Gurnard local fish species facts and Limits. There are several different types of gurnard that can be caught in Victoria. Firstly you have the Red Gurnard which is a beautiful looking fish with colourful wings like a butterfly. Then you have the common gurnard perch a quite dull fish with venomous spines that inflict a lot of pain if stung. Please take some time to understand the differences and always handle with care. Gurnard inhabit shallow, flat sandy or muddy areas looking for small fish, yabbies and prawns to feed on. Take a look at this video of us catching one of the very beautiful and colourful versions from St Helens Geelong along Corio bay.

Gurnard size and catch limits

No legal size limit but a daily bag limit of 10. Most gurnard caught will be between 25 and 50 cm in length.

Scientific name


Bait recommendations to catch gurnard

Gurnard are often a bycatch of anglers targeting flathead, pinkies whiting and other saltwater and estuary species. They respond to oily flesh baits and will happily take small pieces of pilchard, squid, silver whiting and prawn.

Lure recommendations to catch gurnard

Gurnards will happily take small soft plastics and small metal jigs. We have caught many gurnards and scorpion fish using small minnow imitation, curl tail and paddle tail soft plastics. Again this is generally a bycatch of targeting other bay and estuary species. Removing the lure and hooks need to be done with care to ensure you don’t go close to the venomous spikes.

General tips to catch gurnard

The common gurnard has venomous spines that can inflict a lot of pain so do handle with extreme caution. When targeting gurnard use light tackle and small hooks as they have quite small mouths.

Rod and rig setup for gurnard

Gurnard are bottom feeders so you can target gurnard using rigs that you would typically use to target flathead. A basic running sinker rig and paternoster rig with small pieces of bait will work well. They also respond well to flasher tigs that have colours to attract them. Remember that gurnard have reasonably small mouths so use small hooks such as size 6 upwards.

General tips for gurnard

Gurnard have venomous spines so handle with caution.

Gurnard eating rating

This one is quite debatable. Some people really enjoy the taste of gurnard. I have always found they have quite a strong off-putting smell when cooking them.

Great locations to target gurnard

Gurnard can be caught in many parts of Port Phillip Bay and Western Port. The most we have caught have been in areas around Geelong and Corio Bay.

Best times to catch gurnard

details coming soon…

Recreational fishing guide

You can obtain a free Victorian recreational fishing guide from the Victorian Fisheries Authorities web link

Additions or Corrections for this fish species

If you feel this fish species guide is missing key information or needs any corrections. Then please let us know by emailing our team at with specific details in the email. Thank you