KING OF THE SUMMER
AARON'S TOP SUMMER SPOTS FOR KINGFISH, PLUS TECHNIQUES TO HELP YOU REEL IN THE CROWN
Top tips to target holiday season kingfish
Thanks to their stunning appearance and hardfighting attitude, kingfish are often regarded as the Holy Grail of sport fish here in New Zealand. However, the mighty kingfish is not reserved for ‘expert anglers’ alone. With just a little bit of knowledge and the right gear and set-up, anyone can be heading home with a majestic trophy fish this summer.
Beginners start here
If you’ve been fishing for a while you’ll know Lady Luck can only take things so far. Hooking in baitfish will only sustain a man for so long before you’re ready to step up the fishing level a notch. You have seen people catching kingfish, and since Santa finally brought you that kingfish setup for Christmas, you’re desperate to have a crack on the open water. Some great and accessible places to start the hunt for kingfish are:
Shore Lines Rocks breaking the surface Marker bouys Inshore structures/reefs Work-ups
Techniques used to give you the best chance of nabbing a kingfish for these areas are livebaiting, jigging, stickbaiting and softbaiting. A little trick I suggest to get yourself started is to throw either a stickbait or soft bait out the back of the boat and slowly troll these around works ups, structures and shallow reefs. This is a great way to prospect and area and can be a very successful form of fishing in its own right.
Jigs are also critical element when having a shot at kings. If livebait is not the acquired taste on the day, the shiny metal jigs often hard for a kingfish to resist. Jigs are also easy to plan around, being no mess, no fuss and super-efficient at discovering if the bite is on or not.
Last, but in no means least important on the list are topwater lures. Topwater fishing is the most extreme and explosive way to target a fish by sight. You may find yourself surrounded by kings smashing bait on the surface. If this happens you have hit the jackpot; well, providing you have stickbaits onboard. Being setup and ready for tghe right moment is crucial. Having a rigged topwater rod sitting in the rocket launcher will help.
My biggest tip for these areas mentioned is to stick to the plan. If you want kingfish, persevere. Don’t venture off and change species. Stick it out for the whole day as kings can be a funny ol' thing. The sounder can be loaded but the action below seems dormant. Then, all of a sudden it’s like a light switch turns on and every rod is buckled.
Fancy a crack at a 30kg + kingfish? Well you are in luck. There are a few hot spots in New Zealand that can provide you with a great chance of catching one:
Ranfurly Banks (this sits out off the East Cape of New Zealand)
White Island (sitting 33nm out from Whakatane)
THE Three Kings (which lies just north of New Zealand) If you want the best shot possible for a king of a lifetime, I highly recommend jumping on a charter that hits these locations regularly. This will give you the best chance as from fishing such locations over many years top charter guys know these challenging areas like the back of their hands. From your hooks right through to gloves and gimbals, it is vital to buy the best gear possible. If you go in with a "she'll be right atittude" then your game plan is going to get shredded by these serious fish.
To be more specific with gear, a jigging outfit should be around the 300g mark and running 80lb braid with 130lb leader on a reputable jigging reel like Accurate, Jigging Master, Alutecnos and so on. Of course you can run less than 80lb braid but I know some skippers frown upon this as they want you to have the best chance of landing a lifetime fish and, to be fair, why handicap yourself?