Welcome to the Gurnard Fishing Guide Victoria. 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 colourful gurnard caught at St Helen’s Geelong.

With a scientific name of Triglidae, Gurdard has no legal size limit but a daily bag limit of 10. Most gurnard caught will be between 25 and 50 cm in length.

Bait 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

  • pilchard
  • yabbies
  • Squid
  • silver whiting
  • prawn
  • salmon
  • mullet
  • yakka’s
  • garfish

Lures 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.

How to catch Gurnard

The common gurnard has venomous spines that can inflict a lot of pain so do handle with extreme caution.

Gurnard are often a bycatch when targeting flathead. This means you will generally be using a light 2–4 or 3-5 kilo fishing rod around 7 foot in length. Paired with a 2000, 2500 or 3000 size reel spooled with 8-15 lb monofilament line or braid. If your bait fishing then you can’t go past a simple running rig. A small bean sinker to swivel, then roughly 45cm of 6-pound leader to a size 6 long shank hook.

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.

Running sinker fishing rig

Gurnard have venomous spines so handle with caution. 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.

locations to catch Gurnard

Gurnard can be caught throughout Port Phillip Bay and Western Port. Some known hotspots include

  • Port Phillip Bay
  • Western port
  • Corio Bay
  • Altona Pier
  • Docklands
  • Lorne
  • Frankston Pier
  • Mornington Pier
  • Barwon Heads
  • Moridalloc Creek
  • Kerferd road pier
  • Mitchell River
  • Hastings Pier
  • Queenscliff Pier
  • Avalon
  • Williamstown
  • Sandringham Breakwall
  • Geelong Grammar lagoon
  • Cunningham Pier
  • St Helens
  • Anderson inlet
  • St Leonards
  • Portarlington Jetty

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 Gurnard Fishing Guide Victoria fish species guide is missing key information or needs any corrections. Then please let us know by emailing our team at enquiries@fishingmad.com.au with specific details in the email. Thank you