With the warmer water that has arrived over the last month the number of kingfish along our coast has increased dramatically. There have been quite a few areas that have really fired up, with Long Reef to Avalon being the better section.
Last month we were able to accomplish cricket scores of kingfish. However, that was only because there were so many smaller fish before we would hit a patch of pay dirt. The rats are out in numbers but there are bigger fish for those that are willing to leave the surface action and send big live baits deep under the feeding school.
Young Saxon Welsh and his Dad Paul proved this a couple of weeks ago whilst out on charter.
Saxon had never caught a kingfish before and after collecting about 30 live yellowtail we set off to Long Reef. Upon arrival it was evident that we were in for a great day as there were about five patches of kingfish working the surface as well as numerous birds getting in on the action.
We started by putting out a live yellowtail on the downrigger and trolled a couple of 12” soft plastics on the surface. We only moved about 50m before we were onto our first double hook up for the day. Saxon landed his first ever kingfish and was pleased with the 60cm fish.
The procession of double hook ups whilst casting soft plastics lasted for about two hours before a decent fish finally found our bigger live yellowtail. The fight lasted for about five minutes before we finally saw the 76cm beauty flapping on the floor of the boat.
Saxon and Paul managed to catch and release many more fish but only kept one other fish for the table.
The other offshore fishing that is about to explode is the mahi mahi charters. If the fish are about in the numbers and sizes they were last year there should be a lot of fun had by all.
The water temperature has been great for weeks with little variation in the temperature. The better FADs to go out to are the Terrigal FAD and the Long Reef FAD. The Terrigal FAD is a long way out and better suited to the larger vessels, but the Longy FAD is a fair bit closer to the coastline.
The usual method of trolling lures or live baits will see most venture out with a decent feed of dollies.
Inside Pittwater and Broken Bay there are quite a few kingfish about but, like the coast, there are a lot of smaller fish found before a larger one is caught.
As usual for this time of the year the better fish are eating larger live squid and it doesn’t matter how big the squid is because eventually you will find a fish big enough to eat it.
The squid have been a bit tricky to get of late and on most occasions we are going to Barrenjoey Head to catch the larger squid, whilst catching the smaller squid near West Head Beach and Mackerel Beach. The better colours to use have been pink or orange. The 2.5g jigs are good for the bigger squid and the 1.8g jigs for the smaller ones.
The other fish that are about at the moment are bream at Salt Pan Bay and all the way up to the Royal Motor Yacht Club. These areas are only about 6m deep and are the perfect depth to either use soft plastics or bait with a breadcrumb berley.
Flathead are showing up at The Hill whilst drifting and also at the channel near Currawong Beach. Big flathead are being tempted at Soldiers Point as well as Towlers Bay. The successful fishos have been fishing the deeper holes in front of the sandbanks in the bays on the run out tide. The better bait has been live mullet or 6” soft plastics in any fish or shad profile.
Finally, salmon and tailor are making a bit of a nuisance of themselves at Barrenjoey Head whilst targeting kingfish. Both species are quite a decent size but when they are knocking off your hard earned squid it can be a disappointing capture.
The tailor are along the washes of the headland and also at Box Head in the washes. These fish are not shy and will pounce on almost anything that moves too slow or too close. First thing in the morning these fish can be seen between Box Head and Lion Island feeding on the surface. When you catch one send it out live under a balloon to have a crack at a bigger predator like a big kingfish or shark.
I hope you get out on the water very soon to take advantage of some great fishing and weather.
• Peter Le Blang operates Harbour & Estuary Fishing chaters out of Pittwater, phone 0410 633 351 or visit www.estuaryfishingcharters.com.au
Saxon Welsh with one of the 21 kingfish that he caught on his charter.
Murray Kingston was happy with his Long Reef kingfish that was pulled from under ‘the rats’.
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