Welcome to the Black Rock Jetty Fishing Guide. The black rock jetty or half moon bay jetty is located of beach road. It’s a small pier with interesting sights. From the pier, you can see the HMAS Cerberus wreckage which potentially makes good structure and ecosystem for local fish species. Bringing long casting surf gear will allow you to target snapper from the ends of the jetty in summer whilst light gear will allow you to target whiting, squid and garfish.

Things to do at Black Rock

Black Rock is a popular Melbourne suburb that spans along Port Phillip Bay. Only 18 kilometres south-east from the Melbourne CBD and home to roughly 7 thousand residents. local attractions include Black rock Beach, Black Rock Gardens, the stunning Red Bluff cliffs offer great photo opportunities on sunrise and sunset and of course the HMAS Cerberus ship wreckage an 1870s battleship that sunk in 1926. This area is named Half Moon Bay for its crescent shape which is very noticeable from an aerial view. There is also the Black Rock clock tower and life-saving club. This is a popular destination for the family to enjoy the beach, walking, cycling and a vast array of playgrounds, cafes and boutique shops in a vibrant township. The bayside coastal arts trail is a great 17-kilometre walking track that passes through Black rock.

Nearby are public toilets and adequate parking along the entrance but do note parking is paid for and quite expensive. Jumping off the pier is prohibited due to very shallow water and close by structure and rocks.

Fishing at Black Rock Jetty

Please note that in 2020 sections of the pier had been closed due to structural damage after a heavy storm.

Black Rock is a premier fishing destination in Victoria but that’s generally for those with a boat or kayak. The area is a hotspot for snapper and squid. The area is well protected from the weather making it popular for kayaking and boating. The pier is quite small and can be a challenging location at times to fish from. The pier consists of 2 sections that run adjacent with each other. The area has many pest species such as toadfish and rockfish. But here you can catch

  • whiting
  • snapper
  • squid
  • garfish
  • salmon
  • snook
  • flathead

This location produces many small pinkies in the warmer months. Take some time to study the weather and tides before fishing here which can make a big difference to your casting distance. Fishing on low tide can be very challenging as the waters will be shallow its best to fish during a rising ride. Over the years some good size snapper has been caught here check out our guide on targeting snapper around Melbourne. The best time to target snapper here is between Oct and March after a few windy days. Ideally using a 9 to 12-foot surf rod and a heavy star or bomb sinker to allow you to cast a squid or pilchard out far into deeper waters and productive snapper grounds.

The area is surrounded by weedy vegetation which makes it productive grounds for squid, whiting and garfish. King George whiting are a very common catch here in the warmer months and during the night. Look for clearings amongst the reef which are spots which whiting will often reside. Pipis on a running sinker or paternoster rig will be very productive during the right time. For Garfish good bait options for this will include glassies, silverfish, maggots or small pieces of pilchard or chicken. For garfish a light and sensitive rod are essential. Ideally, an 8-foot fishing rod with a 1-3 kilo rod with a 2000 reel spooled with 4-pound line is ideal. Then suspending your baits from a float and hook small enough to fit in a gars mouth.

If your fishing with baits than we would highly recommend using, squid strips, pilchards, blue bait, silver whiting, raw chicken, and mussels. We have found paternoster rigs with a strong line to work the best in this area. This area is rocky and very snaggy so casting out a fair distance is key to get your baits in the prime location. We would recommend a medium weight long casting fishing rod between 7 to 10 foot. You’re also likely to catch many small pinkies and flathead so you don’t want to fish too heavy but need to be prepared for the odd large snapper. Often I will use a running sinker rig to a swivel and 50cm of strong leader finished with a full pilchard or squid head to try and entice a snapper. If you chasing pinkies then a paternoster rig with raw chicken breast will fish very well.

Want to make your own snapper rigs than watch this video which will walk you through step by step.

Baits Black Rock Jetty

  • pilchard
  • pipis
  • blue bait
  • silver whiting
  • salmon
  • raw chicken strips
  • prawns
  • maggots
  • squid
  • mussels

Lures and soft plastics for Black Rock Jetty

Targeting Whiting at Black Rock Jetty

Whiting

Whiting is a bread and butter species which are fun to catch on light spinning gear and taste great. Whiting school up in big numbers and they respond well to berley, so berley an isolated area with a mix of chicken pellets, Tuna oil and pilchards.  Whiting fishing requires finesse, so we recommend a light 1-3 or 2-4 kilo spin rod around 7 foot in length. Coupled with a light 1000-2500 size reel, spooled with 4 pounds or 6-pound line and leader.

When bait fishing a simple running rig with a small sinker to swivel, then 40cm of 4-pound leader to a small baitholder long shank hook or a paternoster rig with 2 hooks and a size sinker depending on your conditions. Watch our 25-minute whiting masterclass as we guide you through on everything you need to know to catch whiting.

Targeting Snapper at Black Rock Jetty

Snapper

We encourage you to read our detailed guide on how to catch snapper. Snapper season locally starts around October and finishes after March. The big reds migrate inshore during this time of year because water temperatures have increased providing ideal spawning conditions. With dawn and dusk are generally considered the best times to be on the water. The most common snapper rods are 7 foot 6 inches in length with a weight class of 4-7 kilos paired with a 4000 or 5000 size reel spooled with 15-30 pound braid or mono and 40 pound leader. You can choose to fish lighter or heavier. Recommended bait options include pilchards either full or half, silver whiting, squid, garfish, mackerel and mullet.

The best soft plastics are large jerk shads, whip baits, curl tails or paddle tails. Most between 4 and 7 inches in size generally coupled with a ½ or ¼ ounce jig head. Some good options include Savage Gear Fat Curl Tails, Daiwa Bait Junkie Jerk shads & Berkley 7 inch turtleback worm, Zman curl tails.

Targeting Squid at Black Rock Jetty

Squid

Squid is a frequent catch on the pier towards the front and mid parts of the pier. Just look for the squid ink which is a great indicator of where to target them. Anglers do well-suspending squid jigs with the use of a float. Targeting squid is a fun form of fishing growing in popularity with the reward of fresh calamari. Squid can be caught all year round, you will find them in shallow weedy areas and they respond well to jigs in clear water conditions.

We recommend reading our detailed guide on How to catch squid around Melbourne. An egi rod between 7.5 foot and 9 foot in length is ideal and there are plenty of egi rods on the market fit for purpose. We recommend an 8 foot 3-inch rod paired with a 3000 size reel spooled with 15-pound braid. Squid jigs are prone to snags in this area, and we have found using slow sinking jigs in the smaller size of 2.5 and 3.0-gram jigs will help avoid this problem.

Cast your squid jig to allow time for the jig to sink then do a series of lifts and pauses to imitate a wounded prawn. The natural temptation is to strike Instead, a subtle lift to keep line tension and constant slow reel is all that’s required.

Check out this video a master class on Kayak fishing for squid in Melbourne.

Targeting Flathead at Black Rock Jetty

Flathead

We encourage you to read our detailed guide on How to catch Flathead. Flathead is a year-round prospect which can be caught at any time of the day. They are an ambush predator that waits in disguise for smaller fish to swim buy for an easy feed. This highlights the importance of keeping your baits and soft plastics towards the bottom. If fishing from a boat or kayak we would recommend drifting around the sandy flats until you find a good patch of them. Also, keep an eye for depth drop-offs which is a great location for an ambush predator to be waiting.

We recommend targeting flathead with a 7 foot 2–4 or 3-5 kilo fishing rod paired with a 2500 or 3000 size reel spooled with 8-12lb braid and equivalent leader. You can go lighter, but flathead has bristly teeth that can compromise your fishing line.

Flathead is not fussy and will happily have a go at many various soft plastics and lures. We would highly recommend reading our detailed guide on the best lures and soft plastics to catch flathead. Top choices include worm and yabby imitations, paddle tail soft plastic, curl tail soft plastics, deep diving hard body lures, vibes, swimbaits, and blades.

If your targeting flathead with bait, we recommend using a paternoster rig or running sinker rig. Using a small ball sinker to swivel, then 50cm of 8-12 leader to a size 6 long shank hook. Good baits choices include pilchards, mussels, squid, chicken, whitebait, Pipis, blue bait and prawns.

Targeting garfish at Black Rock Jetty

Garfish

Garfish or mini marlins are a fun local fish species to target. Generally caught between 20cm and 40 cm with no minimum legal-size limit but a daily bag limit of 40.

Garfish have large snout but very small mouth so the key to catching them is to use very small size hooks. Small long shanks between size 10 and size 14 are ideal choices.  The preferred rig setup should consist of using a pencil or quill float, then having a small split shot roughly 20cm above the hooks to keep the bait down. the floats will help suspend baits such as glacies, maggots or small pieces of fish flesh. berleying is a very important tool when targeting garfish, You can purchase premade berley pellets or powder from your local tackle shop or make your own use tuna oil, chook pellets and bread.

Catching gars is all about finesse and an ultralight 1-3 or 2-4 kilo nibble tip rod that’s 7 to 9 foot in length Paired with a 1000, 2000 or 25000  size reel spooled with 4-6 lb line will be a great choice.

argeting Salmon at Black Rock Jetty

Salmon

Winter is a great time to target salmon as they’re active and schooling up in big numbers. Salmon is a powerful sports fish that punches well above their weight. When hooked they produce strong bursts of speed, powerful runs, vigorous head shakes. Do keep an eye out for gutters which are patches of deeper water which Salmon will swim through in schools. These can be identified by a darker colour of the water.

When bait fishing pick a surf rod between 12-15 foot in length which allows for long casts with heavy sinkers and to keep your lines high above the crashing surf. These will be 6-10 kilo class. We recommend a Paternoster rig with a star sinker. Giving you 2 baits at different heights. You could also attach a surf popper above.

When lure fishing first consider what weight lures your likely to be casting. We would recommend rods between 9-12 foot in length in 5-10 kilo class paired with a 3000 size reel spooled with 15-pound braid. Good lure options include Savage Gear Missile, Halco twisty, Ecogear Teibo, JM Gilles pilchard baitfish, Rapala X-Rap SXR, Lazer spoons, Zman slim swimz, trick swimz, Halco laser pro

Check out this video of a crazy salmon school we recently encountered.

Targeting Snook at Black Rock Jetty

Snook

These toothy critters are fun to catch on light spinning gear. You will find them in shallow weedy waters often a bycatch for those targeting snapper, whiting and flathead. You can catch snook with staple baits such as pilchard, prawn, and squid. However, Snook loves natural-looking soft plastics retrieved at medium pace including minnows, paddle tails, and grubs. Add scent to the soft plastics really seems to help. Snook also respond well to shallow and mid diving hard body lures in shiny colours retrieved at a medium pace. Metal slugs and blades trolled slowly also work very well.

Do handle snook with care as they have razor-sharp teeth. Despite their sharp teeth it’s still best to target them with light gear that you would generally use for pinkies and flathead. We recommend a 2-4 or 3-5 kilo spin rod paired with a 2500 size reel, spooled with 8-12 pound line and leader. Check out this video of a crazy snook session when kayak fishing.

Acknowledgements

Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. all other content on the Black Rock Jetty Fishing Guide is fishing mad original.

Additions or Corrections

Thank you for visiting the Black Rock Jetty Fishing Guide. If you feel this location guide is missing any key information or needs adjustments than do let us know by emailing us at enquiries@fishingmad.com.au