South-west Victoria Kingfish

by Scott Gray | Australian Lure Fishing

Port Fairy

Scott Gray

Scott Gray

Fishing Journalist

Scott Gray is an accomplished angler and fishing journo who has lived in Western Victoria for decades and has spent much of that time unwinding the intricacies of the yellowtail kingfish fishery in that part of the world.

Scott’s Tips For Western Victorian Kingfish

  • Kingfish are moody and unpredictable, they can be hard to find but are a schooling fish, so once you’ve found them you are likely to catch several. Use the sounder to find bait and fish in deeper water (western Victoria doesn’t have a lot of bait holding offshore pinnacles). In shallow water, use your eyes to see fish or bait. Kingfish are often schooled with other species, such as salmon.
  • Victoria’s kingfish aren’t always an aggressive hunter that will slam any lure. Finding them is the most important part of the puzzle, but once found you need to use the right techniques to get a bite.
  • Fish are usually found in the shallow water during the summer months and in deeper water during the cooler months.
  • It’s better to not put too much pressure on a hooked kingie. The harder you pull, the harder they pull back and the more likely they are to dive into the reef. Lighter drags and gentle pressure are more likely to win the day, be prepared to use your boat to follow the fish and wear it down gently.

Scott’s Tackle For Victorian Yellowtail Kingfish

  • 15-24kg braided line on a 4500 sized reel with a 7-8 ft medium stickbait rod
  • A shorter 15-24kg jig stick is useful when the fish are in deeper water.
  • 60-80lb fluorocarbon is a good option for leader, but fish can be leader shy and a lighter leader may be needed at times.

Scott’s Top Lures For Yellowtail Kingfish

  • A 300mm Lunker City Sluggo in chrome colour rigged with two hooks is Scott’s favourite when the fish are in shallow water
  • A Nomad 150mm Chug Norris in natural colours such as mackerel or pilchard colour is a good choice when fish are hesitant and a little noise and commotion is required to get the bite started.
  • A Nomad 155mm Riptide floating stickbait in sardine colour is another excellent choice when the fish are in shallow.
  • A 150mm knife or flutter style jig is great when the fish are following but not taking the other lure styles.

Tides And Time Of Year For Yellowtail Kingfish

  • December to March is the time to find yellowtail kingfish actively feeding in the shallow waters along the western Victorian coastline.
  • During October-December and April-June fish are harder to find and are generally offshore in 50-70m of water.
  • Getting good weather is often more important than the time of tide, but good weather during periods of large tidal movement id optimum.

Other Resources & Products Scott Mentioned

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Scott Gray’s Sponsors

Nomad Design Tackle are an Aussie lure company that make a number of lures that Scott uses to catch western Victoria’s kingies, but also make lures suitable for a wide range of other Australian species!

BKK Hooks have over 100 years track record in making fishing hooks – including some of the toughest hooks available for Australia’s toughest sportfish!