Phillip Island Fishing - Catch the Big One!

Phillip Island fishing is a very popular activity.

Whether by boat or tossing in a line off a jetty or from a beach or rocks, there is a wide variety of species to be caught.

King George Whiting, snapper and flathead are the most common species.

For a fascinating essay on the Westernport Bay fishing industry go to

www.pidhs.org.au
Fishermen on Cowes Jetty, Phillip Island

Before you start, a recreational fishing licence is essential. These are available online or get one at fishing supply stores and other stores.

For fishing licence information go to agriculture.vic.gov.au/fisheries/recreational-fishing/fishing-licence

Another essential is to check the Bureau of Meteorology weather report for the Westernport area.

Go to http://www.bom.gov.au/vic/forecasts/westernport.shtml

Familiarize yourself with catch restrictions as all species have legal sizes and bag limits.

Phillip Island Marine at Rhyll has a handy brochure with tide times and catch restrictions.

Popular Phillip Island fishing spots are in the channel between Cowes and the mainland, as well as Westernport Bay.

A sunken barge off Smiths Beach attracts boats when the fish are biting.


Best Phillip Island Accommodation here:

Booking.com

Diving for abalone is also restricted.

Fisheries Victoria publishes the nominated days for the recreational harvesting of abalone - contact them for dates.

In Westernport Bay the abalone bag limit is 5 (no more than two green lip).

Remember that taking abalone from the intertidal zone (waters less than 2 metres deep) is prohibited.

Help stop the spread of abalone disease by observing the following practices:

  • Wash vessels, wetsuits, dive equipment and hands with soapy water
  • Remove all marine organic matter from vessels and equipment
  • Dispose of abalone shell, gut and meat with household waste

Observe boating safety -

  • Check the weather forecast before setting out
  • Make sure your boat is equipped with safety gear and life jackets
  • Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return


Fishing from rocks is a dangerous practice. There have been several drownings off Phillip Island rocks.

Please observe the following safety tips:

  • Check weather conditions before leaving
  • Tell someone of your plans
  • Don't fish by yourself
  • Wear a life jacket
  • Wear non-slip shoes and head protection
  • Beware rogue waves, always watch the sea - Tide times are published in local newspapers.

There are three boat ramps on the island and boats can be launched free of any charges.

Getting ready for a fishing trip at Phillip Island

Newhaven has a two-lane ramp, parking for 35 car/trailers, and 15 car-only spaces.

A fish cleaning table is available and is a great place to watch pelicans feeding. Try to spot the huge stingray circling for a feed as well!

Cleaning the catch!

Anderson Street boat ramp and jetty in Cowes has parking for about 30 car/trailers plus separate spaces for cars.

A kiosk is on site selling fishing licences, tackle, and bait as well as food, drinks, and ice creams. Toilet facilities are available.

Rhyll boat facility has parking for 40 car/trailers and a three-lane ramp, plus cleaning table.

Note: The Rhyll boating facility will be upgraded, beginning late 2019. This will alter/impact on the number of parking spaces available.


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