Kingfish Bonanza
  |  First Published: April 2006

With settled seas for days on end, autumn has seen excellent fishing for nearly all species in central Bass Strait.

It’s hard to think of a specific species that has let anglers in this region down and if this weather continues, it looks like being the best season for nearly 10 years, with the only possible exception being large mako sharks. Having said that, late last season we scored some absolute rippers in the 200kg+ bracket.

All our bread and butter species such as flathead, snapper and gummy shark have been very predictable in the shallow water. Speaking of predictability, thresher sharks have been nothing short of amazing in their numbers and size this season.

It’s become almost a daily occurrence to at least hook up to one of these incredible sharks. For my money, they’re the best fish going in Bass Strait. Threshers are speedsters with plenty of tricks up their sleeve. On quite a few occasions they’ve left all aboard speechless.

A thresher shark in the 100 to 150kg bracket has no equal in these waters when it comes to long, hard and super fast runs. And the techniques needed to get these fish to take a bait are a lot more challenging than just feeding a dead bait to a hungry mako or blue.


Having re-read my March report it seems that yellowtail kingfish can read! The day after I emailed it off to our editor, the kings went nuts and have continued this way since. Catches of 40 or more in a session have been quite common with plenty of kings released to come back next year, hopefully a few kilos bigger.

Nearly all the known hotspots between Torquay and Point Lonsdale have had large schools of fish as big as 6kg in residence. All that’s required to catch them is fresh baits and patience.

On plenty of occasions we’ve sounded the fish, then tried every known method until they fire, rods bent and drags howling. Their preference for a particular technique, be it jigging, strip-baiting, drop-baiting or slow trolling seems to change continually so be prepared to try them all at a moments notice.

By the time this report reaches the shelves we can expect a few more larger snapper to be gracing fish boxes as they leave Port Phillip Bay and Western Port on their post spawning sojourn. It’s the very deep reefs that will hold most of these fish for short periods but with the expected calmer weather, the long run to these tightly kept and little known secrets of Bass Strait will yield great results right through until June.

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