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Kingfish, Salmon, Tailor. January 2nd

James  Clain

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Went out to target kingfish early on January 2nd on a mates boat. Sorry for the late post but I have been trying to sort out my youtube video without internet - I will link the video in the comments when properly posted. Initial plan was to head out and get yakkas and then slowly visit the various wrecks and known king spots. I also setup 2 rods keeping in mind that there have been lots of bust ups around the bridge after seeing them myself and hearing about it here.  

As soon as we got near the bridge we immediately saw large amounts of birds, followed the birds and eventually came across lots of bust ups that would erupt and disperse within seconds. My mate and I threw our lures into the bust ups but after around 3 direct casts no fish. (throughout the whole day while the boat was located in the transit zone the boat was never stopped always in gear only stopping to deal with fish in areas like lavender bay). I decided that casting the same lure right in the face of fish was a waste of time so I changed my lure about 8 times until I tied on a zman paddletail soft plastic in the 3inch range on my light 8lb spinning setup tied to the spool of mono, photo down below of plastic. On the first cast I hooked into a fish and gave the rod to my friends younger brother, landing a nice tailor around 40cms. My friend also tied on an almost identical lure. As soon as he did a cast directly into a bust up with the new lure he was onto something that ran straight down at full speed, should have seen the look on his face when I told him it was a kingfish. After around 7 minutes of running up and down I netted a kingfish that measured around 61 cms. All undersized fish were released. 

When driving towards a bust up we realised that the correct speed needs to be achieved so that you do not spook the fish but also arrive within casting distance before the bust up was over. 

My mate went on to land another kingfish around 59 cms. I then landed 2 salmon at around 50cm and 60cm size. I later hooked another tailor and handed the rod to my mates younger brother. While that tailor was being reeled in I spotted a few kingfish trailing the distressed tailor so I called at my mate to cast right behind his brothers tailor and he immediately was hooked onto another kingfish which was landed in at measuring at 60cms.

After this we decided to try and head out to give yakkas a try, caught a few and decided we were having to much fun at the bridge to go into middle harbour even though it was very stressful with all the boats in the transit area. Before returning to the soft plastics my mate and I tried casting live prawns and live yakkas into the bust ups, after trying this for a long while we decided that that method was not working and returned to casting the plastics. 

Moved into lavender bay alongside lunar park following the birds and splashing and as soon as we waited to get a direct cast I hooked and landed another salmon at 60cms that actually tangled me into a mooring but after some good boat handling and rod work managed to get it out. Following this my mate hooked another tailor when he got it to the surface about 3 kingfish surfaced along with it 2 of them rats and one massive model im estimating around the 80cm mark.  I immediately casted into the area and hooked one, we were both hoping it was the 80cm! Landed the kingfish after another long fight to find it was one of the 2 rats measuring around 61cms, mate also lost his tailor due to the teeth on his 8lb line. 

Tried trolling Yakkas and live Prawns around goat island without result. decided to try and hook a few more salmon or kingies before leaving. First cast again I hooked something much bigger, after a really long fight we finally saw the kingfish estimating it to be around 70cms but as soon as it saw the boat it darted very quickly and popped my line on the motor.

Finished the day with 2, 40cm tailor in the esky and 3 salmon at 60cms. All fish were bleed out and immediately put on ice. The eating qualities were surprising, beer battered both fish after filleting and actually really really enjoyed the salmon. Tailor was not very nice :( which is weird because I have had tailor before and really liked it.

Also want to mention that while I was unhooking my kingfish in lavender bay while my mates dad was bleeding the salmon I had caught a few minutes before. We heard somebody yell at us from a tinny about 15 metres away from us who were filming us and yelling "do you know what the kingfish size limit is!" I calmly yelled back that I was only unhooking my kingfish knowing full well the kingfish minimum length of 65cms and that the fish on the bait board was an Aussie salmon which has no size limit. regardless the guys still seemed to be recording us even though we held up both fish so that the identification could be set straight and then also released the king while they were watching. I fully understand that these guys might have good intentions but their tone of voice and treatment of us without getting facts straight was a little annoying and if your reading this we are sorry that you thought we were killing kingfish.

All in all a good day! ps: Anyone with good Lowrance sounder identification skills, could you please give me an idea what this might have been - taken just above the Clifton gardens black and white buoy.


Edited by James Clain
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