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Sydney Articles: Kingfish Lures, by Craig McGill

Kingfish Lures, by Craig McGill

I spent some time thinking about all the best Kingfish lures I had used over the years and tried to derive a common factor. SP stick baits, either unweighted or on a jig head, were high on the list as were flies. I used to think trolling was a second rate kingfish method but changed my mind on that after having great success trolling stick baits , single fixed hook jigs and very plain sp squid tube jigs with a single hook tied straight to the line. I don't do a lot of offshore work but feedback from the deepwater jigging boys is that the ‘knife' style jigs are amongst the most successful. These are the ones where the single hook is tied on with a bit of Kevlar line. Common factor --- no in-built rattles and no rattling from split rings and trebles bang on the lure body - because they don't have any. These lures are all very quiet through the water. Continuing along this line of logic, the 3 most common things we find in harbour kings stomach are squid/cuttles , silver biddies and whiting. In kings under 65cm it's also common to find brethren of the baitfish family -- frogmouth, whitebait, anchovies etc. (As a quick side note, you might notice that there is no mention of yakkas here.) To surmise as to why kings don't like noisy lures -- could someone point me in the direction of which of the above mentioned food items come equipped with ball bearings as part of their anatomy?.

Most lure technology evolves initially on the US largemouth bass scene. Rattles are popular in bass lures and in freshwater lures in general. This does make some sense given that a high portion of freshwater fishes diet is derived from terrestrial critters that do a lot of clicking and buzzing -- even after they have fallen in the creek . Furthermore even some of their aquatic diet, crayfish for example, would be click clacking as they fled. So clearly in this situation rattles in lures are appropriate, possibly even beneficial. For a lot of saltwater fish, particularly pelagic fish, ‘noisy' food items simply don't feature.
The only anomaly to this theory is that we do reasonably well on poppers with trebles. My only guess is that a baitfish splashing across the surface would be naturally relatively noisy , so that when a king sees a popper skipping along; it is expecting it to be noisy.

So anyway my theory is that kings like ‘quiet' lures and all the above gabble is only a remotely related side line to what I initially set out to write about.
Last year I was discussing this theory with one of my charter clients on the water. I got an email from him recently saying that there was a discussion on an online fishing forum about the best lures for kingfish. Some of the guys were saying that ‘kings loved a particular brand of lure that happened to contain a belly full of rattles' - quiet contradictory to my theory. He wanted to know if I ‘had any comments on it ‘.


The internet is technologies greatest gift to fishermen since the introduction of domestic sonar and GPS. We now have available , at our fingertips , the likes of up to the minute ; weather including sea conditions , rain and wind radar , ocean temperature and currents , coastal webcam , dam levels , eddie charts , gps integrated satellite imaging (Google earth) , chlorophyll concentrations and tides. I find myself using a combination of at least 3 of these on a daily basis and all of them at least monthly. Nothing in fishing media has ever come close to being able to provide the kind of ‘up to the minute' fishing reports currently available on the internet. Theoretically am/fm radio could do it but it would require a fishing based radio show to run 24/7. It might be available in the US but it's a long way off happening in Australia.

I can catch a fish on the harbour, have it photographed and on the net, with accompanying details, literally within minutes. I can post a question on a forum about nearly anything to do with fishing and have a variety of answers within hours. Getting back on the subject, I can start a post about ‘the best kingfish lure' and within a week, on some of the biggest sites, have over 200 replies.

While access to this volume of information is unprecedented in human history it does have its downsides. Unlike the ‘old days' of print media no one in cyberspace seems liable for content. In the past if you sent a letter to the print media it would be assessed by the publisher and editor who would ultimately decide whether it went to print edited or otherwise. It the letter then proved to be slanderous, misleading or defamatory , both the writer and the publisher could be held liable. In cyberspace it seems that no one is responsible for anything.
In relation to assessing fishing information I think you have to first assess the source. For example, how do you assess a piece of information about a product when it is coming from a sponsored representative of the company? While some of the sponsored 'team' probably genuinely do use and like the product, it must be remembered that in a situation where they do not like the product or prefer a competitor's product, they are hardly at liberty to say so.
Anonymity is also a big setback for internet forums. If you are looking for an opinion from someone it's worth viewing their ‘user profile'. If they are not prepared to identify themselves then, in my opinion, their opinion carries little weight. Even simple things like their age can be valuable. I've been badgered on-line and carried on lengthy discussions , for want of a better word , only to find out that I've been dealing with a nasty natured 12 year old with too much time on his hands and a lack of parental supervision. If I'd known his age up front, it was a conversation that I would have cut very much shorter. My personal philosophy is to not post anything on the net that I am not prepared to take responsibility for and put my name to (my real name, not my ‘username'). If you feel that you need to hide behind a nondescript username then maybe you need to think about whether you should actually be posting at all.

You can also assess someone's credibility by checking out how long have been a member of a site and how many posts they have made. This does not mean that a new member lacks credibility but trouble makers don't tend to last too long before being banned from the site. You might also get a feel for some ones integrity by reading back over some of their older posts. Other members soon weed out the bullshiters.

When you are faced with a large amount of information, some of it conflicting, the only thing you can do is to choose the source of information that you feel is the most unbiased, experienced, credible and honest. To compliment this you need to take an average of the replies. If you have enquired about what people think about a certain brand of rod or reel and you get 50 negative replies verses 8 positive ones then it's probably one worth steering clear of and vice-versa. Furthermore replies like "na -- it's a piece of crap' carry very little weight when compared to a well constructed criticism that included valid reasons why the reviewer didn't like the product.

Now more than ever, where and who the info came from is equally as important as the info itself.

Stuart Reid's 50lb Pending World Record PNG Black Bass

Pending World Record Black Bass

Papuan Black Bass are renowned the world over as the toughest pound for pound freshwater fish in the world, and the place to find the biggest Black Bass is PNG's Gulf province. The current all tackle world record Black Bass of 46lbs, and the fish pictured (caught on 19/6/14, by Stuart Reid, Fishabout) which is the pending world record at 50lbs, were both caught from these rivers.

Once you feel the strike you know that no freshwater fish can come close to the power. Watching 100kg guys get knocked over on the strike, reels give way, rods break in half and 130LB pound braid snap from the pound for pound strongest fighting fresh water fish is a sight to behold. If would like to experience the thrill of targeting PNG Black Bass and Barramundi in remote areas with very low fishing pressure contact us now. *2017-18 spots selling now* ... read more

Kadavu Island - Great Astrolabe Reef

Fiji Macky

The pristine Fiji Islands are home to the South Pacific's finest sport and game fish, including massive GT's, monster dogtooth tuna, yellowfin tuna, dolphin fish, wahoo, spanish mackerel, black marlin, blue marlin and plenty of reef fish. Many of these species are endemic to the Great Astrolabe Reef (one of the largest barrier reefs in the world), which is the reef that encompasses Kadavu Island, Fiji.Fishabout now offer 6 and 8 day fishing packages to explore this marine wonder of the world, which include 3 and 5 days fishing respectively. For more information call us on (02)8922 2651 or click here

Endyalgout Remote Fishing Camp

Sunset at Endyalgout

Fishabout is pleased to now offer remote fishing trips to Endyalgout Island, one of the best fishing locations in Australia. (Nestled on the south east of the Coburg Penninsula).

Situated on a shell grit beach under shady trees, are several permanent tropical friendly safari style tents, raised on wooden platforms.

Looking out past the resident Crocodile you can see miles and miles of enticing mangroves, barely touched creeks, rivers, rock bars and channels, all calling your name.

From monster Baramundi up to 130cm, to big Black Jewfish, Threadfin Salmon, various Trevallies, and some of the biggest Golden Snaper to be found anywhere, Endyalgout Island is truly a dream to fish.

Pricing ranges from $4350 (4 days, 3 anglers per boat) to $6910 (7 days, 2 anglers per boat)

For more information please call us on (02) 8922 2651 or click here