Welcome to the Gunnamatta Beach Fishing Guide. Gunnamatta Surf Beach is a popular surf beach within the Mornington Peninsula. Its located near Fingal heading towards Cape Schanck and Flinders roughly a 90-minute drive from Melbourne. This sandy beach is popular with visitors and surfers due to its quality waves, and strong rip and inshore reefs. It’s also very popular with anglers looking to flick metal lures and baits for schools of salmon throughout winter.
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Things to do at Gunnamatta Surf Beach
Gunnamatta surf beach is a great location for surfing and fishing. It’s a nice spot to bring the kids to play in the sand and in the shallows but be warned there are large waves and a strong rip so you must keep a close eye on them. You can follow Gunnamatta weather and wave forecasts here. There is ample parking is available at the beach entrance.
Fishing Gunnamatta Beach
Gunnamatta Surf Beach offers great salmon fishing in winter and in the warmer months snapper, gummy shark and whiting. When arriving spend a little bit of time looking for the gutters, these are breaks in the waves and colour changes you can see from a distance. Indicating a change in water depth and these deeper pools or channels is salmon like to swim through. Gummy sharks like them as well. You can catch salmon with bait and lures our favourite form of targeting them is flick long casting metal lures. Read our detailed guide on surf fishing around Victoria for Salmon. Using a rod between 9-11 feet in length and 5-10 kilo class is an ideal choice when flicking metal lures between 30 and 60 grams. I usually have a 3000 or 4000 size reel spooled with 10-15 pound braid which works great. There are plenty of good options in this range covering many different budgets so give some thought to your desired lure weight and they will put you in the right place.
Targeting salmon check out this crazy bust-up that our team stumbled upon
When bait fishing blue bait and pilchards are the bait of choice in this area. We recommend a Paternoster rig with a large star sinker to allow you to cast far. The rig will generally be holding 2 full blue baits or 2 half pilchards. You can buy pre-made surf popper rigs which are a great choice and don’t forget to add a surf popper to the top of your rig which surprisingly gets plenty of bites. A good surf bait rod is generally between 10 feet and 15 feet in length. Using a fishing rod of this length allows you to keep your lines high above the crashing surf. It also allows you to cast longer distances with heavier sinkers.
Rod and reel selection all depends if you are bait fishing or throwing metal lures. At least a 10-foot rod is required to cast far and to keep the line above the crashing waves. For flicking lures a 12-foot rod, with a 4000 size reel spooled with 12-pound line and a strong leader is a great option. If bait fishing 12-15 foot rod, coupled with a 6000 size reel spooled with 20-pound line and a strong leader.
When bait fishing for salmon we believe the best setup is a Paternoster rig with a star sinker. As shown in the image below. This gives you 2 separate baits at different heights. You could also attach a surf popper if you wanted to further increase your chances.
Another great variation is to present 1 full bait with double snelled hooks. This rig is perfect when your target multiple species such as salmon, mulloway and gummy sharks
If you plan on fishing the one spot then berleying up is a great idea. You can buy pre-made berley or make your own with pellets, pilchard and tuna oil mixed up. This can be placed into a bag or sack and left for the surf to do all the work. It’s best to follow the tides and the incoming High tide is always good for Salmon. Also sundown and sunrise seem to bring on the bite. Do keep an eye out for surfers who often stray from the pack and end up close to fishing lines.
Baits Gunnamatta Surf Beach
- blue bait
- silver whiting
Lures and soft plastics for Gunnamatta Surf Beach
- 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
- Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
- Berkley gulp turtleback worm
- Savage Gear Fat Curl tails
- Daiwa Bautjunkie 4 inch grubs
- Zman slim Swimz
- Berkley powerbait grub
- Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Zman grubZ
Targeting Salmon at Gunnamatta Surf Beach
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 feet 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 Gunnamatta Surf Beach
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 Whiting at Gunnamatta Surf Beach
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 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 everything you need to know to catch whiting.
Targeting Gummy Shark at Gunnamatta Surf Beach
We would recommend targeting gummy sharks with a 7 foot 8-15 kilo rod paired with a 4000 to 6000 size reel spooled with a 20 to 40-pound line. Finished with a strong leader ranging from 40lb through to 60 pounds. Ideal rigs include a running sinker rig single or double snelled rig or a paternoster rig. You can use an Ezi rig attaching a sinker to the clip and then tying on a pre-made double snelled rig. Octopus or circle hooks from 5/0 to 7/0 are preferred for presenting chunks of salmon, trevally, squid, mackerel, Eel, mullet, pilchard, yakka’s, & garfish.
Targeting Flathead at Gunnamatta Surf Beach
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. Use 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.
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All images and videos shown on the Gunnamatta Beach Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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