Welcome to the Sandringham Breakwater Fishing Guide. Sandringham breakwater is located on Jetty road behind the footy oval. It’s not quite as popular as neighbouring fishing destinations Brighton break wall and Mordialloc pier but it still is a good fishing destination particular in the warmer months. Bringing long casting surf gear will allow you to target snapper from the ends of the rock wall whilst you can also bring light gear and target whiting and garfish. Or casting soft plastics near the moored yachts which can be very enjoyable.

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Things to do at Sandringham

Sandringham is a popular Melbourne suburb that spans along Port Phillip Bay. Only 16 kilometres southeast of the Melbourne CBD. This is a popular destination for the family to enjoy the beach, walking, cycling and a vast array of playgrounds, cafes and boutique shops in a vibrant township. Visit the band rotunda on Sandringham beach which provides fun photo opportunities. The bayside coastal arts trail is a great 17-kilometre walking track that passes through Sandringham. Parking is available at the pier entrance however you will need to pay.

Fishing at Sandringham Breakwater

At Sandringham Breakwater, you can seasonally target

  • snapper
  • flathead
  • whiting
  • garfish
  • salmon
  • snook
  • Mulloway
  • Trevally

This location can fish well with both soft plastics and bait especially for pinkies in the warmer months. Take some time to study the weather and tides before fishing here which can make a big difference to your casting distance. Fishing on low tide can be very challenging as the waters will be shallow its best to fish during a rising ride. Be prepared to bring multiple outfits and inevitably lose some gear along the rocks to snags. Over the years some good size snapper has been caught here check out our guide on targeting snapper around Melbourne. The best time to target snapper here is between Oct and March after a few windy days. Ideally use a 9 to 12-foot surf rod and a heavy star or bomb sinker to allow you to cast a squid or pilchard out far into deeper waters and productive snapper grounds.

The area is surrounded by weedy vegetation which makes amazing grounds for whiting and garfish. King George whiting is a very common catch here in the warmer months and during the night. Look for clearings amongst the reef which are spots where whiting will often reside. Pipis on a running sinker or paternoster rig will be very productive during the right time. For Garfish good bait options will include glassies, silverfish, maggots or small pieces of pilchard or chicken. For garfish a light and sensitive rod are essential. Ideally, an 8-foot fishing rod with a 1-3 kilo rod with a 2000 reel spooled with a 4-pound line is ideal. Then suspend your baits from a float and hook small enough to fit in a gar’s mouth.

In this area, I find it most enjoyable walking up and down and flicking soft plastics on each side of the Rockwall. Flicking plastics towards the moored yachts to the right and then into open water on the left. We have caught snapper, snook, trevally and flathead casting plastics towards the moored yachts. Just do make sure you show respect to those who have their yachts there and do respectfully keep your distance. If you fishing with baits then we would highly recommend using, squid strips, pilchards, blue bait, silver whiting, raw chicken, and mussels. We have found paternoster rigs with a strong line to work the best in this area. This area is rocky and very snaggy so casting out a fair distance is key to getting your baits in the prime location. We would recommend a medium weight long casting fishing rod between 7 to 10 foot. You’re also likely to catch many small pinkies and flathead so you don’t want to fish too heavy but need to be prepared for the odd large snapper. Often I will use a running sinker rig to a swivel and 50cm of strong leader finished with a full pilchard or squid head to try and entice a snapper. If you chasing pinkies then a paternoster rig with raw chicken breast will fish very well. Landing a fish can be a little awkward here and a long landing net and a gaff are handy tools. We have lost several fish along the rocks or when attempting to lift the fish onto the pier. So plan ahead and have the right gear with you.

Want to make your own snapper rigs then watch this video which will walk you through step by step.

Baits Sandringham Breakwater

  • pilchard
  • pipis
  • blue bait
  • silver whiting
  • salmon
  • raw chicken strips
  • prawns
  • maggots
  • squid
  • mussels

Lures and soft plastics for Sandringham Breakwater

  • Daiwa Bait Junkie 2.5 inch grub
  • Zman slim Swimz
  • Daiwa Baitjunkie 5 inch jerk shads
  • Berkley gulp turtleback worm
  • Savage Gear Fat Curl tails
  • Daiwa Bautjunkie 4 inch grubs
  • 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
  • Kietech swim impact fat
  • Zerek fish trap
  • Samaki Vibelicious

Targeting Snapper at Sandringham Breakwater


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. 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 are 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 Flathead at Sandringham Breakwater


We encourage you to read our detailed guide on How to catch Flathead. 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 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 you are targeting flathead with bait, we recommend using a paternoster rig or running sinker rig. Use 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.

Targeting garfish at Sandringham Breakwater


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 Whiting at Sandringham Breakwater


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 Salmon at Sandringham Breakwater


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 its weight. When hooked they produce strong bursts of speed, powerful runs, and vigorous head shakes. Do keep an eye out for gutters which are patches of deeper water that Salmon will swim through in schools. These can be identified by the 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 you are 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 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 Snook at Sandringham Breakwater


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. Header from Victorian Minnow sailing association. all other content on the Sandringham Breakwater Fishing Guide is fishing mad original.

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