevalent during warmer 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.
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.
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.
Sepioteuthis australis
All Year Round.
Best fished when waters are clear with little turbulence. Top times can be during June to September.
Blue Spotted Flathead
Platycephalus caeruleopunctatus
All Year Round
More commonly caught in warmer months. But can be caught year round in many places.
*Some fish species vary according to time of year and local environmental conditions.

Portarlington Hotspots Review

Portarlington is only around an hour and a half from Melbourne or 40 minutes from Geelong.

This makes it a day trip, though to really enjoy all the fishing opportunities in the area I strongly recommend taking advantage of the great accommodation available.

Choose from Motels, a Hotel or one of the great Caravan Parks.

Fishing hotspots include the pier, the rock wall and the beaches.  For those with a boat or kayak easy access to Port Phillip and Corio Bay via several good boat ramps.

I’m extremely fond of this whole region as a fishing destination.

The fishing is usually pretty good.  When it’s on it’s really on.

However, most trips produce fish if you’re prepared to put the work in.  Use berley and change up and down hook and tackle size.

Portarlington Pros & Cons


  • Day Trip From Melbourne
  • Lower Pressure Fishing During Non Holiday Months
  • Excellent Accomodation Selection
  • Boat and Landbased Fishing Options
  • Several Boat Ramps
  • Local Fishing Boat Hire Options
  • Well Serviced By Supermarkets, Hotels, Take-Away and Restaurants


  • Very Busy During Holiday Periods
  • Care Needs To Be Taken Boating As Squalls Can Be Fast and Severe
  • Accomodation can be a little dearer than some other spots at times due to popularity

Features At A Glance

Fishability 5
Public Toilets 5
Parking 5
Environment & Pollution 5