This is ALF EPISODE 546. Check out our archives for more information on jewfish fishing and Sydney Harbour Fishing Spots

George’s Tips For Parramatta Kingfish

  • Mid Spring through until mid Autumn are the prime months to fish for kingfish on the Parramatta River. Often their presence is given away by birds working on the surface, other times by splashes of baitfish as the kings pursue them. Sometimes there might be tailor working on top with kingfish beneath.
  • Once you find feeding fish it’s not a bad strategy to shoot out your lightest and most subtle lure first and see if it gets any enquiries. If that doesn’t work, casting a 125mm sinking stickbait and letting it get beneath the bait school before working it with a series of rips and pauses. Be prepared to get hit as the lure drops.
  • Seagulls, gannets, cormorants and pelicans are all good signs that bait and probably kingfish aren’t far away. Even when they’re not feeding, birds on the bank or resting on the water surface usually indicate recent activity.
  • Floating debris, jetties and wharves, buoys, boat hulls and other hard vertical and floating structure usually attract fish, but don’t overlook subsurface structure. Small pieces of isolated structure will often hold fish.
  • Secret tip: Ferries charging across the bay often stun baitfish and the kingfish have learned to look for an easy feed in the wake of the ferry. Definitely worth a cast or two!
  • 2 weeks before or after the full moon is a good time to fish, avoid the full moon. Balmy days when a storm is brewing in the afternoon and the barometer is falling are a good time to fish, especially on the surface. More water movement is better, fishing through the middle of the tide when the water movement is fast is a great strategy.
  • Don’t be in a hurry to lift the lure from the water at the end of the retrieve. Kings will often follow it back to the boat, so do a couple of figure eights with your lure before making another cast, it’s not uncommon to get crunched boatside.
  • Persistence is super important. Sometimes you just need to keep putting in the time on the water until you’re rewarded with a kingfish.

George’s Parramatta Kingfish Tackle

  • A 7’, 15kg spin rod with a Daiwa 3500H Certate reel, 30lb line and 40lb leader is the heaviest outfit George fishes for kingfish on the river.
  • A 6-12kg rod with 20lb line and 20lb leader is a good mid-range option.
  • A 3-6kg Daiwa TD Battler, 2500 Daiwa Morethan reel, 10lb braided line and 15lb leader is great for throwing smaller, lighter lures.

George’s Parramatta Kingfish Tackle

  • A 12” Lunker City Sluggo soft plastic stickbaits are a deadly kingfish lure. They can be fished effectively on 10/0 TT 1 1/2 oz HeadlockZ jig heads to get down deep around structure, under bait schools and so on. It’s a good option when the fish aren’t busting up on the surface and are less active, letting it hit the bottom before commencing a high-speed retrieve for 10 cranks followed by a 1-2 second pause, repeating all the way back. It can also be rigged on a 12/0 weedless worm hook for surface presentation when there’s surface activity. George likes the squid colour, plain white and pink and white colour options
  • A small popper such as a 90mm Halco Roosta Popper is a great lure, but the rear treble needs to be replaced with an assist hook and the front treble needs to be upgraded with a stronger treble of the same size. Tuna and clear colours. It’s a great lure to fish when the fish are busting up on the surface, just blooping it at medium speed. If the fish have been on the surface but have disappeared recently, this is a great lure to bring them back to the top.
  • A soft vibe in the 95-100mm size range is great for long casting and has the versatility to catch not only kingfish but a range of very welcome bycatch such as monster flathead, jewfish and so on. Look for pink and yellow colour combinations, especially if you can find ones with stripes or bars. Great for when the water is not super clean, the Zerek Fishtrap, Jackall Transam or Samaki Vibelicious are good options. These are great when there’s tailor or salmon on the top and kingies down below, but the kings are not coming up to the surface. Fished with long, slow lifts and hops.
  • A 25-30 g fast microjig in white colour with a pink stripe can be fluttered down and then worked back fast. Keep a little tension on the lure during the drop as it’s not uncommon to get hit as the lure sinks. Like the small popper, adding an assist hook with translucent feathers will increase the presence and reduce lost fish to damaged hooks.

George Anasta

Sydney Fishing Personality

George grew up fishing the waters of greater Sydney, where he’s targeted all manner of species on lures. He’s spent plenty of time chasing kings from land, kayak and boat, even doing so gigs as a land-based fishing guide from time to time. George has also had a long association with Daiwa and loves to use their tackle.  

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