Kingfish craze and salmon next
  |  First Published: June 2015

We have been very fortunate to this season to have a cracker on everyone’s favourite pelagic, the yellowtail kingfish and with good water temps, hopefully they don’t disappear anytime soon.

Just when a lot of anglers had packed up their boats thinking the season was finished (it never finishes by the way), the yellowtail kingfish numbers just seemed to stay strong. Despite a drop in water temperature inside our estuaries, the average temperature offshore had stayed around the 17°C mark meaning we still had good schools of bait out wide and plenty of kingfish and even rumours of the odd tuna as well.

Over the last few months I had caught stacks of kingies on knife jigs, so this month I really wanted to use more surface lures such as stickbaits and poppers. To do this, the fishing was a little trickier and we had to do much more kilometres in the boat searching for signs of bird life or using the sounder to find bait schools.

We were lucky and had some of the best fishing I’ve ever had stumbling upon schools of bait that had been rounded up by schools of kingfish and we were able to throw small to medium size stickbaits and poppers at the kings. For those who don’t know, a stickbait is a floating lure usually with a rounded face unlike a popper that usually had a cup shaped face and displaces heaps of water when jerked or retrieved. A stickbait usually has a unique action often referred too as walking the dog where it zig-zags across the surface of the water looking like a wounded or scared baitfish.

These worked a treat and we have managed to catch plenty of kings using these lures. The hardest part has been finding the fish, but once you find them, they really seem to love these lures.

The offshore fishing has been quite good, yet the pinkies are now dropping off and are being replaced by those annoying rock cod or ling as some people mistakenly call them. The flathead on my last trip were on the 20m line and we didn’t catch any out wider, however I find they normally move out a bit deeper as the water cools and you need to drift to find them.

Inside Port Albert, the whiting were very hit and miss with anglers catching more undersized whiting than legal ones, however there was a run of big whiting caught at McLoughlins and Manns beach.

I think we should really be setting ourselves up for the big salmon. We have just started to see a few on the surf in excess of 2kg and it won’t be long until they start coming inside.

We normally get a good run of trevally and tailor mixed in as well, so it’s definitely going to be worth taking some small metal slugs and large soft plastics down there and fishing the entrances on the run-in tide.

• For more information, contact Will at Allways Angling in Traralgon on 5174 8544. You will get expert advice and great deals on fishing, bait and tackle. Tune into Rex Hunt and Lee Rayner’s “Off the Hook” on 1242 to hear Will’s report on what’s going on in Gippsland!

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