Back to Sydney Reports

Sydney Reports: Sydney Harbour Report, April 2012, by Craig McGill

Sydney Harbour Report, April 2012, by Craig McGill

We have been getting some spectacular king fishing of late and , hopefully , with the late start to the season we will get a late finish, taking the warm water and kings right through to June. This is the time of year for bigger than average kings and an addition to tactics. While I'm generally a strong proponent of fresh squid for bait, big Kings do develop a hankering for garfish at this time of year. This is not surprising given that we get a good run of gar in the harbour about now.

You will find Gar in places like Quarantine and Watson's bay and around sow and pigs reef. A bit of bread or pellet burley mixed with tuna oil will get them in behind the boat in no time. My favorite gar bait is pilchard gut on a short shank no 12 or 14 hook under a light quill float. I suspend the bait about 30cm under the float with no lead. Use as light line as possible. To keep them alive you will need a good sized, well aerated (preferably circulating) bait tank.

One of the most successful and spectacular (huge surface strikes) ways to fish the live gar is to swim them out under a bobby cork with no lead. The rig is simple and consists of a 1m mono trace with a bobby fixed at the point where the trace meets the main line. No lead is used so that the gar, pinned on a 6/0 octopus style hook, swims on the surface.
Pin the gar under the lateral line just behind the anal fin. By having the hook on the underside you naturally keel the bait. A gar hooked above the lateral line will have to constantly fight the hook and tire more quickly. When it does tire the hook weight will pull the gar upside down and it will die.

An alternative rig is to drop the bobby cork and let the gar swim free. This is a great natural presentation with the disadvantage of not always knowing where your bait is and resultant tangles. If you are going to use this method you will need to keep a constant check on your baits position.

While gar are great at this time of year don't write off the squid. A big, whole, live squid fished deep will take its share of big kings and still rates as number one bait with the advantage of picking up a stray Jew.

With Sydney harbor kings now regularly coming in at anything up to 15kg your tackle must be sturdy and in top working order.


Egg beaters are my first choice and you can't go past the big 6500 fin-nor offshore. They are indestructible and with their superb oversized multi-stacked drag system they will fish alongside the likes of Stella and Saltiga . I've been running one under charter conditions for three years now and am struggling to find a fault with it.

Eggbeaters work for straight down bait fishing, casting unweighted live squid and gar at structure or heavy lure fishing the likes of 9" slug-go and heavy metal casting and jigging. With modern braids capacity is no issue and they have a drag range to get the best out of any line class from 10 to 25kg.


Fin-nor offshore jig rods in 50 or 80lb are a perfect match for the abovementioned reel.


Braid is the way to go overall despite the tangles and the occasional pulled hook on short lines. Spool up with 50lb. My theory is you don't have to use it all but it offers greater abrasion resistance and you can crank it up if you need to. As I said earlier, capacity is not an issue any more. I use Sufix Performance braid in this line class.


Fluorocarbon is the obvious choice given that is inevitably going to get dragged over rough surfaces. I would use 60 to 80 lb for bigger kings (depending on terrain) and 40 for smaller fish. The compromise with trace weights is in hook-ups and experience has shown that you will defiantly get more hook-ups when using lighter trace.

Best spots to look for kings in the harbor are: The eastern cardinal mark off Dobroyd, the green marker off middle head, the wedding cakes, the Spit, Seaforth bluff, pickering pt, old yella off Neilson pk and the sticks off Rose bay.

Fishabout FREE iPhone and iPad App

Fishabout are proud to announce the release of their new FREE iPhone app which, at the time of writing has just gone to number three on the iTunes sports app list.
It's currently available for download on iPhones and iPads.
The App is loaded with features including;

- A Personal GPS Catch Log (almanac) for storing your catch details
- Regional catches information for all of Australia
- Weather, Tides, Wind, Barometer and other weather observations in real time, searchable for all of Australia by region.
- 5 Day Weather, Tides, Wind, Barometer and other weather forecasts, searchable for all of Australia by region.
- A Fishability Scale, giving you 5 day fishing forecasts based on solunar tables
- A Leaderboard
- Fish Measurer. A unique method of checking the length of your fish using the iPhone camera. (concept and design by fishabout)
- Directory of tackle shops, guides, ramps, hotspots, attractions and more by region, with maps and directions.
- A Species database, including information about techniques for individual species, legal sizes and bag limits, and much more.
- Push button Green Zone (no fishing zone) Alerts functionality. Check if your location is in a legal fishing area.
- Daily, regional fishing reports. Find out what is going on across Australia
- A registration option which will allow you to keep your catches on file on a remote server for retrieval to a new phone, in case of a lost, damaged or upgraded phone.

For me personally the apps greatest asset is the ability take a picture of your fish and then have it automatically stored in a catch almanac that is linked to relevant info like gps location , tide , weight and more . Upgrades will soon include barometer, weather, water temps and moon phases. Over a period of years this will create an invaluable catch data log which can be used to determine the absolute best time to target individual species.

Download is FREE, so search Fishabout in the iTunes app store!

For more info go to the website, click on the ‘news' tab and select iPhone App, or search the Fishabout iPhone app facebook page!


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