Welcome to the St Kilda Pier Fishing Guide. St Kilda Pier is an iconic spot within Melbourne overlooking Port Phillip Bay. Built in 1853 and opened to the public in 1904 it’s a very popular destination with a beautiful backdrop to the beach. Activities in this area include attending the market, catching a ride at Luna Park or those along the beach pathways by foot, cycling or roller skating. It’s a very popular fishing location and can often you can see rows of overcrowded anglers standing side by side which is prone to line tangling. This is particularly popular on summer nights targeting pinkies.
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Things to do at St Kilda
St Kilda is a popular Melbourne suburb with a rich history that spans along Port Phillip Bay. Only 6 kilometres south-east from the heart of Melbourne home to roughly 20,000 residents. St Kilda beach is a very popular destination for the family, especially in summer. There are nearby parks and BBQ areas. There are regular esplanade markets hosted along the main beach, the infamous trams into the city and not too far away is the iconic Luna Park. There is also the St Kilda adventure playground and botanic gardens so this is a great spot to take the kids. They will need to be closely supervised when fishing on the pier. Enjoy the regular beach markets, jogging or cycling along the beach, or enjoy the vast array of cafes, boutique shops and nightlife along Aclan Street and Fitzroy street in a vibrant township. This brings many tourists and backpackers to a town along the beach with much to do.
The bayside coastal arts trail is a great 17-kilometre walking track that passes through Brighton. Parking is available at the pier entrance however you will need to pay. Paid parking is available however this can be a very busy area so get in early. Avoid market days as parking is close to impossible.
Fishing at St Kilda Pier
St Kilda Pier is located at the end of Fitzroy street and is one of the busiest piers in all of Melbourne, especially on balmy summer nights. It’s a great fishing location for those who live close to the CBD. Here you can target snapper, snook, flathead, salmon, mullet, gummy shark, trevally and garfish. You will need a long landing net or gaff as there is a drop from the pier edge to water. Good bait choices in this area include pilchard, blue bait, mussel, pippies, silver whiting, raw chicken strips, squid. We would recommend a general-purpose medium to light 7 to 9-foot rod. You’re 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 Pilchard tail or small squid head. If you chasing pinkies then a paternoster rig with raw chicken breast will fish very well.
If you chasing big snapper then go with a heavier outfit and a longer rod that will allow you to get your bait out further into slightly deeper water. You may consider light to medium surf rod for this purpose. Fishing dawn or dusk on the incoming high tide will be your best chance especially when the wind is chopping up a little. There is good lighting at night time and you will often see many anglers fishing the sundown.
Often there are rows of fisherman everywhere so the biggest danger will be avoiding line tangles or walking behind someone who is casting, so be wary of those around you.
Baits Rye St Kilda Pier
- blue bait
- silver whiting
- raw chicken strips
Lures and soft plastics for St Kilda Pier
- 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
- Dawia 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 St Kilda Pier
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 Snook at St Kilda pier
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 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.
Targeting Salmon at St Kilda Pier
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. Port Phillip Bay Fishing Guide
When lure fishing first consider what weight lures your likely to be casting. We would recommend rods between 9-12 foot 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
Targeting Gummy Shark at St Kilda Pier
We would recommend targeting gummy shark 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.
Targeting Flathead at St Kilda Pier
We encourage you to read our detailed guide on How to catch Flathead. Flathead is a year-round prospect which can be caught at any time of the day. They are an ambush predator that waits in disguise for smaller fish to swim buy 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 your 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 baits choices include pilchards, mussels, squid, chicken, whitebait, Pipis, blue bait and prawns.
Targeting Mullet at St Kilda
This is a great location to mullet a bread and butter species which school up in big numbers. They are fun to catch on light spinning gear and a great fish species to introduce beginners into fishing. Mullet respond well to berley, so berley an isolated area with a mix of bread, tuna oil and chook pellets.
Good baits include bread, dough, live maggots, pilchard, and prawn. remember that Mullet have small mouths so remember to cut these baits up into small pieces. You can also use soft plastics small minnow and grub style soft plastic with a slow constant retrieve. Scents such as S-Factor or Procure certainly helps.
Most mullet is quite small therefore a 7-foot rod in a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo class, paired with a 1000, 2000 or 2500 reel spooled with 2-6-pound braid and equivalent leader. Here are some helpful tips on catching Mullet with soft plastics.
Targeting Trevally at St Kilda
Trevally pound for pound is one of the best fighting fish. In certain parts of Australia surface popping for Giant Trevally is one of the bucket list fishing experiences that you must tick off. However, in Victoria, you will mainly be catching the much smaller silver trevally. Good bait options include blue bait, whitebait, raw chicken, pilchards, pippies, squid and mussels. Trevally will also take a range of soft plastics including worm and minnow imitations, small surface poppers, and small metal spoons.
We recommend targeting trevally with a 1-3 or 2-4 kilo fishing rod coupled with a 2000, or 2500 reel spooled with 4-8-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader. If there are larger trevally in the area than you can go heavier moving up the scale to a 3-5 kilo class spin rod spooled with fine 8-12-pound braid and equivalent fluorocarbon leader.
Targeting garfish at St Kilda
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 snout but very small mouth 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, 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.
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All other images and videos shown on the St Kilda Pier Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
Additions or Corrections for this location
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