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, and 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 a 10-minute 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 sightings. 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 the shelly beach and explore many rock pools.
Fishing Kilcunda surf beach
At Kilcunda Surf Beach you can catch
- Australian Salmon
- Gummy Sharks
- King George Whiting
It’s a great spot for a variety of species however its most known for its Australian Salmon and Gummy shark fishing. When arriving spend a little bit of time looking for the gutters, these are breaks in the waves and color changes you can see from a distance. Indicating a change in water depth and these deeper pools or channels are where 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 are 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 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.
Check out this instructional video guide on how to catch salmon on soft plastics. Crazy action in this one.
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.
Best Baits fishing Kilcunda surf beach
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.
- 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
- Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
- Zman grubZ
Targeting Salmon at Kilcunda surf beach
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.
Targeting Snapper at Kilcunda surf beach
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 is 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.
Check out this instructional video guide on how to catch snapper with soft plastics filmed locally in Port Phillip Bay
Targeting Whiting at Kilcunda 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 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 Gummy Shark at Kilcunda 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 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 a 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 Tailor at Kilcunda surf beach
Tailor is an aggressive predatory fish with sharp teeth with great fighting qualities. They have a similar profile to a salmon and leap out of the water when hooked. They school up in big numbers hunting baitfish in packs and breaking water often a sign that there feeding. You can catch them trolling, casting lures or bait fishing from the banks or surf. Small metal slugs, curl tail soft plastics, paddle tail soft plastics are great choices. So are staple baits like pilchard mullet, blue bait and garfish. Either on a single hook, ganged hooks or even on light wire trace if there cutting through your leaders.
Picking a suitable outfit for tailor can be tricky as they have sharp teeth and can shred your leaders with ease. When fishing in estuary systems we would typically use a 7-foot rod in a 2-4, 3-5 or 4-6 kilo class, paired with a 2500 or 3000 reel spooled with 6-8-pound braid and slightly stronger leader. If your targeting them in the surf then a long casting surf rod spooled with 14-20 pound braid and equivalent leader would be suitable. Handle them carefully they have sharp teeth that can do some damage. If you’re getting hook-ups but dropping a lot of fish then consider using a stronger leader or light wire trace.
Targeting Flathead at Kilcunda surf beach
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.
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All images and videos shown on the Kilcunda Beach Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals. Thank you for visiting the Kilcunda Beach Fishing Guide. If you feel this location guide is missing any key information or needs any corrections made, then please let us know by emailing our team at firstname.lastname@example.org with specific details in the email. Thank you