Kings start to show
  |  First Published: November 2004

This is the when yellowtail kingfish start to show up at places like Bare Island, Molineaux Point and Watts Reef inside Botany Bay, and Shark Island in Bate Bay.

You could also try the reef just off the lighthouse at Kurnell or places like Jibbon Bombora, Merries Reef, and Wattamolla and Garie points. If you are going to target kingfish you must make sure your fishing gear is up to scratch, otherwise you may well be blown away in a few seconds.

When chasing kingfish with live bait or trolling, I use an overhead outfit fitted to a 15kg-rated rod like the Ugly Stik 2000 Plus, 15kg to 20kg main line and a leader about 25kg to 30kg. This means that I have enough flexibility in the solid fibreglass tip to see what the live bait or lure is doing, while still retaining enough low-down power to be able to turn the fish away from line-busting structure.

In order of preference, I use live baits of squid, yellowtail, slimy mackerel, garfish and then a bunch of live nippers. All of these baits would be then pinned on 5/0 to 7/0 Mustad Big Gun hooks.

Catching the live bait can at times be very frustrating but it shouldn’t be. Places to try for live bait include Watts Reef, the north-eastern corner of Yarra Bay, the south-eastern corner of the third runway, the groynes at Kurnell, Merries Reef, Shark Island, Bundeena, Gunnamatta and Wallys wharfs and the baths at Lilli Pilli. Use a combination of chopped old pilchards, chicken pellets and/or bread. A tin of cat food with a few holes punched in it also works extremely well.

If you prefer to chase bream, flathead and whiting, try casting soft plastics off the shore around the Kurnell groynes or Dolls Point in Botany Bay, or in Port Hacking around the sand flats in Gunnamatta Bay, Maianbar or at the end of Swallow Rock Drive.

At this time of year beach fishing activity increases. I prefer an early morning session that finishes when the crowds of sun worshipers come out, or during that last couple of hours of daylight.

The beaches from south Cronulla to Green Hills will start to produce bream, flathead, whiting and the odd dart. You could also try for a mulloway. Best baits by far for bream and whiting off the beach are beach worms but you could also try pink nippers, blood and tube worms and fresh pipis.

If you are going to chase salmon or tailor, try rigging a whole pilchard or garfish on ganged hooks. If the schools start to work in the gutters you could always cast a metal slug or spinner. Garie, Stanwell and Coalcliff beaches are worth a try during the warmer months but you just have to make sure that the swell is not pounding onto the beach.

The water has started to warm up and the offshore fishing has also picked up. Roland from All at Sea Charters has reported that the kingfish have been schooling up at The Peak, while snapper and morwong can be caught at The Hump off Stanwell Park. There should be a few yellowfin tuna and the odd small marlin starting to work the bait schools at Browns Mountain and along the edge of the continental shelf.

Don’t forget about having your say. As I said last month, just let me know what you would like to read more about in my column each month. Email me or post a reply to Gary Brown, 25/121 Anzac Avenue Engadine NSW 2233 and I will do what I can to help.

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