The Bellarine Peninsula is rich with fishing opportunities for anglers, ranging from offshore experts to families just happy to wet a line.
Following are Go Bellarine’s tips for the catch of a life time without needing a boat.
Barwon River estuary
Best fished around high tide, which is usually around two hours after the advertised daily high-tide time for Port Phillip Heads. Land-based anglers can expect whiting, trevally, mullet, bream and salmon, with the elusive mulloway also present. Both sides of the river fish well, with numerous jetties and small landings available on the Barwon Heads side. Pippies, prawns and squid are the preferred baits, although fresh worms and Bass yabbies work best.
Ocean Grove Beach
The last third of the beach toward the mouth of the Barwon River fishes well for surf anglers on low tides, especially around the change of light. Snapper, mulloway and gummy sharks are all on the target list, with squid the preferred bait for its ability to stay on the hook during long casts.
Another surf angling location, although anglers should beware of rough surf and dangerous currents. Salmon are the main target, although gummy sharks can be taken after dark. Best fished on high tide where gutters and holes are visible, although low tide can also sometimes offer access to deeper water. Squid is the best bait for the long casts required, although anglers targeting salmon often prefer metal lures around 25g.
Strong tidal flows mean the harbour is best fished around high tide, which is two to three hours after the advertised daily high tide for Port Phillip Heads. Soft plastics anglers enjoy fishing from the jetties for trevally and snapper, although salmon, mullet and squid are frequently present, too.
St Leonards and Portarlington piers
Renowned locations for large snapper during rough weather and sometimes after dark. Whiting, squid, mullet and salmon are also frequently caught. Baits such as pippies, pilchards and squid are the most popular. Artificial and baited jigs work well on squid when fished under the lights and night.
Clifton Springs Jetty
A great option when south-westerlies blow since the wind is at the angler’s back. Flathead, snapper, whiting, garfish, mullet and squid are regularly caught from the jetty. After dark also presents opportunities to catch gummy sharks. The same baits as used at the nearby piers work well, although pieces of whitebait fished on a small hook about a metre under a float amid a berley trail works well on the garfish.