Welcome to the Kilcunda Beach Fishing Guide. The Kilcunda Surf Beach is a scenic and generally quiet surf beach past Western Port heading towards Phillip Island. There are 2 different sections of the beach. First, the main area is located near the bridge entrance and the second is the cemetery section a little further down. Both areas are covered by clifftop bluffs scattered rock flats and deep gutters. Just on a 2 hours drive from Melbourne, this surf beach is known for its quality waves, strong rip and inshore reefs. It’s also popular with anglers looking to flick metal lures and baits for schools of salmon throughout winter. With a couple of known deep gutters, it’s great grounds for Salmon fishing in winter.
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Things to do at Kilcunda surf beach
Only 10 minutes drive from Phillip Island is the scenic Kilcunda Beach. Only a 90-minute drive from Melbourne it’s a beautiful destination that offers scenic views, great surfing, walking trails and clean beaches. There is gravel parking towards the bridge and beach entrance. It does get very windy, and the surf rip can be very strong so be careful. This area is unpatrolled so do be careful. The rock flats can also be quite slippery to walk on. It’s also an area quite common for shark sighting. Also, watch out for surfers who often stray from the pack and end up close to fishing lines.
A popular thing to do in this area is to take a scenic walk along shelly beach and exploring many rock pools.
Fishing Kilcunda surf beach
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. At Kilcunda there are 2 gutters in the main area to the left and right of the main staircase. There are also some rocky gutters that fish well but prone to snags. This is a great section to target. We love to flick big metal lures in this area, it’s a great way to target salmon. Have a look at this guide on surf fishing tips and lure choices.
Kilcunda Surf beach offers great salmon fishing in winter and in the warmer months snapper, gummy shark and whiting. 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 foot 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 foot and 15 foot 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 your 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 Kilcunda surf beach
- blue bait
- silver whiting
Lures and soft plastics for Kilcunda 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
- Dawia Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Zman grubZ
Targeting Salmon at Kilcunda 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 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 Snapper at Kilcunda 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. 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 Kilcunda surf beach
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 Gummy Shark at Kilcunda surf beach
We would recommend targeting gummy shark with a 7 foot 8-15 kilo rod paired with a 4000 to 6000 size reel spooled with 20 to 40 pound line. Finished with a strong leader ranging from 40lb through to 60 pounds. Ideal rigs include a running sinker rig to single or double snelled rig or paternoster rig. You can use an Ezi rig attaching a sinker to the clip 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 Kilcunda surf beach
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.
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All images and videos shown on the Kilcunda Beach Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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