Known for huge squid and a variety of reef species, Flinders pier is a premium fishing location for those looking to catch a feed of calamari. The pier has plenty of space for fishermen and squid can be caught along almost the entire pier. There is a long drop to the water here and landing your catch can be stressful, especially when it is just hanging by a thread, you will need a long net, I recommend the Tony’s Tackle range.
MAIN SPECIES: Squid, Whiting, Snook
Flinders is a place for big squid, squid of all sizes can be caught here but it is often anglers in search of a plus sized catch that come to this pier. With this in mind, it is my advice that large squid are your target, that means 3.5 sized jigs and bait prongs under floats, both will produce here. Night fishing is excellent at this pier but the presence of seals will all but kill your chances of catching squid, so make sure you give it the all clear before investing hours of your evening here. The map attached to this guide is marked with my suggested locations for catching squid here, red markers indicate large squid, yellow indicates varying sizes and green indicates squid on the smaller end of the scale.
JIGS AND BAIT
As mentioned before, big jigs catch big squid, try using black or red jigs, if they don’t work you can try UV, it is not uncommon for bait prongs to outfish jigs in this location, make sure you bring some along incase the squid are finnicky, bait them with silver whiting or tommy ruff and run the prong around 1.5m from the float.
Use a squid/egi rod with a size 2500 reel, alternatively you can use a general purpose graphite rod which you can change between squid and whiting rigs as the tide and conditions allow. For your prongs, handlines will work but if you have a spare surf rod I find them easier to control the prongs at a distance, many of the larger squid sit further from the pier, the reach and casting distance of a surf rod makes catching them a whole lot easier.
Whiting feed on broken ground, you will find them in the shallows of the pier where the sand meets the weed, use a paternoster rig with pippies or fresh squid and fish with a 1 oz sinker, high tide is the best time to target them with the warmer months producing better quanitity and quality of fish. The chance of by-catch here is high, and you may hook yourself a flathead, leatherjacket, grass whiting and many other species.
Pippies, squid, sandworm, bass yabbies
2 – 4kg all purpose rod, 6-10lb main line, paternoster rig or Black Magic Whiting Snatcher
Snook display their regular habits at Flinders, hiding under the pier and coming out to feed at night, to catch these toothy critters, filck a 2″ soft plastic or small hardbody around the pylons of the pier and around patches of light. These fish may be large but they tap soft plastics ever so softly, make sure you keep your wits about you and feel for bites, you will need to set the hook properly to hook their hard mouths.
Many species come and go from this pier, people have caught kingfish, snapper and large sharks, due to the openess of the pier and the close proximity to Bass Straight, species often enter the area, try using fresh bait and casting out with a surf rod, it’s worth seeing what might pop up!