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Sight Fishing For Schooling Kingies


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We had tank full of yakkas, and were set on complementing them with a few squid to assist in busting our kingie cherries; and also busting our harbour squid cherries too...

Things seemed to be going pear-shaped early on, when the bait tank water pump packed it in not long after pulling up at the squid spot. We had no choice but to abandon the squid hunt, and run with the yakkas, who surely wouldn't last as long as normal. We rotated the water by hand for the remainder of the outing.

Not to worry, yakkas would do fine... well, not really. The kingies were around but must have seen & been inspired by the finale of "The Biggest Looser", because they were certainly dieting today. We had a heap of semi-interested 'follows', but no hook-ups or bites. We tried every jig and lure and plastic on board our good ship, to no avail. Even adjacent boats who were dropping fresh & inky squid baits down were drawing blanks.

What to do? Well, we settled on a high-impact yakka marketing campaign, based on a voluminous amount of good old burley and yakka pieces. And the response was excellent - within minutes we had 8 or 10 kingies circling the boat like small sharks, and our jaws were dropping as we drooled over these impressively sleek and beautifully coloured animals. They were so close we could have netted them - they were literally only 30cm under, next to the waterline of the boat.

But they still didn't want a bar of our yakkas. We dangled them here, and dangled them there, pulled them left and right, but NO! Not interested. Until we put down one demon yakka which, at first sight of the school of kings, went totally psycho, unable to take any drag & cavitating on the surface. Well, bless this little battler, because the kingies got excited and decided to go for him - about 3 at once, and BANG I was on!! What a thrill to see a big monster take your bait at you feet and then accelerate with raw power to the scream of the reel.

I was screaming with bliss, shock and amazement, and forgot all about fighting the fish - my day had just been made, and anything beyond this was a bonus, and almost irrelevant! He was on for maybe a couple of minutes on my heavy rod, and then dived and I couldn't turn him, and he busted me off.

Owing to none of our remaining yakkas being as committed as their old mate, that tactic didn't work again. But, in a rare & critical moment of acute observation, we noticed that the kingies were actually picking through the burley trail, eating small bits of fish. Smart arses - they were snacking!

Hmmm. Out comes the bream rod, with a small unweighted hook & tiny bit of bait drifting in the burley trail, right beside the boat. It was like trying to jig for enormous yakkas. What a long shot... I drop it down not expecting anything, and was still watching the kingies swim past my live yakka when my little 4lb bream rod bends in half and its drag screams like scalded cat.


Holy crap! I was sure that I had no chance of landing this sucker, but after about 4 or 5 dives, I landed a 61cm kingie - my first kingie - awesome!


By this time we are sight-fishing for these fellas, as we had come to the conclusion that this is the only way we are gonna get anything on a hook - so, all rods were fitted with bream hooks and small bits of yakka. Then my mate Chris has a fight on his hands with a similar setup to mine, small rod and hook, tiny piece of bait.


66cm keeper, throat cut & on ice.


Disappointment loomed as we ran very low on burley, and it was just a matter of time before the kingies moved on to blue-er pastures. In desperation, I ripped his guts out of Chris' kingie, and lobbed the guts into the burley pot. Accept for two pieces of extra-nice looking gut, possibly the liver & kidney - looked prime for bait, and I loved the idea of catching kingie on kingie!

On goes the kidney - kingies swim by and sniff - no sale. Kidney into burley pot. Liver on hook. Hook in water. Shazam! Kingie hooked on kingie guts, kingie in boat, about 55cm, good fight.

All out of bait and burely, we pull up anchor, gee it was heavy. Me thinks: it must be coated in mud. But NO; bonus! Two anchors came up instead of one!! How's that?! Caught kingie on kingie, and anchor on anchor.

We headed over to near quarantine & got my first harbour squid, which was later massacred by jackets, along with our tackle. Time to go.

Geeze, what a sensational day on the water. The weather was beautiful, and the yakkas plentiful, but other than that, it was a tough hand of cards to play, but we played them pretty well and had a damn ball. And learned a heap about kingie and harbour fishing.

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Sounds like the dream i had the other day :P wat an awesome trip you guys had. Experimentation payed off with using the bream gear and kingie guts.

Although, i wonder wat would have happened if you guys "wounded" one of your yakkas with a knife cut or two. Wouldn't have been nice for the yakka and it wouldn't live long after that with blood and guts streaming out of it, but may be put out of its misery by a big king inhaling it whole. After the "demonic" response from one of the yakkas, i'd be surprised if the kings didn't hit this wounded yakka thrashing about. Maybe something to try next time, bet the greenies wouldn't be too happy tho :wacko:

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G'day Seagoon, mate that was a top story, good initiative shown to work out how to get them on the chew, they really give the light gear a work out and it's good fun ..

Good onya you had a top day and a bonus anchor as well.. :1clap:


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Thanks for the comments fellas. Gee, I can't wait to get back out there. We did try injuring the yakkas and that didn't help either. Seemed like a very plausible idea, and I recon it is for the future too, but i dunno, i guess royalty always gets to eat whatever it wants!!

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Oh yeah I'm addicted. It's like trying to control a medium-sized untrained dog while walking it down the street on a leash, but with the leash on a fishing line. It's that much weight and power... amazing!

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isnt the legal size 65 cm :P

i think?

Not being an ass or anything but yeah

Yes, you are correct, the legal size is 65cm, which is why the 66cm one was the only keeper among them and the other two got to return to swimming around Sydney Harbour.

So for someone who catches Kingies all the time, little ones like these might seem like nothing, but even pulling in one that's under legal length and has to be put back in (after a quick photo) is still an awesome experience and a thrill for those of us who haven't managed to haul in a Kingie before.

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