Sunnyside Beach, Port Phillip Bay

Sunnyside beachIt's quite possible that Sunnyside Beach earned it's name as a nudist beach, the details of which I've not been interested enough in to research. I can say, however, that the only nudests I have seen thus far have been male, which is very disappointing - thankfully I usually fish well out of eyeshot. Of the research I have done in this area I can say with conviction that it is generally best fished (especially for Snapper) in the early hours of the morning and that the various patches of reef are typically the most productive areas.

Not only do the fish seem to bite better in the wee hours, due to it's precariously close proximity to Frankston, the 'undesirable' factor gets worse as the day progresses, and car break-ins have been known to occur. The toilet block does have empty needle bins (supposedly for junkie's convenience) and that in itself should be seen as a cautionary omen. Having said that, I've never had any problems there and I have fished the area many times.

There are no camping facilities at Sunnyside Beach, although there is ample parking that (at the time of writing) is free. There is also a barbecue facility handy, although shelter from rain is lacking. Aside from kayak fishing (for which this place is ideal (as well as nude bathing) it's also a great place for a swim, snorkel or quiet beer by the beach side. It really is one of the nicer areas on the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay within reasonable driving distance to Melbourne. As far as fishing potential goes, it's also one of the more productive.
Fishing Sunnyside Beach

Sunnyside Beach in Mornington Victoria is one of the most popular kayak fishing destinations for enthusiasts such as the (AKFF based) Melbourne Mangoes, and is often referred to as "Shark Park". As discovered by Melbourne kayak fishing personality, Poddymullet, Thresher Shark can be found here at times (thought to be chasing Barracouta throughout the early months of summer). Far more frequently encountered are Snapper typically of the pinky size, though larger specimens can be caught.

The area is sporadically covered with reefs, which is where most of the fish can usually be found. This is also where the Squid can be found, of course - the tentacles of which probably make for the best bait in the area (in my experience at least). Pilchards are also known to work well, as are Silver Whiting when the Snapper are on.

Deep diving bibbed lures have produced results on the right days, although getting the right right depth seems to make all the difference (recommended 6 - 8 ' foot divers - my personal favorite for this patch is a Yozuri deep diver).

Soft plastic lures are most effective in this area, with Flathead ready to be taken on sandy areas and reef edges, as well as pinky Snapper in abundance. Barracouta can be caught here throughout later parts of the year, as well as Snook, Garfish and Australian Salmon. I have found a variety of placcy lures to be effective here - most notably 3 and 4"Berkley Power Minnow (Smelt) and Gulp Worms in camo, red and nuclear chicken colours.

Squid seems to be the gun bait in these parts, which is not at all surprising given how many of them take up residence there.

Berley can really help to draw the fish in and keep them close, although there are a lot of Sting Rays and Banjo Sharks about and these guys seem to be more responsive to it than anything else sometimes.   

Weather and the other usual suspects will dictate how best to approach Sunnyside Beach for a kayak fishing trip. Seemingly well protected from northerly winds, drifting, anchoring and berleying are all methods proven to be effective here. Be prepared with squid jigs, soft plastics and an anchor if wind conditions warrant. Fresh squid is the gun bait at Sunnyside Beach and is best acquired on location, the very same day you intend to use it.

In my experience the most productive areas at Sunnyside Beach seem to be the reefy patches that lie a few hundred meters north of the car park. This is pretty much directly in front of where most of the nude bathers like to hang out. The best results have always come for me about 300 - 500 meters from shore, so thankfully I've never been inadvertantly subjected to close encounters of the eye-sore kind.

How to get there

Sunnyside Beach is nestled inbetween Mornington and Mt Eliza. Take the Napean Highway (coming from Melbourne) and turn right at Sunnyside Road. (Click on the 'Map' tag on the Google Map below to see a road map).

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DB: Hi guys, long time no see
DB: catch up later
Josh: heya DB, how goes it?
Carl: hey Db's back...did you get parole or early release for good behaviour?
DB: Hey guys. Haven't been able to access the site for ages for some bizarre reason. Just re registered with a different email.
We just had our local exchange out of order too and no phone but that seems ok now.
Haven't done much fishing of late but I am a member of a local fish stocking group which stocks two small dams locally.
Planning on getting off shore again soon but I am fatter than ever an more unfit so I'll be taking it easy and sticking close to shore. Chat soon :D
DB: Morning Carl.
XDCAMMER: Hey DB, good to see ya still alive,. I was talking to Tas yesterday (Fri) and he said to pass on his best to all you guys. He has bought a PA 12 and is fitting it out. All the best mate, power walking is a good slimmer. WHATS WITH BALLS? Cheers to Kate. xD .
XDCAMMER: Imagine what would happen to an AI mast if it were hit. Lucky boys. I hate lightening.
DB: Anyone home?
DB: Later folks. :D
Guest_3610: Salmon fishing from the yak in
Jenkins: Hi Josh
Jenkins: what size rods do you use on your adventure
Josh: Jenkins, I have 6 rods, all of them Nitro. 2 x Godzilla for trolling, Viper for jigging, just got a Magnum Butt Distance Spin for casting lures into frenzied fish. Voodoo for plastics for small to medium species and a ultra bream for finesse fishing/squid, etc. Taking a Godzila, Viper and Magnum But to Fraser Isl next month
Jenkins: Thanks Josh
Josh: You're welcome
XDCAMMER: If I get asked for another "Hobie canoe" I'm going to SCREAM!
Jenkins: This might sound like a dumb question but what would you consider and moderate wind speed to go fishing and what size swell?
Carl: i think 8 - 12 knots is a good wind speed for trolling on an AI...i don't get swell too much here only get chop from wind up to 1.5 m when i get wind v current...washing machine conditions...
Guest_9733: With regards to swell, it depends very much on wind conditions at the time, and whether or not there are white caps. Trolling at wind speeds Carl suggested is great for pelagics, slower for reef fish is usually a bit better
Jenkins: Thanks for that, cheers.
XDCAMMER: I wouldn't be eating that cod. I wonder if Rapala will bring out a new shaped CD Mag, not sure where you'd put the hooks tho.

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