Fishing locations guide Mornington Pier located along Schnapper point drive in Mornington is roughly a 50-minute drive from Melbourne. The Mornington pier was originally built back in 1850 and today offers locals a vast array of fishing species to target all year round making it an excellent land-based fishing destination. The pier had a 15 million dollar facelift in 2015 but was shut down with lengthy delays in 2017 after storm damage made the pier unsafe to use. The pier is only 250 meters long but is very popular for walkers, photographers, and scuba divers.


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Things to do at Mornington Pier

This is a beautiful spot with surrounding beaches and scenic views. The immediate area is popular for swimming, walking, cycling, fishing, and scuba diving. Many locals enjoy walking the pier taking in the views and spotting sea creatures in clear waters such as jellyfish. Nearby there are local cafes, restaurants, shops, and bars within a lovely vibrant township. Fishing charters operate directly from the pier if you’re looking for a day out on the water. There are rock pools close by but do make sure the kids are closely supervised when on the pier. Recent renovations have included toilet facilities a yacht club and a vastly improved pier. There is also adequate parking close by. 


Fishing at Mornington Pier

At Mornington Pier, you can target

  • Snapper
  • Squid
  • Garfish
  • Australian Salmon
  • King George Whiting
  • Trevally
  • Flathead
  • Kingfish

Mornington pier is widely considered an excellent land-based fishing location along the Mornington Peninsula. Great views overlooking Port Phillip Bay and some outstanding fishing on offer. It can be fished all year round with many different species that can be caught. The pier does get crowded during peak time but provides access to deep water and reefs which is great for land-based anglers. Fishing off the end of the pier you will access water up to 8 meters deep. In 2015 the pier received a significant upgrade as part of a 15.6 million dollar upgrade. It also had some major repairs completed shortly after following damage by severe storms.

Prized catches at Mornington Pier include snapper during spring and summer fishing towards the end of the pier and the left of the pier which has known reef. These are great holding grounds for snapper. Especially after strong westerly winds which push the snapper in close towards these reefs. You can also catch good volumes of squid year round but especially during winter, and an abundance of garfish in between. Periodically you also get massive schools of Australian Salmon. Fishing at dawn or dusk on the incoming high tide is often the peak time to catch fish especially when the wind is chopping up a little. Fishing is also generally better in the area during the summer and autumn seasons. Good bait choices include pilchards, blue bait, silver whiting, raw chicken strips, prawns, maggots, silverfish, glacies, and squid tentacles. If you target species such as garfish then remember to berley an isolated area frequently which will help greatly with catch rates. You can buy premade berley mix or make your own. A simple mix of bread and tuna oil will work well.

Soft plastics also work great fishing at Mornington Pier. Good choices include small paddle tail and curl tail soft plastics mixing up jig heads from 1/12 through to 1/6 depending on the needed casting distance. Species such as Snapper, pinkies, flathead and Australian Salmon will respond to soft plastics here. For targeting squid we recomend reading our detailed guide on How to catch squid around Mornington. Good gear choices for squid at Mornington include a light to medium rod between 7 and 9 feet is ideal. These longer rods will allow you to cast a great distance and feel subtle enquiries. Take a range of squid jigs with you in different sizes and colors, and see what’s working on any particular day.

For small species such as garfish, leather jackets and whiting, you will want to use an ultralight fishing combo. Ideally a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 size reel spooled with light line. Then use small long shank hooks and small baits as these fish have quite small mouths. Good baits for these species include small pieces of pilchards, prawns, silverfish, and maggots. These can be either suspended from a float or a light running sinker rig.

Otherwise, a general-purpose outfit will allow you to target a whole range of different species such as flathead, snapper, trevally, and so on. These are usually 2-5 or 3-6 kilo rods with a 3000 or 4000 size reel spooled with a slightly heavier line and ready to tackle various different fish species. Good rigs to use when general-purpose fishing include pre-made paternoster rigs or a running sinker rig to a swivel and 50cm of a strong leader. Finished with a Pilchard tail or squid tentacles, raw chicken breast or any other bait will fish very well

Have a look at this video which shows some basic tips on fishing around Mornington.

Recommended baits Mornington

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
  • silver whiting
  • squid
  • silverfish
  • maggots
  • pipi
  • prawns
  • sandworms
  • blue bait
  • salmon
  • raw chicken strips
  • mussels

Recommended lures and soft plastics Mornington

Soft Plastics

  • Daiwa Baitjunkie 5 inch jerk shads
  • Berkley gulp turtleback worm
  • Savage Gear Fat Curl tails
  • Daiwa Bautjunkie 4 inch grubs
  • Zman slim Swimz
  • Berkley powerbait grub
  • Gulp 3-inch minnow
  • Daiwa Bait Junkie paddle tail minnow
  • Zman grubZ
  • eco gear ZX40
  • Daiwa Double Clutch
  • EcoGear SX40
  • Squidges biotough grub
  • Zman StreakZ
  • Munroes 3.75 inch paddle tails

Targeting garfish at Mornington


Garfish or mini marlins are a fun local fish species to target. Generally caught between 20cm and 40 cm with no minimum legal-size limit but a daily bag limit of 40. Garfish have large snouts but very small mouths so the key to catching them is to use very small size hooks. Small long shanks between size 10 and size 14 are ideal choices.  The preferred rig setup should consist of using a pencil or quill float, and then having a small split shot roughly 20cm above the hooks to keep the bait down. the floats will help suspend baits such as glacies, maggots or small pieces of fish flesh. berleying is a very important tool when targeting garfish, You can purchase premade berley pellets or powder from your local tackle shop or make your own use tuna oil, chook pellets and bread. Catching gars is all about finesse and an ultralight 1-3 or 2-4 kilo nibble tip rod that’s 7 to 9 foot in length Paired with a 1000, 2000 or 25000  size reel spooled with 4-6 lb line will be a great choice.


Targeting Snapper at Mornington


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 Gummy Shark at Mornington

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 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.

learn to make your own snapper and gummy shark rigs by watching this video

Targeting Squid at Mornington

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 Mornington


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.

 Known Hazards at Mornington Pier

There are often many rods being cast in a condensed area so be mindful of others casting around you. Especially if you have children teach them to be wary of those casting around them.

Mornington Pier aerial view

Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All other images and videos shown on the Mornington Pier Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals. Thank you for visiting the Mornington 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 with specific details in the email. Please also feel free to share any fishing pictures you have from this location with us. Thank you