Welcome to the Geelong Fishing Location Guide. Geelong is a long stretch of land around the Bellarine peninsula along Port Phillip Bay offering many land-based, boating, and kayaking fishing options. Corio bay surrounds the Geelong area and offers exceptional fishing all year round. There are many scattered piers and jetties 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, and 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.
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Things to do at Geelong
Geelong is a massive township located 70 kilometers 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 than Geelong adventure park which has world-class rides and waterslides. Including the new Tsunami waterslide. There is also Serendip Sanctuary is not far 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.
Check out this vid of FishingMad fishing at the Geelong waterfront
Fishing at Geelong
In Geelong, you can target a wide variety of species including
- Snapper ( pinkies )
- Australian Salmon
- King George Whiting
- Snot nose Trevally
- Leather jackets
- Gummy Shark
Geelong is a wonderful fishing destination with a wide variety of species and many locations near town that can be fished. It’s great for land-based fishing, boating, and kayaking. You can fish in the bay, estuaries, and freshwater systems. Geelong has 2 boat ramps 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. From your boat, you can quickly access deeper waters by fishing along the channels and outer harbor which is a very productive area.
The vast array of land base fishing is also terrific with many piers and jetties including Wangim Walk, Griggen Gully Pier, Cunningham pier, Limeburners jetty, and St Helen’s rock walls which are the most popular location. Click here if you would like to know more about how to catch snapper in Corio Bay Land base fishing around Geelong can be great with baits, soft plastics, and lures. The volume of jetties, piers, rock walls, and stricture to cast out is excellent. Further along the Bellarine Peninsula you also have great fishing at Portarlington, St Leonards, Queenscliff, and Ocean Grove. The video below highlights just how much fun it can be.
Geelong also has great land base fishing at night time. Many of the piers along the waterfront area including Cunningham pier are lit up at night time and a great place to target pinkies, whiting, snook, trevally, and more. However many pest species come out at night such as sand eels, scorpionfish, and stingrays. One of our favorite forms of fishing around here has been along the waterfront casting shallow diving hard body lures for snook, pinkies and trevally in the evenings.
If bait fishing it’s hard to go past staple options including Pilchards, Chicken, Squid, and Silver whiting. The 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-around 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 a line around 8 pounds, 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 are also great freshwater and estuary fishing opportunities around Geelong. We have done specific fishing guides for these particular locations. Which are great for targeting redfin, trout, and carp and in the estuaries whiting, trevally, and mullet.
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.
- silver whiting
- raw chicken strips
Lures and soft plastics for Geelong
- Berkley gulp turtleback worm
- Daiwa Double Clutches
- Keitech Easy shners
- Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
- Zman slim Swimz
- 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 Flathead at Geelong
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 Snapper at Geelong
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 Whiting at Geelong
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 25-minute whiting masterclass as we guide you through everything you need to know to catch whiting.
Targeting Salmon at Geelong
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 Geelong
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. 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.
Targeting Trevally at Geelong
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 a fine 8-12-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader.
Targeting mullet at Geelong
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.
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 it 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 ask someone around you before handling it. 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. Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All images and videos shown on the Geelong Fishing Location Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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