Welcome to the Frankston Pier Fishing Guide. Frankston Pier has always been a popular fishing destination along Port Phillip Bay. The pier offers a good range of fishing species for anglers all year round. The pier was built way back in 1857 and received an extension facelift in 1864. It has become an iconic part of a vibrant township that has a lot to offer in the surrounding areas. In 2012 an artificial reef was deployed by the DEPI. It is 40 meters out from the end of the pier which will offer great fishing in years to come. In August 2019 Frankston pier made the news as part of the pier was swept away due to gale force winds.
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Please note in 2020 Frankston Pier was temporarily closed. A $670,000 fund to repair the pier was completed between April – and August 2020. The upgrade notes include 62 piles to be driven along the main section of the pier.
Things to do at Frankston Pier
Frankston pier is located just off the Nepean highway taking the pier promenade exit around 1-hour drive from Melbourne. There is plenty of free available parking. The pier is situated near the Frankston boat ramp and yacht club opposite Kananook creek. It’s a nice family location with cafes, toilet facilities, nearby playgrounds and restaurants. Frankston Beach is a great spot to take the family for a swim, sunbake, stand up paddleboarding, or play on the sand. With shallow waters and onsite local surf, life-saving club. It’s also a great place to take the dog for a walk whilst enjoying the views of Olivers Hill along the boardwalk.
Close by there is the aquatic centre, artistic sculptures, botanic gardens, golf course and adventure playgrounds. During summer the sand sculptures are often a great attraction to the area. Frankston is also the gateway to the Mornington peninsula and attractions such as the hot springs and highly acclaimed golf courses.
Fishing at Frankston Pier
At Frankston pier, you can target garfish, salmon, snapper, trevally, mullet, flathead and more. This location can fish well with both soft plastics and bait. Therefore a general-purpose fishing rod combo is a good way to target multiple species at the same time. Over the years some good size snapper has been caught towards the end of the pier. Check out our guide on targeting snapper around Melbourne. A popular species to target at Frankston is 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 a 4-pound line is ideal. Then suspend your baits from a float and hook small enough to fit in a gars mouth.
In the cooler months, schools of salmon will congregate around Frankston pier. We would recommend having with you some long casting metal lures around 40grams in weight and a 9 to 10-foot rod ready in case a school of salmon come by. Catching salmon from piers can be amazing fun if you happen to be there at the right moment.
Targeting salmon check out this crazy bust-up that our team stumbled upon
Frankston Pier techniques to catch fish
For other species of fish, an all-around rod setup will allow me to target a different range of fish and sizes. Either a running sinker rig or a paternoster rig with a sinker attached to suit your desired casting distance. A 7 foot 2-4 or 3-5 kilo fishing rod, with a 3000 size reel spooled with 10-pound line and equivalent leader is a great starting point. You can go heavier or lighter depending on what you’re targeting. Good bait options include pilchards, raw chicken, squid and blue bait. If you plan on targeting snapper or gummy sharks then you may choose to go heavier with a 7 foot 6 inch 4-7 kilo rod and 4000 size reel spooled with a 12-20 pound line.
Soft plastics and blades will also work well here slowly hopped off the bottom with some pauses and erratic lifts. This technique works a treat for pinkies, flathead, and Trevally.
This location fishes well in the early morning, especially during an incoming high tide, usually sees a big run of pinkies in summer. Low tide generally produces a healthy volume of flathead. During the warmer months try and get a spot towards the end of the pier and cast towards the artificial reefs. This will be your best chance of landing a good size pinkie or snapper.
Baits Frankston Pier
- blue bait
- silver whiting
- raw chicken strips
Lures and soft plastics for Frankston Pier
- 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 garfish at Frankston Pier
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 Frankston Pier
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 its weight. When hooked they produce strong bursts of speed, powerful runs, and vigorous head shakes. Do keep an eye out for gutters which are patches of deeper water that Salmon will swim through in schools. These can be identified by the 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. Port Phillip Bay Fishing Guide
When lure fishing first consider what weight lures you are 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
Targeting Snapper at Frankston Pier
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. 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 are 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 Trevally at Frankston Pier
Trevally pound for pound is one of the best fighting fish. In certain parts of Australia surface popping for Giant Trevally is one of the bucket list fishing experiences that you must tick off. However, in Victoria, you will mainly be catching the much smaller silver trevally. Good bait options include blue bait, whitebait, raw chicken, pilchards, pippies, squid and mussels. Trevally will also take a range of soft plastics including worm and minnow imitations, small surface poppers, and small metal spoons.
We recommend targeting trevally with a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 2000, or 2500 reel spooled with 4-8-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader. If there are larger trevally in the area than you can go heavier moving up the scale to a 3-5 kilo class spin rod spooled with fine 8-12-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader.
Targeting mullet at Frankston Pier
This is a great location to mullet a bread and butter species that school up in big numbers. They are fun to catch on light spinning gear and a great fish species to introduce beginners to fishing. Mullet respond well to berley, so berley an isolated area with a mix of bread, tuna oil and chook pellets. Good baits include bread, dough, live maggots, pilchard, and prawns. remember that Mullet have small mouths so remember to cut these baits up into small pieces. You can also use soft plastics small minnow and grub style soft plastic with a slow constant retrieve. Scents such as S-Factor or Procure certainly helps. Most mullet are quite small therefore a 7-foot rod in a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo class, paired with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 reel spooled with 2-6-pound braid and equivalent leader.
Here are some helpful tips on catching Mullet with soft plastics.
Targeting Flathead at Frankston Pier
We encourage you to read our detailed guide on How to catch Flathead. 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 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 you 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.
Frankston Pier in the headlines
In 2012 Frankston Pier made news headlines by receiving a new artificial reef.
In 2019 it was back in the headlines after a section of the Frankston pier was swept away by gale-force winds.
Often there are rows of fishermen so the biggest danger will be avoiding line tangles or walking behind someone who is casting, so be wary of those around you. Rays and Banjos can be common here which is more of a pest than a danger.
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All images and videos shown on the Frankston Pier Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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