Veteran Botany Bay Charter Operator
For 25 years Scotty has been taking his clients onto Botany Bay and the broader inshore and offshore areas in search of kingfish and a host of other species. His business “Southern Sydney Fishing Tours” has featured in numerous television segments on top fishing shows over the years and is on the market if any smart ALF listener wants to snap it up!.
Scotty’s Tips For Botany Bay Kingfish
- Kingfish love surface lures and Scotty finds that in Botany Bay they are far less partial to diving lures. For trolling, small resin headed trolling skirts are deadly.
- For casting, a 4-5” surface popper in any colour worked quickly around mooring buoys, channel markers and other structure work well within the bay. These can also be cast into wash around the rocks and headlands outside of the bay.
- Long, lanky soft plastic lures in the 7-9” size range are another great option for Botany Bay and there are many good brands these days that will do the job.
- The prime months are from December until late May although fish can be caught into early winter at times.
- Scotty doesn’t look at tides or lunar cycles and runs his charters from 7am to 3pm daily. The main thing is that the wind doesn’t get too much about 10-15knots.
- Be prepared to move around to find fish, they’re always catchable somewhere on the bay or headlands – you just need to find them. Don’t get sucked into going straight to the last place you caught fish and just sit there all day.
- Scotty finds that a lot of anglers pull hooks on kingfish by going too hard, too early. Unless you’re in danger of getting wrapped around a mooring chain or pylon it’s better to not put too much pressure on the fish too early in the fight.
- If you’re seeing bust-ups on the surface there’s a possibility that there might be kings amongst the predators, though usually the majority of feeding fish will be salmon and tailor. To target kingfish specifically it’s often better to just focus on the structure such as channel markers.
Scotty’s Kingfish Tackle
- Most of the kings in the Botany Bay area are smaller fish, so it’s not critical to purchase heavy, top shelf gear. Quality mid-range tackle is sufficient and won’t break the bank and will handle the odd larger fish of 75-80 that comes along.
- For charters, Scotty uses the Shimano OC 6000 OC Baitrunner spooled with 15kb Powerpro braid with a 35lb Schneider Line Trace.
- For casting he’ll drop down to a 4000-5000 size reel with a 7’, 5-8kg rod, 10-15kg braid and 35lb leader. This setup is lighter in weight and less tiring to fish with when you’re casting all day.
Scotty’s Recommended Kingfish Lures
- A large soft plastic lure is a great option for Botany Bay kingfish due to the versatility of being able to work one lure quickly across the surface or allow it to sink and then work it erratically down deeper. The 85mm Squidgies Pro Flickbait in pearl white, evil minnow or pillie colours are great and Scotty likes to present them rigged weedless on 4/0 to 6/0 worm hooks for fishing unweighted. For sub-surface he’ll switch to a standard jig head in 2/0 to 4/0 in whatever weight is required to get the lure to the fish and work it. Cast this lure past the structure, point the rod upwards at 45 degrees and wind fast to get it skipping across the surface. Or sink and retrieve with sharp twitches to the left and right.
- Stickbaits and poppers in the 100-150mm size are a great option and most decent quality ones will work. A red and white Halco Roosta Popper is a staple option. Stickbaits work very well fast across the surface, although a walk the dog retrieve can be effective at times too.
- A slender metal lure in the 40-60g weight range, similar to what might be used for salmon or tailor is a good lure to have in the collection. Again, this is a lure that can be cranked fast across the water surface or can be sunk down and worked erratically at depth.
Shimano Fishing Australia manufacture and import the rods and reels mentioned in this episode – and used by Scotty on his charters!
Schneider Fishing Lines are an Australian owned company that produces some of the finest lines and leaders on the market.
Bumper Bar Lures are among the lures Scotty mentions in this discussion for their versatility and effectiveness on Botany Bay kingfish
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