Chasing down Australian Salmon at Gunnamatta Ocean Beach

Queens Birthday weekend has finally arrived and we’re eager to get out there and get fishing. We’ve been planning this trip over the past couple of months since we were back there in April for the Easter long weekend.

Over the Easter break, we caught a pair of nice Australian Salmon at last light during peak high tide. Surf rig was the set-up of choose. Rigged up with a surf popper and cut Pilchard on a single size 5 Suicide hook. Also to mention, it was our first surf fishing adventure and to produce any form of results was exciting!

So, we decided to do round 2!




Gunamatta Ocean Beach is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes from the Melbourne CBD and the best way to get there is by car. Awesome drive and not too far out for a good surf fishing trip.

Once you arrive at Gunnamatta there are two car parks. The first car park a lot smaller compared to the second but both accompanied with toilet facilities. The beach can be easily accessed via the manmade stairs from both carparks.

Referenced via Google Maps


Target Species

When planning this trip I only had one thing on my mind and it was to catch an Australian Salmon. Previously we had caught two but both were caught by my good mates standing 5 meters from me. So, this time around I was determined!

We were eager to take something home and minimum catch limit according to the ‘Victorian Fisheries Authority’ was 21cm. Measured from the tip of the tail to the tip of the head. Anything over this and I would have been happy.


Image and Information referenced from ‘Victorian Fisheries authority’ VFA.


What did we use for our set-up?

This time around I thought I try something different and have a more active approach. From about knee-deep water, I decided to cast out metal lures. For me, Halco twisty 70g was the lure of choice as you can cast these an absolute mile. Retrieve them fast, slow or in different variations.

I worked this lure up and down 50 meters of the beach within known gutters and structures.

On the other hand, my mates were using our go-to surf rig with cut Pilchard on a single size 5 Suicide hook.


Check out my Halco Twisty Metal Lure Review


Our catch results 

So, what was our catch result? Well, things started off a little slow as we arrived at the beach and started fishing around 2:30 pm. High tide was expected to be about 5 pm. So the conditions were just right as it was a run-in tide and leading towards dusk.

We decided to get fishing around the second car park the bigger of the two. But the beach was packed! surfers and other anglers everywhere. This made it difficult to cast a line without crossing others or hitting a surfer. After fooling around and wasting time we decide to take a walk and find a better spot.

A little further down the beach towards the first car park, fewer surfers and no anglers were present. We decided to stake our claim in this spot. We headed back, packed our stuff and drove down to the first car park and started fishing. At this point, it was just past 3:30 pm.

My partner Anna and I continued throwing metal lures and working them fast, slow and with a lot of variations. Fish on! Anna got a hookup. A nice little juvenile Salmon on a Halco 55g Twisty as an opener. She was wrapped! And things got started.



Not too long after I cast as far as I possibly could and decided to retrieve my lure fast with sudden stops. Then bang! I got a hookup and my drag screamed a little. It was something big, not sure how big but I knew it was something big.

It felt like forever reeling this fish in as the lure went so far out. There were moments were the fish fought back and didn’t want to budge but I persisted and kept the line tight. Finally, I beached it and my eyes lite up! My first Australian Salmon and it was a big one!

Measured it to be about 60cm. This is what I came here for. My day was made and caught this just before peak high tide at about 4:30 pm.




We decided to continue fishing and hoping there was a school of these guys around but no luck. Just before we decided to pack it up and call it a day my Mate Johnny reeled in a little Juvenile Australian Salmon on cut Pilchard.


Another juvenile Australian Salmon similar to an Australian Herring.


Goes to show both baits and lures work. but I think I’ve now become a fan of Halco twisty metal lures. Before the winter season ends and the Australian Salmon disappear I’ll be back again to give it another red hot go for round 3!

Now, it’s time for me to find a recipe on how I’ll be cooking my catch and until next time.


Fresh caught Australian Salmon

12 thoughts to “Chasing down Australian Salmon at Gunnamatta Ocean Beach”

  1. The next time I am visiting Melbourne I am definitely going to take my nephew fishing at Gunnamatta Ocean Beach.

    A one and a half hour drive is not that far and that specific spot seems awesome to unwind while fishing right?

    What other species of fish are there on this beach? Also, are there any other restrictions about which of them you could take home?

    1. Hi Harry,

      That’s absolutely right, some of the scenic views at Gunnamatta during sunsets and sun rises are amazing and definitely worth the drive down. 

      During winter months Australian Salmon are best targeted here while during summer. Snapper, Gummy Shark and Whiting can be caught. Restrictions and regulations do apply and you can check them online at Victorian Fisheries Authority



  2. Hallo there Vinnie, 

    It seems you had a really awesome fishing experience. I am huge fan of fishing although I don’t get to catch big ones like the 60cm salmon.

    I am actually planning to come over to Australia in December and was wondering if this is something I can be allowed to do as a foreigner. 

    I’d love your answer on this cause it would be thrilling for me and a couple of my friends. Cheers.

    1. Hi Dave,

      Thank you for taking the time and reading my post. To answer your question, absolutely you can go fishing when you’re down under. Just get yourself a fishing licence and if it’s just a one off event then you can purchase a three day licence.



  3. Wow! It seems you had a great time fishing. Personally, I love fishing right from being a kid but then, I do it once in a while but then, I would be having a vacation soon and I’m thinking of exploring Australia. Fishing could be my motivation to explore Australia. The Australian salmon you caught looks very big and wow! First time catch. Maybe I would ask my friend to take me to this Gunnamatta ocean beach, so I can try my fishing skills too. I would definitely share  my experience here

    1. Hi RoDarrick,

      Thanks for taking the time and dropping a comment. If you ever head down to Gunnamatta feel free to let me know how you went and to share your experience here! 

      All the best,


  4. The Australian salmon you caught looks absolutely fantastic and you make it sound so easy! My husband loves fishing and he often returns empty handed, so I know how difficult it can be. But very exhilarating when you get a bite! Great advise on the tackle that you were using. This sounds like a spot that we will have to visit next time we are visiting friends in Melbourne. Good luck for round 3! 

    1. Hi LineCowley,

      Thanks for taking the time and dropping a comment! Honestly, I absolutely can’t wait for round three and hopefully we can get some more of these size 🙂

  5. Hi Vinnie,

    Thanks for the article I enjoyed it! I can tell you I have taken some great insights from this post.

    Being a traveler Melbourne is on my list for a while and I love fishing. The detailed information about Gunnamatta is super helpful. Thanks a lot for sharing the important details about minimum legal size allowed and getting a fishing license.

    While reading your post I felt like I am in Gunnamatta and thanks a lot for the pictures. I am glad your determination helped you to achieve your goal, 60 cm wow! I really enjoyed the content and in the manner that you presented.

    I do have friends in Melbourne so when I visit Melbourne, fishing in Gunnamatta is on my list.

    Much Success!


  6. Thanks for this informative article, Catching Australian salmon might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially when they are predominantly caught in winter along the surf beaches of Victoria, Gunnamatta has great potential and produces a host of species on a regular basis especially the Australian salmon, I’m looking forward to getting my next catch with these insights you have laid out when I visit Australia, Thanks. 

    1. Hi Seun,

      Thanks for dropping a comment! Of course whenever you find yourself in Victoria Australia, make sure to visit Gunnamatta Ocean Beach for the Salmon fishing during the winter months. But the surf during the warmer months isn’t too bad either if you don’t like the cold.

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