Make way for the king!
  |  First Published: November 2012

The Summer season last year proved rather tough due to all the rain and our normal run of Botany Bay kings never turned up, really.

Yes, we caught a few, but the Bay was dirty just about all Summer and this kept the kings offshore.

But everyone is looking forward to a top 2012-13 season and it’s shaping up that way already, with quite a few small kings schooling up along the coast. Most of these fish are under the legal size of 65cm at this stage but better ones will join them as the water temp rises.

I have found over the years that kingfish start moving into our bays this month and by December the kingie season should be in full swing. This all comes down to water temps; some years it drags on a little or we may get an early season and rain can push the kings back offshore, as it did last season.

Catching kings comes down to putting the effort in. If you are keen to target kings on lures you need to think about spots these fish will school.

Kings love structure so spend all your time casting at these spots.

Anchoring and live baiting is a very effective tactic but you need time firstly to find good bait like yellowtail or squid, and then you must anchor in the right place and wait.

Kings come and go and they are always on the move in search of food so set yourself up on a good spot and wait. Berley may help; I like small cubes of pilchards.

The tackle is quite simple: a Shimano OC 6000 Baitrunner with 15kg Schneider Braid on an 8kg-10kg rod. Add a good-sized barrel lead to the braid above a swivel, then 1.5m of 15kg mono trace and a 4/0 or 6/0 circle hook, depending on bait size.

I swapped to circle hooks last season because loads of the kings we hook in the Bay are just undersize and the circle hook pins then in the corner of the mouth every time and they are easy to release.

I have now started using 2/0 circles offshore for all my bottom fishing with great results. The hook-up rate has improved and we don’t seem to drop as many fish while fighting them. Again, all fish are hooked in the corner of the mouth.


Deep-sea trips should continue to produce well as we move into Summer. Snapper move into shallow water and I find we catch quite a few pan-size fish mixed in with trevally and the odd bream.

Anchor and berley on all the small drop-offs along the coast in 20m depths.

The flathead out in 50m will slow a little but better fish are about so cover as much ground as you can and once you find them, drift the same ground again for good results.

Trolling will improve as the water temp lifts with bonito, striped tuna, kings and salmon all a chance dragging lures along the coast. Your best bet is early morning or late afternoon.

Bream season will be upon us soon in Botany Bay and good numbers will start pushing down our rivers.

Bream are a great chance on rising or falling tides from mid-November to the end of Summer. Keep an eye on my weekly website report.

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