Welcome to the Lorne Pier Fishing Guide. Lorne is a very popular holiday destination with clean beaches, great views, a vibrant township and lots of accommodation. The pier is situated in front of the Grand Pacific Hotel roughly 2 hours drive from Melbourne. Originally built in 1879 it was reconstructed in 2006 and is now a beautifully designed pier that allows anglers to target many different species of fish. The often blustery & wavy conditions stir up the water bringing many predatory species. The pier seasonally offers different species to target with salmon often being the prized target during the winter months and Snapper the prized target in Summer.
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Things to do at Lorne
Lorne is a very popular holiday destination with plenty of outdoor activities for the family. There are many clean beaches including the main beach which is monitored by the local life-saving club, then there is Scotchman’s hill beach and Shelly beach. Then you can explore Lorne’s natural beauty and wonders with some amazing waterfalls including Erskine Falls, Won Wondah falls, Henderson falls, Phantom falls, Sheoak falls & Cumberland falls. There are plenty of beautiful scenic walks including Teddy’s lookout, Queens park walk, St Georges river walks, Stony Creek walk and the historic bridge walk. There are also many places perfect for a picnic or BBQ. Lorne is also well known for the great ocean road which was finished in 1932. A 243-kilometre winding road carefully built between hillsides and surf beaches is a true wonder of Victoria. Starting from Torquay and finishing near Warnambool. Along the journey, you will pass beautiful beaches, remarkable lookouts, vibrant townships, waterfalls, light towers, and finish near the 12 apostles.
Seals are a big pest at the Lorne Pier. They hide under the pier looking for an easy feed by stealing your catches. They can easily ruin a nice day’s fishing. This is also a very popular location bound to be very busy in peak holiday times, so be wary of other anglers.
Fishing at Lorne Pier
The Lorne pier is a unique fishing destination. It’s quite elevated above the water level overlooking strong tidal waves thanks to winds coming directly from the bass straight. Seals and rays reside at the pier making it challenging at times. Parking is easy with a car park at the pier entrance of the main road. If supervised this can be a nice spot to take the kids. However, make sure you keep a very close eye on them. The conditions are usually rough, and windy and waves can crash into the pier.
When fishing you will be able to catch squid, salmon, snapper, trevally, snook, barracoota, gummy shark, bronze whaler shark, garfish, flathead, grass whiting, leather jackets, mullet, stingrays and more. There are many species to target so and the options are endless when choosing rods, reels, bait or lures. However, a general-purpose rod with pilchards might just be a simple yet great starting choice. Many species including salmon, snapper, flathead, trevally and gummy sharks will happily take a pilchard. An all-around rod setup will allow you to target a different range of fish and sizes. Either a running sinker rig or a paternoster rig with a sinker attached to suit your desired casting distance. Good bait options include pilchards, raw chicken, squid and blue bait. Soft plastics and blades will also work well here slowly hopped off the bottom with some pauses and erratic lifts. This technique works a treat for pinkies, flathead, and Trevally.
In the cooler months schools of salmon are common. It always pays to have some long casting metal slugs and long rods suitable for casting them. Catching salmon from piers can be amazing fun if you happen to be there at the right moment. Have a look at this video which highlights just how much fun it can be catching salmon.
This location fishes well in the early morning, especially during an incoming high tide, and usually sees a big run of pinkies in summer. There’s a good chance of landing a good size fish so you will want to rig up more heavily in this area a 4 to 10-kilo capacity rod is ideal. Preferably something around 8 feet long to give you good casting ability. High tide is preferable as more species come in to feed underneath the Pier during this time. The rising tide brings fish in to feed on the structure. Species like Gummy sharks and Squid are much more active at night and there is adequate lighting for night fishing. In fact, this is a great night fishing location.
Baits Lorne Pier
- blue bait
- silver whiting
Lures and soft plastics for Lorne Pier
- 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 Squid at Lorne
Squid is a frequent catch on the pier towards the front and mid parts of the pier. Just look for the squid ink which is a great indicator of where to target them. Anglers do well-suspending squid jigs with the use of a float. Targeting squid is a fun form of fishing growing in popularity with the reward of fresh calamari. Squid can be caught all year round, you will find them in shallow weedy areas and they respond well to jigs in clear water conditions. We recommend reading our detailed guide on How to catch squid around Melbourne. An egi rod between 7.5 feet and 9 feet in length is ideal and there are plenty of egi rods on the market fit for purpose. We recommend an 8 foot 3-inch rod paired with a 3000 size reel spooled with a 15-pound braid. Squid jigs are prone to snags in this area, and we have found using slow sinking jigs in the smaller size of 2.5 and 3.0-gram jigs will help avoid this problem. Cast your squid jig to allow time for the jig to sink then do a series of lifts and pauses to imitate a wounded prawn. The natural temptation is to strike Instead, a subtle lift to keep line tension and a constant slow reel is all that’s required.
Check out this video a master class on Kayak fishing for squid
Targeting Salmon at Lorne
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.
When lure fishing first consider what weight lures your likely to be casting. We would recommend rods between 9-12 feet in length in 5-10 kilo class paired with a 3000 size reel spooled with a 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
Check out this video of a crazy salmon school we recently encountered.
Targeting Snapper at Lorne
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 Gummy Shark at Lorne
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 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.
learn to make your own snapper and gummy shark rigs watching this video
Targeting Snook at Lorne
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.
Check out this video of a crazy snook session when kayak fishing.
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All other images and videos shown on the Lorne Pier Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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