With reports of good kingfish invading the outer reefs it was time to pull out the jigging gear and get into some quality Sydney kings. Having spent three weeks off the water it made me really appreciate the finer things about being on the water. The sense of freedom you get from being out offshore away from everyday surroundings and the beauty of the NSW coastline. Trip 1 On the first trip out, one of my mates Rob joined me for the trip down from Broken Bay to Sydney. Loaded with yakkas and knife jigs, we started on the reefs off Avalon. We sent a down several livies to their briney demise but none were returned with anything more than a rat king. To make the most of their sporting qualities, we pulled out the micro jigging gear and Rob has a blast jigging up a bunch of kings on his 30lb line.
Amongst the rat kings that Rob jigged up, a bonito was caught and put out as a large live bait. The confidence was high as we drifted across the reefs but upon pulling up the bonito to see how he was doing, we discovered that the jackets had gotten to it first. Nothing but a face and bones…
On that note, we went down to long reef to try our luck at the outer reefs. With good schools of bait holding over the reef, the sounder showed straight walls and tight balls of bait, it was definitely getting harassed. The first few drops were unproductive, then Rob hooked up to what seemed to be a nice fish on the 30lb micro jigging outfit on a 100g jig. After a minute or two what we thought was a nice fish was turning into a cracker. It had hardly stirred, and then a couple of minutes into the fight it really woke up. With a micro jigging rod and only 30lb leader Rob played it cool and did the right thing backing off the drag a touch rather than tightening it up. Three or four times it seemed that the situation was hopeless, with every meter gained the fish would take twenty. Every time it seemed that we had the head turned and it was on its way up to the boat, the fish would just power on down back to the reef below.
As we battled on underpowered gear with what we knew would be a trophy Sydney hoodlum time seemed irrelevant. It may have taken 5min or 15min, either way to us it felt like a lifetime. As the fight was closing I jumped in to get some underwater photos, then I realized how big this fish was, Rob had no idea of the quality of the fish he was onto.
We can all attest to the fact that the kings over the last few weeks have been in really good condition, much fatter than usual, and this hoodlum was no exeption.
Once we got it on board we grabbed a few photos, popped a tag in and swam him along and then he powered away. A massive congrats to Rob, to get a 118cm king on 30lb leader…awesome.
From there we ventured into long reef close and worked the wall, it produced a bunch of legal kings and hard pulling amberjacks.
Trip 2 The next trip out was with my regular fishing mate Sam, and two of his mates who are new to fishing, and my brother who is new to fishing. So with three guys new to fishing it was going to make for an interesting day if we came across any hot action. We made our way out to the Sydney harbor FAD and waverider bouy, but the dollies were not there to play. We ventured into longy and it also seemed desolate. As the high tide fell on sunset it didn’t just pick up, it went off! There was a 1/2hour window where we were working plastics and jigs across the wall at longy and the amberjacks and kings were hitting them before we could close the bail arm and start to work them. It was absolute mayhem with people on board, triple hookups and lines crossed everywhere. We were reefed twice on 20lb spin outfits and got absolutely owned on a 40lb outfit, my mates poor Stradic had to be retired after blowing the gears (it was in need of an upgrade). As fast as it turned on it was off again. The boys had a blast, even on the smaller amberjacks.
Day 3 Day three was with my mate Luke, plan was to chase hoodlums at long reef. Longy was as dead as I’ve ever seen it, all our liveys were left untouched and I wondered why. Keen to find greener pastures we did one last drift to fish right through the low tide. In 10m of water the surface yakka got smashed, the rod buckled and 8kg of drag screamed off the big Saragosa reel. The fish made several long runs. I was wondering how it hadn’t busted us off yet as we were only in 10m of water and it had pulled almost 50m of line off. After a few more strong runs it didn’t seem to be tiring at all. As it rose to the surface and then the penny dropped, this was no king. By then the damage was done, our 60lb leader was having a pretty tough time rubbing up against the little black marlins scratchy bill. As it surfaced we saw its black and silver flanks, then with a big splash on the surface the line snapped and the fish swam away. To be connected to a Marlin in only 10m of water, just above white rock, a popular surf break with Long reef and Narrabeen beach in the background was really special. No wonder the kings were not biting! With reports that the peak was firing we decided to head south, with little light left we went to the artificial reef off south head and had a blinder session micro jigging up some kings up to 75cm.
They were smashing the micro jigs so hard we hooked up a few times on the drop.
So there you go, Sydney always manages to surprise you when you least expect it.