Kingfish haven
  |  First Published: May 2007

Botany Bay is one prime kingfish haven and each year many anglers do battle with these fine sport fish that move into the bay in early December and hang right up to June, as long as the water temperature hangs around 20°

As a major container port, the Botany Bay shipping channel is around 20m deep and has plenty of channel markers which are great spots to target kingies, The first two that come to mind are the port marker just of Watts Reef and the starboard marker just wide of Bare Island.

Both these spots have reef close by and anchoring just inside the marker out of the shipping channel is the way to go. Remember that you are not permitted to anchor in the shipping channel at any time.

Fishing too close to any of the markers will result in plenty of bust-offs so try to sit about 10m off. This should give you just enough time to dig your heels in and apply the brakes on solid fish heading back home.

The channel markers also hold bream and trevally and a good berley trail of pilchard cubes and laying pellets will improve your catches of all species in these areas.

If you don’t spend the time chasing bait, don’t bother target kings. Live yellowtail and squid are high on my list all Summer long.

To find bait, just head to any of the shallow reefs such as the end of the Container Wall, anchor and berley well with pilchards. If the yellowtail are there it won’t be long before they’re under your boat in great numbers,

A long-shanked No 10 hook baited with small pieces of prawn or small fish pieces, light line and a small split shot around 15cm from the hook should do the job. Keep the berley flowing or you will lose the school rather quickly.

These areas also fish well for squid but you might have to work for them at times. I like smaller squid jigs in pink, orange, green or rainbow. Cast your jigs out over the reef and allow them to sink close to the bottom and then slowly retrieve them.

Once you hook a squid, use a net to land it and ensure that it ejects its ink in the net in the water and not all over your boat.

Once you have your bait it’s time to anchor around structure in deep water. This could be one of the channel markers or just off the Oil Wharf. This spot will fire on either tide but you must stay 100m off the wharf at all times. Berley will bring the fish to you.

The Drums in the middle of the bay are good for many species and both tides will also produce here. You can fish it in all wind directions as well.

Other spots include Cape Banks, Henry Head, Bare Island and also the entire Kurnell Headland, where plenty of kings are taken by rock anglers. My mate Paul Flynn landed three along this area last month and hooked plenty there over Summer.

So if you are thinking of a place to target kingies over the next month, Botany Bay has it all: Plenty of great spots, easy bait and loads of kings ready to test all anglers.

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