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 accommodations. 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-kilometer 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, and light towers, and finish near the 12 apostles. 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

At Lorine Pier, you can catch

  • Squid
  • Snapper
  • Australian Salmon
  • Trevally
  • Snook
  • Mullet
  • King George Whiting
  • barracoota
  • gummy sharks
  • bronze whaler shark,
  • garfish,
  • flathead,
  • grass whiting
  • leather jackets

There are many species to target so the options are endless when choosing rods, reels, bait, or lures. 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. 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.

The visible weed beds halfway down the pier on each side are fantastic grounds for squid which can be caught in good numbers in the right conditions. Those weed beds are prime areas for squid so take some time to look for signs such as ink stains on the pier. The choice of squid jigs is almost endless here but pick something that will take advantage of the depth and distance that you need to cover. It’s best to target Snapper at the end of the pier casting out as far as you can ideally with a light to medium surf rod. Snapper will arrive in these areas in Spring and Summer. Longer length rods and heavier sinkers allow you to cast a good distance from the end of the pier to get fresh baits in prime areas. Fresh baits such as freshly caught squid will help your catch rates immensely. We recommend using a dropper rig, paternoster rig, or running sinker rig. Then finished with a squid strip or pilchard tail on a 4/0 or 5/0 hook. If you chasing pinkies and flathead then a paternoster rig with pilchard tail or raw chicken breast on a size 2/0 or 3/0 will fish very well.

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 hopping 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.

When bait fishing here a longer length allows for long casts with heavy sinkers and keeps 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.

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.

Important Tips when fishing Lorne Pier

  • Make sure you bring a long drop net which will be needed when trying to lift a decent snapper out of the water onto the pier which can be very challenging due to the height of the pier. 
  • It can be a very crowded fishing location, especially during spring and Summer.
  • Expect to catch some pest species like banjo sharks

Best Baits Lorne Pier

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.

Bait Choices

  • pilchard
  • pipis
  • blue bait
  • silver whiting
  • salmon
  • prawns
  • squid

Lures and soft plastics for Lorne Pier

Soft Plastics

  • 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

Check out this instructional video guide on how to catch snapper with soft plastics filmed locally in Port Phillip Bay

Targeting Squid at Lorne

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 15-pound braid. Squid jigs are prone to snags in this area, and we have found that 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 instructional video guide on how to squid filmed locally in Port Phillip Bay



Targeting Salmon at Lorne


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 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

Gummy Shark

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.


Targeting Flathead at Lorne Pier

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 Whiting at Lorne Pier


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 whiting masterclass as we guide you through everything you need to know to catch whiting.

Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All other images and videos shown on the Lorne Pier Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals. Thank you for visiting the Lorne Pier Fishing Guide. If you feel this location guide is missing key information or needs any corrections made, then please let us know by emailing our team at enquiries@fishingmad.com.au with specific details in the email. Please also feel free to share any fishing pictures you have from this location with us. Thank you