Welcome to the Station Pier Fishing guide. Station Pier is located in Port Melbourne roughly 20 minutes drive from the CBD. It was built in 1854 and overlooks Port Phillip Bay located on beach street. Its easily recognized for having large cruise boats such as the spirit of Tasmania and Navy ships berthed along with it which can be seen from the distance. These ships will remain berthed here transporting holiday goers and freight in and out of Melbourne. It’s a very respectable 661 meters long, and one of the longest wooden piers in the southern hemisphere meaning land-based anglers can fish in quite deep waters.
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Station Pier has changed its access to anglers a lot over the years. Many years back you could drive your car all the way down to the end of the pier and fish without fees to your heart’s content. Back then big catches of barracoota were very common. Unfortunately, now you must pay for parking out the front. there is restricted access for cars and access is done through the gates during certain hours. It’s a fair walk down to deeper water which has lost a little of the appeal for anglers at this spot. It can, however, produce all year round fishing and spectacular Snapper fishing in the summer months. From Station Pier, you will see the adjacent piers in princess pier, Lagoon pier and kerfed road pier.
Check out this detailed video we put together about Princess Pier and how to fish there.
Fishing Station Pier Port Melbourne
As the video above highlights, this is a terrific fishing location. Snapper and Pinkies are probably the most targeted fish species here particular in summer. However, you can also target flathead, barracouta, garfish, tailor, flounder, bream, whiting, salmon, trevally, gummy shark, mulloway and mullet. When fishing from a pier like this one an all-round rod setup might be a good option allowing you to target multiple species at once. A 3-5 kilo rod with a 3000 size reel spooled with 15-pound braid and equivalent leader is a great starting point. You may also opt to use a larger 10 – 12 foot surf rod paired with a 4000 – 6000 size reel with 20-pound line to target snapper, gummy shark or mulloway. Good bait choices include pilchards, blue bait, squid, pipis, mussels, maggots, whiting fillets and raw chicken. Rigs worth considering are simple running sinker setup and a paternoster rigs. They will allow you to cast far and target multiple species. does the trick in this location for many species. Using burley really does help keep the fish around. If you’re targeting large snapper and gummy sharks then a full pilchard or squid head with a size 5/0 or 6/0 Mustad hook is a great way to go.
If you’re flicking lures then the choices are endless. Our goto choices have been 4-inch jerk shads, and grub styles soft plastics and curl tails. These rigged on a 1/8 or 1/6 ounce jig head is a great combination for snapper and pinkies. Other good options include crab imitations, blades and vibes. When flicking a 3-5 kilo rod with a 3000 size reel spooled with 15-pound braid and equivalent leader is a great starting point. You could also try going ultra-light such as 2-4 kilo capacity coupled with a 2000 size reel. Spool the reel with 6 or 4-pound braid finished with a rod length of 4 pounds or 6 pounds Fluro carbon leader. Much patience is needed at station pier. Especially if you are targeting a bigger fish with heavier gear and big baits. It’s best to follow the tides. The low tide seems to bring good runs of flathead and salmon and the high tide consistently produces a good volume of snapper, pinkies and bream. The hours of first and, last light are good times to fish regardless of the tides. The full moon is often a good time to target mulloway and gummy sharks and the new moon to target snapper. Many of the bigger fish are often caught at night.
Only 2 fishing lines are permitted, Always carry your Victorian fishing license, and always follow catch limits. Where possible we encourage catch and release. If fishing from a kayak always take the necessary safety precautions and keep your distance from boats. Here is our guide on Kayak safety. Paid parking is available though it is quite pricey. Those with a pass or disability are able to drive up towards the end of the pier. You are very elevated on this pier, so be wary of children not to go too close to the edges. It’s also challenging bringing in a big catch. 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.
Things to do in Port Melbourne
Port Melbourne is a stylish township where high rise residential buildings and cafes run along the bay. It’s a great place for dinner with many restaurants along bay street. You are only a short distance away from the West Gate Bridge, Melbourne CBD. This stretch is very popular with walking, cycling and jogging along the paved walkways along the beach. There are also dog-friendly beaches. A great time to walk along the beach is at sundown. A scenic area is great for photo opportunities. Take the kids for ice cream and play in the sandy beach area. There are many piers along this stretch such as Kerferd road pier, lagoon pier, station pier and princess pier. Due to its deep waters, many large boats will be moored along station pier. Including the spirit of Tasmania, Queen Elizabeth, large shipping vessels and navy vessels.
A short distance away you can take a hot air balloon ride and overlook the bay and piers along with Port Melbourne. You can also jump on board cruise ships that will take you around Port Melbourne, Williamstown and stretches of the Yarra River. Of course, this area is also well known as a top fishing location around Melbourne. Hence this Station Pier Fishing Guide. Deep waters are easily accessible and wonderful catches of snapper annually. Port Melbourne is a hotspot for catching juvenile snapper called pinkies.
You can catch them in big numbers as this novelty video highlights catching 50 fish in 1 hour using hot dogs as bait.
Baits Port Melbourne
- blue bait
- silver whiting
- raw chicken strips
Lures and soft plastics for Port Melbourne
- 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
Tips for fishing Port Melbourne
Soft plastics such as grubs, minnows imitations, and paddle tails work really well in Port Phillip Bay. Flathead and Pinkie Snapper respond really well to these. When chasing snapper upgrade to larger jerk shads in 4 or 5 inches. If you can find a school of snapper on your sounder then these will work really well jigged off the bottom whilst drifting over them. There are many bait options and you will need to choose a suitable bait for the fish species that your targeting. We have had success using pilchards, silver whiting, squid, garfish, salmon, scad, bonito, raw chicken, mullet, pippis, prawn. Often using a berley pot at the back of your boat full of pilchards, pellets, and oil is a great way to encourage fish to your boat.
Check out our full-length video on the best soft plastics and lures for Port Phillip Bay
Targeting Snapper at Port Melbourne
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 Port Melbourne
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 Port Melbourne
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 Salmon at Port Melbourne
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 Mullowat at Port Melbourne
Mulloway AKA Jewfish are a prized catch that sits on the top of many Victorian anglers’ bucket list. A stunning fish with a large mouth and distinctive silver or bronze colour. Patience and dedication are required to catch the elusive Mulloway which can reach up to 1.8 meters and 60 kilos. The minimum legal size is 60cm with a daily bag limit of 5 over legal size. Live baits are a top choice when targeting mulloways such as mullet, salmon, and whiting. Pinning them behind the neck to allow the bait to swim freely. Other staple dead baits can include pilchard, trevally, garfish, prawns, chicken & squid. A running sinker rig to a single 5/0 – 8/0 hook or a double snelled hook to present the bait nicely. Soft plastics between 80mm and 100mm are also a great option. Good options include flick baits, shads, paddle tails and grubz. You can also purchase pre-made rigs and swimbaits which are designed to imitate a fish in its surroundings such as a mullet. Choosing a Mulloway outfit Recommended gear to target Mulloway 6-10, 10-15 or 12-24 kilo rod paired with a 4000-8000 spin reel spooled with 20-50 pound line and equivalent leader.
Mulloway resides near river mouth entrances. They are often caught near structure such as bridges and pylons. Try to present your baits and lures as natural as possible or use live baits. Mulloway can be caught at any time of the day, but are most active at the night, during peak tides and moon phases. We have found that lures are quite productive during the day and bait more productive at night.
Targeting mullet at Port Melbourne
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 are 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 Port Melbourne
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.
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. Header All other images and videos shown on the Station Pier Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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