Ben O'Brien Profile

Ben O’Brien

Fishing Journalist Sponsored Angler

Ben is a Sydney based sponsored angler. A trained Marine Biologist, Ben focuses his fishing on the many species around the greater Sydney area, with occasional forays elsewhere. Ben has written multiple magazine articles for multiple publications, including a recent article on bass fishing Kangaroo Valley.

Ben’s Kingfish Fishing Tips

  • Autumn is prime time in Sydney Harbour and the surrounding coastline for a range of species. Yellowtail kingfish are the subject of today’s interview, but bonito, tailor and salmon are also available.
  • Tidal movement is key for stimulating a kingfish bite, the fishing is always best when there is water movement.
  • Kingfish are nearly always associated with structure. Look for rock reef, navigation markers, buoys, jetty or bridge pylons and boat moorings, which all hold plenty of kingfish at times. Ben generally likes water depths from 10-20m when targeting Sydney kings, but they can come much shallower and also much deeper.
  • The low light periods are when the surface fishing is best. Ben likes early mornings, but evenings can be good too.
  • Throughout the day Ben usually finds that the fish sound up mid-water and once he’s located them that can be targeted with sub-surface offerings.

Ben’s Yellowtail Kingfish Tackle

  • For boat fishing Ben prefers a relatively stout 5’6” to 6” spin rod coupled with a 5000 size Shimano Stella or Stradic, 40lb braid and. 60lb fluorocarbon leader.
  • If the fish are smaller or he’s using very small lures Ben switches to a lighter outfit with 20lb braid and 20lb line.
  • For shore based fishing a longer rod of 9 foot Is preferred.

Yellowtail Kingfish Fishing Lures

  • The Bassday Sugapen in 95 or 120mm sizes is a great surface lure to work around boat moorings during the early mornings and the evenings. Ben recommends fishing them “walk the dog” style, with intermittent pauses- which is usually when the lure gets hit. Ben usually starts by working them fairly slowly but speeds things up if there is no response from the fish.
  • The Bassday Bungy Cast 100mm is great once the sun gets a little higher and the fish go a little deeper. This is a sinking stickbait that can be allowed to fall to the depth that the fish are holding and then worked back with long sweeps of the rod. Between sweeps the lure will flutter as you move the lord forward and recover line, this is usually when the lure will get hit.
  • Small Halco Roosta Poppers of 40 and 60mm size are great during low light periods but need to be fished on lighter gear. Ben likes to fish them with 3 quick, short  pops and then pauses for a moment before repeating.
  • Samaki Boom Baits and Z-Man MinnowZ are the best all-round Lures for Sydney Kingfish and require a fair bit less finesse than the other styles. Ben typically rigs them on 3/8oz jig heads, but the weight may change depending on conditions. These can be slow rolled with occasional hops and are rarely refused by the kings.

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