Welcome to the Cunningham Pier Fishing Guide. Cunningham Pier is an iconic structure within the township of Geelong built in the 1850s. The pier can be seen from miles away as it stretches way out into Port Phillip Bay. It looks quite spectacular at night time all lit up. The pier was originally built as a necessary port for transporting cargo which is now handled from Corio Quay. Today its mainly used a great fishing destination for local anglers who can fish relatively deep waters whilst land-based fishing. The pier is just under 350 meters long and in recent times has been surrounded by restaurants, and walking trails. Seasonally it fishes very well for snapper, whiting, trevally & flathead. This is considered an all year round fishing destination only 1 hour from Melbourne.

Things to do at Cunningham Pier, Geelong

Geelong is a massive township located 70 kilometres away from Melbourne with many shops, parks, piers, restaurants, cafes, and adventures. The town is home to roughly 75,000 residents making it a large township within Victoria. Some of the local attractions include the beautifully maintained Geelong botanic gardens. Which offers amazing landscaped gardens for the whole family to enjoy. If you’re after a bit more excitement then look no further then Geelong adventure park which has world-class rides and waterslides. Including the new Tsunami waterslide. There is also Serendip Sanctuary is not far by closer to Lara which offers free access to Australia’s wildlife and gardens. The Geelong waterfront area is a lovely vibrant spot full of piers and great for walking, picnics and eating. There are also several local breweries, markets and art exhibitions.

Fishing at Cunningham Pier, Geelong

Cunningham pier, you can catch flathead, snapper, King George whiting, Australian salmon, leather jackets, silver trevally, snot nose trevally, garfish and bream. A whole range of methods can work well during different stages of the year. A wise strategy is to have a target species in mind when fishing here this will help greatly with tackle selection and rigging up. Example your setup fro targeting flathead and pinkies will be very different from targeting salmon or garfish. Click here to read our guide on how to catch snapper around Geelong.

Baits which work well in the area will include pilchards, blue bait, yabbies, chicken, pippis, squid & sandworms. When bait fishing simply rigs such as a basic running sinker with a 6/0 long shank or Paternoster rig works well. A paternoster rig will allow you to change sinker size to suit your desired casting distance. A technique that has proven to work well here is unweighted strips of pilchard hard up against the pier pylons which is a great way to target trevally and pinkies. We also enjoy fishing this pier with soft plastics, blades and mid diving hard body lures. This will work well pinkies, flathead, bream, mullet and trevally.

We generally like to use an all-round rod setup which will allow us to target multiple species. A 2–5-kilo class rod capacity, with a 3000 size reel spooled with 10-pound braid and equivalent leader. For small species such as garfish, leather jackets and whiting, you will want to use an ultralight fishing combo. Ideally a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 size reel spooled with light line. Then using small long shank hooks and small baits as these fish have quite small mouths. Good baits for these species include small pieces of pilchard, prawns, silverfish and maggots. These can be either suspended from a float or a light running sinker rig.

There is a decent distance between the water and the pier so it might be wise to take a long net or gaff to help you land better size fish.

I prefer fishing most spots around Geelong in the early morning. High tide usually sees a big run of pinkies in summer, and low tide generally produces a healthy amount of flathead. Cunningham pier is areat land-based fishing at night time. The pier is lit up at night and a great place to target pinkies, snapper, whiting, trevally during these times. However many pest species come out at night such as sand eels, scorpionfish and stingrays.

Known hazards at Cunningham pier

Always be careful with young kids when fishing on piers. Ensure there supervised and staying away from anglers casting. I have caught a couple of sea snakes from cunningham pier, and some nasty gurnards which have poisonous spikes. Flathead is very common here so be careful of the spines behind the back of there heads which can cause lots of bleeding.


All images and videos shown on the Cunningham Pier Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.

Additions and corrections of this location

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