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Fishing Sydney for Kingfish with Craig McGill

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PathFishing Report » Saltwater Reports » Inshore

Article by Spooled ( Watch )
Posted13/03/07 11:00:00 (Australia/Sydney)
This arcticle has been viewed 12491 times.
from Mosman, NSW

▲TopFishing Sydney for Kingfish with Craig McGill

The expectation of fish is a powerful thing. Stronger then any drug and more pulling power then Angelina Jolie (add celebrity to suite) on a 34 year old (adjust age accordingly).

Early start on Sydney Harbour
Early start on Sydney Harbour
So getting up at 3 o’clock after only 3 hrs sleep was no real problem. Our rendezvous was with Darren Grossman from Jarvis Walker (www.jarviswalker.com.au) and Lee (soon to be named Juggler) his best mate. We were to fish with Sydney fishing legend Craig McGill.

We snaked across Sydney pre-dawn. It almost looked calm. Well aware that in only a matter of hours it would be a hive of activity. Tailing another madman (only explanation to being not only awake but active at that time of the morning). Also devoid of a boat as he entered the carpark to the boatramp I concluded that it must have been Darren. Not having met before we introduced ourselves and all got to know each other a little while we waited for Craig. Four tragic fisho's rampside, we were bouncing. Craig arrived and we transferred the entire contents of the Jarvis Walker warehouse into his boat.

What's the point of a boat if you cant fish from it
What's the point of a boat if you cant fish from it?
Motoring away from Roseville boatramp we snuck into the darkness of Middle Harbour. The channel markers blinked in the darkness, Craig’s 100 Yami hummed and the bow waves broke back on the waters surface. Pulling up at Georges Head and our first port of call we began to fish for our bait, Squid. Fresh bait is always better then frozen and according to Craig, squid simply can’t be beaten when it comes to fishing for Jewfish or Yellowtail Kingfish.

Craig helped as we all worked the water for the little cephalopods. The recent fresh water that had entered the system had affected the squid, which were not nearly as readily available as they usually are. Darren was the first to prove his worth though, pulling in the first squid of the day on his little Penn Accord graphite composite.

Darren hooked up to a solid Jewie
Darren hooked up to a solid Jewie
We continued to assault the water, to no avail. So picking up anchor we moved off to our next destination, North Harbour, and the hope of a better response. Five lines jigged the water without so much as a look so again we pulled the peg and set off for Nielson Park. We were fishing the kelp grounds and weed beds they inhabit, but only managed to raise another one.

Darren with Jewfish
Darren with Jewfish
With limited fresh bait we headed over to one of Craig’s favourite Jewfish spots. Rods rigged and baited, two with fresh and two with frozen from previous trips. It was only a matter of minutes before Lee hooked up (on fresh squid) and after a short fight on the *Penn 850sfm Spinfisher coupled with a Penn Powerstick 10-12kg rod. The little red (juvenile Snapper) came to the boat, was unhook and released. It was not too long after that, that Darren’s rod (also with fresh squid – are you seeing a pattern here too?) sparked into life. With a considerably bigger bend in the rod we knew he’d hooked a Jew. He circled below as Daz put the wood on with the Powerstick. It was a few minutes before we saw colour and a little Jarvis Walker rep get very excited. As a 10Lb Jewie (his personal best – always good) was lifted aboard. We continued to fish the same spot for another half hour using only frozen squid. While we still had a freshie we where keeping it for the Kingfish or bigger Jews later. No further bites saw us move on.

We try for a few more squid, hoping that they may have come on – but nothing. After a few positions we ducked over to Quarantine Head to try our hand at the Sydney Harbour Kingfish. With the Spooled boys dragging the chain it was time to pick up our game. Pulling up to a plethora of other boats we baited up and threw our lines out, two at the front, two at the back. Two fresh and two I&J (frozen) baits. Let drift down to mid water mark we waited.

Love those Kings
Love those Kings
Like the cool guy that used to rock up to a party get all the chicks then leave, so too is Craig McGill with fish. Within five minutes of arriving we had hooked our first king. The rod buckling and yours truly snapping it from the rod holder, it began. The stupid part about it, is, I was born and raised in Sydney. I have traveled ALL around Australia, lived in Baffle Creek (Bundaberg) Queensland, Battery Point (Hobart) Tasmania. I have caught innumerable fish and have been fortunate enough to fish species and locations that are dreamt about by many fishermen (and women). Yet up until now have never caught a Kingfish. So needless to say the corners of my mouth were tickling my ear lobes, as the powerhouse at the end of my line thumped. Every tail pump felt through the braid. His massive runs toward the bottom peeled off multiple metres of line managing to submerge the top 1 foot of the rod as I struggled to keep him off the bottom. Whenever I gained a foot of line, he’d take two back. When I eventually raised the oversized calf muscle with a tail, Craig extended the net, an easy lift and he was aboard.

Rick hooked up to a Yellowtail Kingfish
Rick hooked up to a Yellowtail Kingfish
I must have looked like the Joker from Batman. As you could nearly have tied a knot with the corners of my mouth behind my head. The boys almost definitely would have wanted to, as there was a fair few ”YEEEEEHAAAAA’s” being thrown around that boat. A weigh in put him at 3kg. Straight back into it, rigged, readied and let rip. We watched the rods as THUMP, THUMP, BANG, my rod again and a school boyish naughty chuckle and a little jig gave away my excitement as another king thrashed beneath the boat. Lee’s stick doubled over as he pulled it from its holster and ”Fishabout Tours” had managed another double hook-up. As Lee and I played our fish the excitement in the boat was high. Its moment’s like these which make us so passionate for our sport. It is absolutely beyond me as to how anyone could not be bitten by the fishing bug! Thankfully for the fishery they’re not though.

Juggler in action
Juggler in action
If there is such a thing as Karma I am destined to throw fish all around the boat for all eternity for what I am about to say, as Fingers McDuck (Lee/Juggler) learnt to Juggle Kingfish. Not once, or twice, you guessed it not even thrice. It was the small white flag that came out from behind the kingfish that said “I surrender” as Lee went to pick it up for the forth time that I liked.

At this point I’ll mention that you couldn’t meet a better bloke, and I am just having a dig, but damn it was funny. Photographed and released (Juggler’s with a sick note for school) we continued fishing. We dropped a couple then the other “Fishabout Tours” boat (another of Craig’s) which was fishing nearby pulled off another double header. At this point in time if I had been a customer on any one of the other guides boats I would have been questioning my decision as to who I had gone out with, as not one of the other boats had even hooked up in the whole time we were there.

The face of a politiacian, give that fish a Bandaid
The face of a politiacian, give that fish a Bandaid
Bang, Clang, Thump and we were on again this time it was Jaye doing his share to even the score. Netted, photographed and released the other boat went off again. Then ours as Jugglers line drew tight and his rod began to bounce. Fore warned is fore armed they say. So it was no surprise that this one came up wearing a Stack Hat. But as big Lee had just up’d the anti and the time between bites was increasing the Spooled boys would really have to pull one out of the proverbial to even the score. So when my stick began to dance I couldn’t have been happier. Managing to draw for the day and prove we could hold our own.

In safe hands - Fishabout do it again
In safe hands - Fishabout do it again
All in all a top day. Having got on like a house on fire. JW (Jarvis Walker) have a great rep in Darren while Juggler’s just a legend. Jaye and I had a blast yet again and why wouldn’t we, when you’re in the hands of a Master like Craig McGill?

Do yourself a favour and save yourself some money, by not just booking any guide for Sydney Harbour. Give Craig a call and take advantage of the fishery that is Sydney Harbour. Whether you’re flying in for the privilege (like Lee – Melbourne, who was blown away with the fishing we have on our doorstep). Or whether you already live in or near Sydney you won’t regret it!

Don’t think you need to be an experienced fisherman to catch fish as Craig will get you connected to one of these bruisers before you know it. So organize a trip out for you and your mate’s , take a girlfriend or have some family time and treat the wife and kids but - Book Craig McGill the first time you go out!

Craig McGill
Fish About Tours
Mobile: 0412 918 127
Email:

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Hey i was just wondering was this whole squid, tentacle or strips? thanks

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