Welcome to the Geelong Fishing location Guide. Geelong is a long stretch of land around Bellarine peninsula along Port Phillip Bay offering many land-based, boating and kayaking fishing options. Corio bay surrounds the Geelong area and offers exception fishing all year round. There are many scattered piers and jetty’s making it a great and accessible fishing location. There are many fishing spots to target including Cunningham Pier, Waterfront, St Helen’s ramp & Limeburners point just to name a few. Seasonally it fishes very well for snapper, whiting, trevally. But generally is an all year round fishing destination only 1 hour from Melbourne. There are also some rivers and estuaries within the township.

Things to do at 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 Geelong

Geelong has 2 boat ramp located within town giving local anglers amazing boating and kayak access to Corio Bay. One is located at the start of Geelong near St Helens and the other towards the end of town as the main boat ramp. The vast array of land base fishing is also terrific with many piers and jetties including Cunningham pier and St Helen’s rock walls which are the most popular location. In Geelong, you can target Snapper ( pinkies ), Snook, Flathead, Salmon, Whiting, Snot nose Trevally, leather-jackets, Mullet, Gummy Shark, Gurnard, Eels. Click here if you would like to know more about how to catch snapper in Corio Bay

Geelong also has great land base fishing at night time. Many of the piers along the waterfront area including Cunningham pier is lit up at night time and a great place to target pinkies, whiting, trevally and more. However many pest species come out at night such as sand eels, scorpionfish and stingrays.

If bait fishing its hard to go past staple options including Pilchards, Chicken, Squid and Silver whiting. Paternoster rig works well with sinker options to suit your desired casting distance. However, I have fished here really well with soft plastics, hard body lures and Blades when fishing from jetties and piers. This has worked a treat for snook, flathead,  pinkies, flathead, mullet and even Trevally. I generally use an all-round rod setup which will allow me to target a different range of fish and sizes. Usually 2 – 8 kilo class rod capacity, with a 4000 size reel. I’ll generally have line around 8 pound, with a nice strong leader. I prefer 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.

Freshwater fishing around Geelong

There is also great freshwater fishing opportunities with the Barwon River. Not too far away places such as Stoney point, Wurdibuloc and Barwon heads. Where you can target redfin, trout and carp and in the estuaries whiting, trevally and mullet.

Baits Geelong

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

Lures and soft plastics for Geelong

Targeting Flathead at Geelong

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 Snapper at Geelong

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 Whiting at Geelong

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 Salmon at Geelong

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. Port Phillip Bay Fishing Guide

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

Targeting Snook at Geelong

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.

Targeting Trevally at Geelong

Trevally

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 Geelong

Mullet

This is a great location to mullet a bread and butter species which school up in big numbers. They are fun to catch on light spinning gear and a great fish species to introduce beginners into 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 prawn. 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.

Fishing Geelong known hazards

Eels, scorpionfish and Gurnards can be very common catches in these areas. Especially if night fishing. Always handle fish with care and don’t handle at all if you’re not sure what species it is.  I have seen people catch these and curiously hold to find out what type of species of fish it is. This is very dangerous and a small prick from one of its spikes will have you in a hospital with severe pain. So do be careful if you don’t know what type of species it is, then asks someone around you before handling. I have also had some mates have an encounter with hammerhead sharks.

The freshwater areas such as the Barwon river hold a large volume of snakes particularly tiger snakes so do take care in these areas.

Acknowledgements

Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All images and videos shown on the Geelong Fishing Location Guide are Fishing Mad originals.

Additions and corrections of this location

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