Welcome to the Black Rock Jetty Fishing Guide. The black rock jetty or half moon bay jetty is located on beach road. It’s a small pier with interesting sights. From the pier, you can see the HMAS Cerberus wreckage which potentially makes a 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.


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Things to do at Black Rock

Black Rock is a popular Melbourne suburb that spans along Port Phillip Bay. Only 18 kilometers south-east of the Melbourne CBD and home to roughly 7 thousand residents. local attractions include Black rock Beach, Black Rock Gardens, the stunning Red Bluff cliffs that offer great photo opportunities at 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-kilometer 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 the very shallow water and close by structures 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 to 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 use 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 is a very common catch here in the warmer months and during the night. Look for clearings amongst the reef which are spots where whiting will often reside. Pipis on a running sinker or paternoster rig will be very productive at 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 them small enough to fit in a gars mouth.

If you fish with baits then 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 getting your baits in the prime location. We would recommend a medium-weight long casting fishing rod between 7 to 10 feet. 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 then watch this video which will walk you through step by step.

Baits Black Rock Jetty

At this location, we would highly recommend the baits suggested below. There are several ways to present baits including a running sinker rig, paternoster rig, or dropper rig. The rig and sinker choice will be dependent on the species you are targeting and the conditions such as wind and tidal strength.

Bait Choices

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

Lures and soft plastics for Black Rock Jetty

Check out this instructional video guide on how to catch snapper with soft plastics filmed locally in Port Phillip Bay

  • Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
  • Zman slim Swimz
  • Daiwa Baitjunkie 5 inch jerk shads
  • Berkley gulp turtleback worm
  • Savage Gear Fat Curl tails
  • Daiwa Bautjunkie 4 inch grubs
  • Berkley powerbait grub
  • Gulp 3-inch minnow
  • Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
  • Zman grubZ
  • eco gear ZX40
  • Daiwa Double Clutch
  • EcoGear SX40
  • Squidges biotough grub
  • Zman StreakZ
  • Munroes 3.75 inch paddle tails
  • Kietech swim impact fat
  • Zerek fish trap
  • Samaki Vibelicious

Targeting Whiting at Black Rock Jetty


Whiting is a bread and butter species which are fun to catch on light spinning gear and tastes 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 feet 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 whiting masterclass as we guide you through everything you need to know to catch whiting.

Targeting Snapper at Black Rock Jetty


Locally Snapper season starts around October and finishes towards April. The big reds migrate inshore due to the warmer water temperatures which provide ideal spawning conditions. Dawn, Dusk and tide changes are considered the best times to catch snapper. Snapper will take a variety of baits and soft plastics. For bait a 7 to 8 foot rod with a 4-7 kg rating paired with a 4000 or 5000 size reel spooled with 15-30 pound line is great. Good bait options include pilchards, silver whiting, squid, and salmon. When it comes to soft plastics, a 7 foot 3-6 kilo rod paired with a 3000 size reel great. Good soft plastics include jerk shads, whip baits, curl tails or paddle tails between 3 and 5 inches in a variety of colours. We encourage you to read our detailed guide on how to catch snapper.


Targeting Squid at Black Rock Jetty

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 feet and 9 feet 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 that 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 a constant slow reel is all that’s required.

Check out this instructional video guide on how to squid filmed locally in Port Phillip Bay


Targeting Flathead at Black Rock Jetty

Flathead is a year-round prospect that can be caught at any time of the day. They are an ambush predator that waits in disguise for smaller fish to swim by for 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 out 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 you are 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 bait choices include pilchards, mussels, squid, chicken, whitebait, Pipis, blue bait, and prawns.


Targeting garfish at Black Rock Jetty


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 snouts but very small mouths 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, and 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.

Targeting Salmon at Black Rock Jetty


Salmon are powerful sports fish that school up in big numbers. They punch well above their weight and when hooked produce strong bursts of speed, powerful runs, and vigorous head shakes. Keep an eye for gutters which are patches of deeper water that Salmon will swim through in schools. These can be identified by the darker color of the water. Salmon will happily take a range of soft plastics, lures, and baits. Including 3 and 4-inch soft plastics and long-casting metal spoons. You can target them with light spinning gear such as a 2-4 kilo rod and 2500-size reel. However, if you are targeting them land-based on the beach or surf then you will likely jump up to a 5-10 kilo rod that’s between 9-12 feet in length paired with a 3000-size reel spooled with 15-pound braid.

Check out this instructional video guide on how to catch salmon on soft plastics. Crazy action in this one.

Targeting Snook at Black Rock Jetty


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 a medium pace including minnows, paddle tails, and grubs. Adding 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.

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

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