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 locations 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 area’s 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 goes for boat or kayaking in both Port Phillip and 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


Fishing Reports YTD 2022

This year’s fishing reports to date, for the Portarlington area (including bay fishing by boat and kayak), during 2022.

DateLocationSpeciesBaitLureRig            
May 30, 2022Clifton SpringsKing George WhitingPipis
May 30, 2022Clifton SpringsKing George WhitingSquid
May 30, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsSnapper
May 30, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsGummy Shark
May 30, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsFlathead
June 2, 2022BarwonAustralian SalmonBerkley 3 inch Power Bait Minnows
June 2, 2022Clifton Springs,VicKing George WhitingPipis
June 2, 2022Clifton Springs,VicCalamari 
June 2, 2022Queenscliff,VicKing George WhitingSquid
June 2, 2022Queenscliff,VicCalamari 
June 2, 2022Offshore Barwon Heads,VicGummy SharkAustralian Salmon Fillets
June 2, 2022Offshore Barwon Heads,VicFlatheadAustralian Salmon Fillets
June 2, 2022Offshore Barwon Heads,VicSnapperAustralian Salmon Fillets
June 2, 2022Offshore Barwon Heads,VicTuna
June 10, 2022Offshore Barwon Heads,VicTunaSquid
June 10, 2022Offshore Barwon Heads,VicTunaAustralian Salmon Fillets
June 16, 2022Clifton Springs,VicCalamari 
June 16, 2022Portarlington,VicCalamari 
June 23, 2022Offshore Barwon Heads,VicPinky Snapper
June 23, 2022Offshore Barwon Heads,VicGummy Shark
June 23, 2022Barwon River Ocean Grove,VicSilver TrevallySoft Plastics
June 23, 2022Barwon River Ocean Grove,VicAustralian SalmonSoft Plastics
July 2, 2022Barwon River Ocean GroveSilver TrevallySoft Plastics
July 2, 2022Barwon River Ocean GroveAustralian SalmonSoft Plastics
July 2, 2022Barwon River Ocean GroveEstuary PerchSoft Plastics
July 2, 2022Clifton SpringsKing George WhitingPipis
July 2, 2022Clifton SpringsCalamari Purple Coloured Squid Jigs
July 2, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsSnapper
July 2, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsGummy Shark
July 2, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsTuna
July 16, 2022Clifton SpringsKing George WhitingPipis
July 16, 2022Clifton SpringsKing George WhitingSquid
July 16, 2022Clifton SpringsCalamari Gree, Pink. Purple Squid Jigs
July 16, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsGummy SharkSquid
July 16, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsSnapperAustralian Salmon FilletsBlack Magic Snapper Snatches
July 16, 2022Clifton SpringsCalamari 
July 16, 2022PortarlingtonCalamari 
July 16, 2022QueenscliffSilver TrevallyTurtkeback Worms
July 16, 2022Barwon River Ocean GroveSilver TrevallyZman Grubz
July 16, 2022Barwon River Ocean GroveAustralian SalmonZman Grubz
July 16, 2022Barwon River Ocean GroveEstuary PerchZman Grubz
July 30, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsGummy SharkAustralian Salmon Fillets
July 30, 2022Barwon River Ocean GroveEstuary PerchSoft Plastics
July 30, 2022Barwon River Ocean GroveAustralian SalmonSoft Plastics
July 30, 2022Barwon River Ocean GroveSilver TrevallySoft Plastics
August 5, 2022QueenscliffKing George Whiting
August 5, 2022QueenscliffCalamari 
August 5, 2022Bell Reef QueenscliffCalamari 
August 12, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsGummy SharkAustralian Salmon Fillets
August 12, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsSchool SharkAustralian Salmon Fillets
August 12, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsSnotty TrevallySoft Plastics
August 12, 2022QueenscliffCalamari 3.5 Squid Jigs
August 12, 2022QueenscliffCalamari Shimano Flash Squid Jig
August 12, 2022Clifton SpringsCalamari 
August 15, 2022QueenscliffCalamari 
August 22, 2022QueenscliffCalamari 
August 29, 2022QueenscliffCalamari 
August 31, 2022Clifton SpringsCalamari Size 3.0 Squid Jig
August 31, 2022PortarlingtonCalamari Size 3.0 Squid Jig
August 31, 2022QueenscliffCalamari 3.5 Squid Jigs
September 3, 2022Lonsdale Bight QueenscliffCalamari 
September 8, 2022QueenscliffCalamari Major Craft Jigs
September 8, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsBarrel Tuna
September 8, 2022PortarlingtonKing George Whiting
September 8, 2022PortarlingtonYakkas
September 12, 2022Pilot Jetty QueenscliffKing George WhitingCuttlefish
September 12, 2022Lonsdale Bight QueenscliffKing George WhitingCuttlefish
September 12, 2022Clifton SpringsCalamari 
September 14, 2022Clifton SpringsCalamari 
September 17, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsTuna
September 21, 2022Clifton SpringsWhitingPipis
September 21, 2022Clifton SpringsWhitingSquid
September 23, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsBarrel Tuna
September 23, 2022QueenscliffWhiting
September 23, 2022QueenscliffCalamari 
September 23, 2022Offshore Barwon HeadsTuna


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.

Fish Species Quick Info
Flathead
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
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.
Mullet
Mugilidae sp
All Year Round
Can sometimes be the only game in town during cooler weather.
Squid
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.

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


Pros

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

Cons

  • Very Busy During Holiday Periods
  • Care Needs To Be Taken Boating As Squalls Can Be Fast and Severe
  • Accommodation 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