Port Phillip Bay Fishing Spots: Ultimate Guide For Lure Fishers

Port Phillip Bay fishing spots

Most Melbournians grow up fishing in Port Phillip Bay. It’s a jewel in the crown of Melbourne’s vibrant fishing scene, offers an unparalleled angling experience for those who know where to look. It’s accessible and it’s a productive fishing ground.

Whether you’re casting from the shore, flicking from a kayak, or setting out on a boat, the bay’s diverse ecosystems teem with sought-after species. This guide shares the best fishing spots within Port Phillip Bay, tailored specifically for lure fishing enthusiasts.

Understanding Port Phillip Bay

Before diving into the specifics, let’s set the scene. Port Phillip Bay encompasses a vast area, from the bustling shores near Melbourne to the serene waters off the Bellarine Peninsula. Its varied marine environments host a plethora of fish species, each with its seasonal rhythms. Knowing these waters’ depths, currents, and habitats is the first step in mastering the art of fishing in Port Phillip Bay.

Seasonal Fishing Guide for Port Phillip Bay

The bay’s fishing calendar is as diverse as its marine life. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect through the seasons:

  • Summer: Snapper and flathead are abundant, with warm waters also attracting schools of kingfish near structures and drop-offs.
  • Autumn: A transitional period that sees bream and whiting biting more aggressively, preparing for winter.
  • Winter: Squid fishing hits its peak, and flathead continue to be a reliable catch in the colder waters.
  • Spring: The bay comes alive with snapper returning to feed in the shallows, making it a prime time for anglers.


Best Shore-based Port Phillip Bay Fishing Spots

Top 5 Kayak Fishing Spots In Port Phillip Bay

Boat fishing in Port Phillip Bay: 5 Best Spots



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Best shore-based fishing spots in Port Phillip Bay

Port Phillip Bay fishing spots for shore based anglers

St Kilda Pier:

One of the iconic Port Phillip Bay shore-based fishing spots. Ideal for snapper and flathead, especially during summer evenings when they come closer to shore. High tide and the two hours leading up to it present the best opportunities, with soft plastics and small hard-body lures being particularly effective. Snapper in larger sizes are often caught following a big blow. Light gear enhances the excitement of hooking these spirited fighters. During the cooler months many are attracted to the squid fishing from St Kilda Pier.

Brighton Breakwater:

This spot shines for bream and whiting, particularly during the rising tide. Clear water conditions favor the use of subtle, natural-colored lures. For bream, consider using small crankbaits or soft plastics worked close to the structure. During the warmer months whiting can be tempted with small surface poppers and soft plastics imitating worms or small shrimp.

Altona Pier:

A winter and spring favorite for squid, which are attracted to bright, flashy jigs, especially under lights at night. During daylight hours, flathead and occasional snapper respond well to soft plastics and minnow lures fished along the bottom. Calm, clear conditions with a slight outgoing tide can be particularly productive.

Mornington Pier:

The snapper fishing in Port Phillip Bay is legendary during spring – and Mornington Pier is a great shore-based spot for lure fishers. Squid and whiting can also be taken here year-round. Squid jigs with green or red underlights work well at dawn and dusk, while whiting bite on small, soft plastic lures that mimic their natural prey. The incoming tide often brings the best catches, with the area around the pier’s pylons being hotspots.

Port Melbourne Rocks:

Port Phillip Bay lure fishing enthusisats can get excellent results targeting bream and flathead from the Port Melbourne rocks. Overcast days with a slight breeze around the  high tide  give the best results. Soft plastics, especially in grub or minnow shapes, presented close to the bottom or structure, are effective. Experiment with slow retrieves, as both species are often enticed by a lure that appears to be an easy meal.


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Top Five Port Phillip Bay Kayak Fishing Spots

Fishing in Port Phillip Bay: Kayak Fishing spots

Hobsons Bay:

Offers sheltered waters ideal for flathead and whiting, with early morning or late afternoon being prime times. The falling tide can expose sand flats where flathead lie in wait, making soft plastics in natural fish or shrimp patterns especially effective when drifted over these areas.

Ricketts Point:

Known for summer kingfish, the fishing in this part of Port Phillip Bay requires a stealthy approach – making kayaks a perfect choice. Surface lures and stickbaits can provoke exciting topwater strikes, especially in the early morning. Look for signs of baitfish or birds, as kingfish are often not far behind.

Werribee South:

No list of Port Phillip Fishing spots would be complete without a mention of the Werribee South area. Snapper and flathead are the main targets, with the area around the mouth of the Werribee River being particularly fruitful. Early morning, just before high tide, using soft plastics or vibe lures can yield good results. For snapper, brighter colors on cloudy days and more natural tones in clear conditions often work well.

Black Rock:

Best known for its bream and snapper, especially around structure. Light jig heads with soft plastics are the go-to, with a slow, methodical retrieve. Fishing around the change of light, either dawn or dusk, can enhance your chances, as bream are more active and less cautious.

Seaford Pier:

Surrounding waters are excellent for squid and flathead. It pays to have a range of jig sizes and colors anytime you’re fishing in Port Phillip Bay. Match the conditions, with brighter colors on sunny days and darker ones on overcast days. Flathead respond well to soft plastics fished on the bottom, particularly during the outgoing tide when they ambush prey in the shallower water.


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Boat Fishing In Port Phillip Bay: Top 5 Spots

Fishing in Port Phillip By: Boat FishingSpots

The Rip:

A challenging Port Phillip Bay fishing spot due to its strong currents, which can make boating dangerous, so take extra care. The currents also make the area a haven for kingfish and snapper. Heavy tackle and large, flashy lures are needed to attract attention in the turbulent waters. Safety is paramount due to the conditions, with the best fishing often at slack tide.

Mud Islands:

This area offers a variety of habitats, with snapper, flathead, and kingfish around. Soft plastics worked along the drop-offs and deeper channels can be effective, particularly during the early morning or late afternoon. Look for changes in the bottom structure or baitfish activity as indicators of good spots.

Fawkner Beacon:

A magnet for those fishing Port Phillip Bay for snapper, especially during their spring run. Early morning or late evening sees the best action, with soft plastics and pilchard imitations being highly effective. The area’s depth requires heavier jig heads to ensure your lure is working close to the seabed.

Portarlington Reef:

This area is great for whiting and squid, with the best catches often during the incoming tide. Light gear and small, natural-colored soft plastics or squid jigs work best, with a gentle, erratic action mimicking the prey of both species.


Offers access to deeper waters where snapper and squid are prevalent, especially during spring. Larger soft plastics are effective for snapper, while squid jigs worked over the reef and grass beds can attract squid. Early morning low tides can be particularly productive, offering clearer waters for sight fishing.

ALF Episodes About Fishing In Port Phillip Bay