Welcome to the Venus Bay Fishing Guide. Venus Bay is a popular and scenic surf destination roughly 2 hours drive from Melbourne. Heading towards the South Gippsland and not too far from neighbouring areas such as Phillip Island and Wilsons Promontory. This area consists of several different beaches surrounded by both the Bass straight and Andersons inlet. With clear waters, scenic views and great bushwalking options available. This makes it a popular holiday destination for families with a nice township and accommodation options. It also has great surfing and is popular with anglers looking to flick metal lures and baits for schools of salmon throughout winter. It’s a very shallow system with some noted gutters it’s great grounds for Salmon fishing in winter. It also offers inshore fishing in close by areas such as the Tarwin River.
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Things to do at Venus Bay
Ample parking towards the beach entrance. Venus bay is full of open clean beaches, surfing, bushwalking and good local accommodation. It’s also close to areas that are very popular holiday destinations such as Phillip Island and Wilsons Promontory. However Venus Bay is a lovely beach that can get quite windy creating a strong rip and large waves. If you plan on taking children down there then keep a close eye on them.
Fishing at Venus Bay
Venus Bay is a salmon hotspot in the Winter months. You can also catch a variety of sharks, flathead, Snapper, and Whiting. When arriving spend a little bit of time looking for the gutters. These are deeper pools and channels that Salmon like to swim through. These are 2 gutters in the main area to the left and right of the main staircase. There are also some rocky gutters that fish well but are prone to snags. This is a great section to target. We love to flick big metal lures in this area, it’s a great way to target salmon. Have a look at this guide on surf fishing tips and lure choices. When bait fishing blue bait, whitebait and pilchards are the bait of choice in this area. We recommend a Paternoster rig with a large star sinker to allow you to cast far. The rig will generally be holding 2 full blue baits or 2 half pilchards. You can buy pre-made surf popper rigs which are a great choice and don’t forget to add a surf popper to the top of your rig which surprisingly gets plenty of bites. This spot can be quite weedy so sometimes it pays to have the hooks a little higher in the paternoster rig.
When bait fishing for salmon we believe the best setup is a Paternoster rig with a star sinker. As shown in the image below. This gives you 2 separate baits at different heights. You could also attach a surf popper if you wanted to further increase your chances.
Another great variation is to present 1 full bait with double snelled hooks. This rig is perfect when your target multiple species such as salmon, mulloway and gummy sharks
If you plan on fishing the one spot then berleying up is a great idea. You can buy pre-made berley or make your own with pellets, pilchard and tuna oil mixed up. This can be placed into a bag or sack and left for the surf to do all the work. It all depends if your are bait fishing or throwing metal lures. At least a 10-foot rod is required to cast far and to keep the line above the crashing waves. For flicking lures a 12-foot rod, with a 4000 size reel spooled with 12-pound line and a strong leader is a great option. If bait fishing 12-15 foot rod, coupled with a 6000 size reel spooled with 20-pound line and a strong leader.
This is a very shallow system and flicking metal lures and casting baits can be very challenging at peak of low tides. That’s why we would recommend fishing this is between incoming high tide and the peak of high tide, this is when Salmon are more likely to enter the gutters. It’s best to follow the tides and the incoming High tide is always good for Salmon. Also sundown and sunrise seem to bring on the bite. 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.
Have a look at this video which highlights just how much fun it can be catching salmon.
Baits Venus Bay
- blue bait
- silver whiting
- raw chicken strips
Lures and soft plastics for Venus Bay
- Savage Gear Missile
- Halco twisty
- Ecogear Teibo
- JM Gilles pilchard baitfish
- Rapala X-Rap SXR
- Lazer spoons
- Halco laser pro
- 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 Salmon at Venus Bay
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 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
Check out this video of a crazy salmon school we recently encountered.
Targeting Snapper at Venus Bay
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 Gummy Shark at Venus Bay
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 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
It can get quite windy, and the surf rip can be very strong so be careful. . Also watch out for surfers who often stray from the pack and end up close to fishing lines.
Images of fish supplied VFA and DEPI. All other images and videos shown on the Venus Bay Fishing Guide are Fishing Mad originals.
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