Western Port Bay, Victoria

Hastings (Mornington Peninsula) tides
Port Phillip fishing spots
Victorian stocked fishing spots
Melbourne dam levels
VIC fishing regulations
VIC marine parks

Most fishing in Victoria is in Melbourne’s two large, shallow enclosed bays, Port Phillip and Western Port.

Western Port Bay is 45km long and 30km wide, but is mostly just a shallow maze of sandlfats, seagrass and channels.

These run around French Island in the middle and Phillip Island at the entrance.

Much of the north-eastern area is flats at low tide.

The bay is best known for snapper, king george whiting and gummy sharks.

There is an annual run of elephant fish in autumn between Tortoise Head, Corinella and New Haven.

Squid are abundant at times.

Fishing the bay requires working the tides, as on bigger tides the bay drains, leaving channels.

Fishing can be good on the bigger tides, but a trip requires planning to ensure good fishing time at the chosen spot.

The best boat ramps are at Hastings, Corinella and Stony Point.

For big king george whiting try McHaffey’s Reef and Cat Bay in winter.

Snapper are all year, with a big run in spring. Long Reef, Spit Point, Lysaughts, Crawfish, Bagge, Eagle Rock and Yaringa Harbour are favoured grounds.

Any rubble bottom may produce. For flathead, try the channel edges.

Other species include kingfish, mulloway, salmon and snook.

Mulloway are best in Mosquito Channel, around Pelican Island, Elizabeth Island and near the Corinella hole.

The bay produces some huge mulloway, so be prepared with adequate gear.

Good landbased fishing can be had at Stockyard Point, Lang Lang, Grantville Jetty, Tenby Point, Corinella Jetty and Settlement Point.

At the entrance to Western Port, Phillip Island is reached by a bridge and has its own boat ramps, with landbased fishing at Cowes Jetty, San Remo Back Beach, Newhaven Jetty, Red Rock, Rhyll and Cat Bay.

The waters outside Western Port are renowned for sharks in summer, including makos, threshers, blues and whalers.

There are tiger flathead grounds just outside the bay, and striped tuna are abundant in summer.


Juvenile salmon bite all year, while bream are best from June to November.

Flathead, garfish and spotted whiting are best in the bay in summer, with whiting biting through to April.

Silver trevally and snapper are best from October to May.

Mullet are from April to October.

Kingfish are best in summer.

Squid can be caught all year, but are usually best from June to October.

Mulloway bite well around Melbourne in winter.

Bait, lures & tackle

Pilchards, bluebait, prawns and squid are popular baits.

For pink snapper, fish fillets or small whole fish work well.

For those who make the effort, local bait such as worms and bass yabbies, can make all the difference.

Lure fishing is popular, especially for salmon and kingfish, where chrome slices are a good all-round lure.

Bream and estuary perch are often targeted with small minnow lures and soft plastics.

Paternoster rigs are popular for bait fishing.

The fishing is easier in estuaries when the water dirties from rough weather.


At Melbourne Airport the mean wind speed is between 20km/h and 24km/h through the year, with April, May and June being calmest and August and September the windiest.

Melbourne winds tend to blow northerly in winter, and southerly in summer.

Easterlies are rare.

Winter fronts bring gales, while summer brings strong afternoon sea breezes.

Victoria’s tidal range is small, with most boat ramps useable throughout the tidal range.

Special features

The unusual and large seven gill shark frequents the bay, and there is an annual run of elephant fish.


Fishing gear for Victorian waters

A 3kg spin outfit is ideal for gar, whiting, mullet, trout, redfin and bream. See eBay listing here.

A 3-6kg spin outfit is ideal for general Victorian saltwater and freshwater fishing. See eBay listing here.

A heavier surf rod is needed for surf mulloway, snapper and gummy shark fishing. See eBay listing here.

This surf rod can be matched with this spinning reel ... eBay listing here.

Metal slice lures are ideal for Victorian salmon, tailor and trevally. See eBay listing here.

Soft plastic grubs are good all-round lures for a range of Victorian species. See eBay listing here.

Jig heads are needed for unrigged soft plastic lures. See eBay listing here.

Squid jigs are essential gear in Victoria. See eBay listing here.

Star sinkers or snapper leads are generally used on a paternoster rig for surf and boat fishing. For most other fishing, ball sinkers are used, as part of a running sinker rig. See eBay listing here.

Hooks in mixed sizes (suggest 1# or #2 for whiting, 6# or #8 for garfish, 4/0 for salmon and flathead, 11/0 for large mulloway). See eBay listing here.

BOATS FOR SALE in Victoria - see current eBay listings here.


Email us any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed around Western Port are featured below.

Night fishing Western Port

iFish at Western Port

Western Port snapper

iFish at Port Phillip

Western Port whiting

Western Port sharks

Western Port elephant sharks

Western Port whiting

Western Port landbased


iFish at Western Port

Western Port snapper

Western Port snapper

Western Port mulloway

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