Alastair McGlashan

Alastair McGlashan

Fishing Personality, Videographer And Photographer

Al is a very well known Sydney-based fishing personality, author of 9 fishing books, presenter and producer of the top fishing TV series “Fishing With Mates”. Al frequently makes appearances from stage to talk about his fishing exploits and has taken Australian fishing photography and videography to new levels. Al recently launched his own podcast series “Best Job In The World” in which he describes the many fishing adventures he has embarked on over the years. His new documentary on the decline and recovery of Australia’s recreational bluefin tuna fishery will air on Channel Nine in mid-2019.

Al’s Top Tips For Targeting Sydney Kingfish

  • Don’t fall into the trap of always doing the same thing and failing to experiment. Kingfish, like all species, respond to different things on different days. Unless you mix it up and try different lures and techniques your fishing can’t improve.
  • Lure fishing for kingfish is seems to be best when water temps are relatively cool – around 18-22 C is optimal. Ask around local tackle shops, keep an eye on sea temp charts and watch social media to figure out where the fish might be.
  • Currents are variable around Sydney but the fishing is usually best when there is at least some current. Sometimes warm water pushing down from the north can deviate just north of Sydney and not get as far as the heads. This can result in good fishing on reefs north of Sydney Heads, with quieter fishing around the heads or further south.
  • As you motor through Sydney Harbour, keep a close eye on birds. When they’re on kings they aren’t always actively working, but anywhere there is a congregation of birds around moorings or docks is worth a cast or two. Deep in the harbour the rat kings (50-75cm length) often push jelly prawns hard against the bank, so birds are often seen along the edges.
  • Make sure the lure is on the fish’s nose. When they’re on the surface this means getting the lure in front of them and close to them, anticipating the direction they will swim. When they’re deeper and you’re fishing jigs close enough is never good enough. Use your technology to make sure you’re right on them to have any chance of being successful.
  • Kings are distinctive on the sounder, so learn to recognise them. The appearance differs between sounders and depends on how you set your unit up, so a good way to improve your understanding is to take a look at the sounder when you catch a kingfish and note how they appear on the screen.
  • From the bridge to the heads the channel Markers in Sydney Harbour are prime locations. Al suggests putting in a few casts at each marker and checking the sounder for fish deeper down before moving on to the next marker.
  • Outside of the heads Al looks mainly for bait. Anywhere there is an aggregation of bait and the water temperature is right, kingfish won’t be too far behind. Birds working are also a good sign. Al moves around some known spots until he finds fish on the sounder.
  • Kingfish are often associated with those “jelly blubber” jellyfish.

Al’s Kingfish Tackle Recommendations

  • When he’s fishing well up the harbour and rat kings are prevalent, Al turns to a 2500 size Shimano Stradic reel, a Zodias rod and 10lb Suffix braid. These are ideal for throwing the light lures that these smaller fish will take. This provides great sport as there isn’t as much structure for the fish to head into, so you can play them for 10 minutes or so before they are tagged and released.
  • Further down the harbour around the channel markers, Al switches to 6000-8000 size Stella reels to throw fairly large stickbaits and soft plastics. Here you’re fishing tight against barnacle covered structure using 100 lb leaders and you’ll still find metre plus fish appear from nowhere and smash your lure off.
  • Once outside Al switches to 18000 size Stella reels, 80 lb Suffix multi-colour braid and 100lb plus leaders. He prefers to crank in and release the smaller fish quickly so he can focus on the bigger fish that are in the area. He still gets busted off sometimes, even on this gear…….

Al’s Kingfish Lures For Sydney

  • 45 and 60mm Halco Roosta Poppers are deadly in Sydney Harbour. Al has found that the clear and white patterns are the most effective and will take kingfish even when they’re feeding on difficult bait such as “eyes” or jelly prawns.
  • Large soft plastics such as a Halco 8″ flick stick in pearl white on a relatively heavy jig head, well both inside the lower harbour and outside. When fished outside these can be dropped gently down on kings and allowed to flutter about. The other approach is to repeatedly wind flat out for a few turns, then stop and allow the lure to sink back down. Al starts with 3/8 oz jig heads inshore when the current is small and goes up to 3/4 in deeper offshore water and/or when the current is running. Inside the harbour they’re cast close (but not too close) to navigation markers and other structure on a 3/8 oz jig, allowed to sink to the bottom, wound flat stick for 3-4 cranks, then allowed to sink to the bottom again.
  • The mid-size (105mm) Halco Roosta Poppers are a weapon of choice in the lower harbour and outside the heads. Around the inshore reefs this lure is especially deadly in the gold “King Brown” colour is dynamite, for some inexplicable reason, even taking fish when better than live baits, at times.
  • Big soft plastics like 9″ Sluggo’s on rigged on a worm hook are a good choice if fish are being cagey about hitting a surface popper.

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Al’s Projects

Fishing With Mates is Al’s flagship Australian television production combining awesome fishing, incredible destinations and stunning footage from above and below the water.

Al’s Publications Alastair has authored a number of wonderfully informative guides to Australian fishing.

Best Job In The World Podcast is Al’s entertaining audio podcast that explores his many fishing adventures and achievements over the years.

Al’s Sponsors

Complete Angler is a leading Australian Tackle buying group, bring the finest quality tackle to Aussie anglers through their swarm of retail stores. They were also one of Al’s early employers before he was fired to going fishing too much and came back to them for sponsorship….. to go fishing more.

Mercury Marine Australia Powers the boat Al uses to chase Sydney kingies all over the harbour, inshore and offshore.

Shimano Fishing Australia Shimano offers innovative fishing reels, rods and accessories in Australia and throughout the world and takes care of Al’s tackle needs for this tough species.

Mitsubishi proudly supply Al and his team with their flagship 4WD SUV – the Pajero, perfectly suited for towing capacity launching boats and long-distance travel between fishing adventures.

Costa Sunglasses take care of Al’s polarised eyewear needs. Their Angler range is perfect for fishing and for protecting your eyes from the harsh Australian sun and the bright reflections from the water.

Halco Australia Their Angler range is perfect for fishing and protecting your eyes from the harsh Australian sun and the bright reflections from the water.

Furuno produces the advanced marine electronics on which Al and his team depend for locating fish.

Suffix Lines are Al’s preferred option due to their accurate published breaking strains and diameters, consistent knot strength, superior abrasion resistance and ease-of-use.