Fishing for kingfish in Eden

Well, me and Lee fished Eden on the weekend. It was a quick trip where we primarily focussed on kingfish to the exclusion of all other species and techniques. The fishing on saturday was pretty tough, we got fish but we worked hard for them. Around Greencape the fish were there but patchy with a fair few rats, while at Mowarry when the fish finally came on they were much larger. The biggest fish for Saturday was 90cm caught by Lee but there were some fish well over a meter landed by some of the other boats.

On Saturday night, i tried a bit of en experiment. Kingfish heads marinated in a very simple teriyaki sauce (2 parts soy sauce to one part brown sugar, garlic and ginger). They were surprisingly good but probably needed a lot longer in the marinade (next time it will be overnight not 20 mins). I’ll definitely being doing them again and a great use of a part of the fish generally seen as waste (Seal and Ray food) by most.

We only had a half day to fish on Sunday and in general the fishing was better. Dad also came along this time and comprehensively out-fished the two of us with his minimalist jigging technique. While jigging may look simple, its not, there is an art to it i haven’t yet mastered. Its amazing watching two boats side by side, one boat getting triple hook ups regularly the boat next to it nothing, same jigs, the only difference is the action. Next time your down study the pros and the boats cleaning up, most of the time its very subtle technique that does the damage (the videos are often misleading, violent mechanical jigging is sometimes the way to go, but often around Eden its a pretty poor technique, you’ll catch fish but not as many as those using far more subtle less violent and less tiring techniques). Theres no need for violent jerks, no crazy winding most of the time, generally a slow wind with little jerks, sometimes little bounces all the way up other times slow lifts with lots of pauses, still other times speed for a few jerks then pauses. Figuring whats really turning the fish on on any given day can be the difference between a few fish and dozens.

All the fish we got on Sunday were at Greencape, with the biggest up to about 80cm. The fishing was much more consistent with fish regularly coming to the boat. The weather and sea was also a lot better making fishing far more comfortable…

While we only targetted kingfish, a lot of other species are fishing really well at the moment. The bonnies and salmon are prolific, with plenty of them around the headlands and salmon on the beaches.  Schools of stripies are busting up all over the place, schools busting up were a regular sight all the way from South Head to Greencape on both days and I’m sure a couple of small trolled skirts would produce lots of fish! There were a lot of snapper and flathead back at the boat ramp (we got one snapper as bycatch at Greencape) as well as the odd Mowwie. The good fishing should hold for the next couple of months so now is really the perfect time for a visit.. Now i just need to get some more time off and get back there as soon as possible yo make the most of it!

All in all it was a very enjoyable weekend. We will write more about the trip in the future. Next on the agenda is getting up to the trout streams aroud Melbourne again. I headed up a few weeks ago to get my first trout on fly but failed. Lee will be down at Wallaga again next weekend, so hopefully he gets into the fish and gives our reader some up to date info on how Wallaga is fishing and what to target and more.

Until next time! Adios!

Hamish

Thanks for that little update, Hamish! I thought I’d add a few photos and observations of my own. As mentioned, the fishing was pretty consistent, but not ‘hot’ by any means. It was generally a lot of drops between fish, meaning that my arms and hands are certainly feeling it today!

I learnt quite a lot this weekend. As Hamish mentioned, the pros and the reccies that were really cleaning up were using very subtle techniques. It was amazing to watch one bloke comprehensively outfish 30 others because of the technique he was using. Interestingly, the two biggest fish of our trip came on a flat out, stop-start retrieve. This was when the fish were very finicky. I suspected they were there and they were just nudging the jigs. A super fast retrieve, followed by a dead stop then one jig to set the hook worked for me on a number of occasions. However, I certainly came around to the finesse technique after watching the pros and Julian catching fish consistently using this technique. I tried it a few times, and it definitely worked. Just subtle twitches and a wind of the handle every twitch. Good for energy conservation, and it works.

The other thing I observed was that you don’t need big schools to be showing on the sounder to catch fish. It’s all to do with the pattern of the fish. I watched one of the pros looking at schools we’d just been sitting on, and they didn’t even have a drop. They’d move over a patch, where we’d scored a fish, and start pulling them out. I noticed that the feeding fish were more loosely congregated. At times, we could see only 4-5 fish on the sounder and there would be double hookups. Other times we were over big schools of hundreds or thousands of fish and you would pull the jig straight through them to no avail.

Anyway, below are a few photos. It was a great trip! Thanks to Hamish and the Webb family! Can’t wait to do it all again

Hamish’s first kingy for the trip. This was about as big as we caught them at Greencape
Nice bycatch when chasing kingfish. This bonito fell to an octopus jig wound quickly up from the bottom. Smoked, the bonnies are delicious.
One of the better fish of the trip
Hamish with a nice snapper on a plastic. Not bad bycatch!
This school produced some fish. The fish at the top were actively feeding
Some of the beetroot gravlax cured kingfish. This was delicious on some bread with cheese, capers and some dill…

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