Fussy kingies smash livies

On an amazing evening, my mate Hamish took me fishing in the Pelorus Sound. I love Pelorus, it’s full of beauty in every direction, with clear waters and native bush as far as the eye can see.

Not knowing the area well, we decided to park up by the mussel farms. We baited up, dropped our lines and let the first few minutes go by. Soon, more minutes started to go by, then many minutes, and still nothing.

We were down to our last few minutes of patience when suddenly we heard a loud ZZZZZ! Finally, something had taken the bait and was running with it.

We were sitting at 50m, so it took a while to bring up but got it close enough so we could see a flash of crimson red and knew we’d hooked a good-sized snap. It was what we saw past the snapper however, that had us excited.

Following the snap up was a school of kingies. We weren’t about to waste any more minutes, so we cut off our tackle, rigged up our Savage 3d Mack stick and started casting. The kingies followed but didn’t bite. Sixty minutes went by with no luck, so we decided to head back and feast on some raw snapper.

The next morning, at the crack of light, we were up and ready. Both of us determined to catch one of those kingies. And luckily for us they were still hanging around. Unluckily, they weren’t into tackle. Cast after cast, lure after lure, bobber after bobber and still no takers.

I decided to try live bait. But first I had to catch it. That turned out to be just hard, but I managed to bring in a small kahawai and on the hook he went. Hamish cast it out and within seconds it was on.

Despite hooking up only 5m off the boat, it was one hell of a fight, putting the Saragosa to the test (it passed with flying colours). Our first kingfish of the day was an impressive18kg.

Live bait was clearly the way to go and now it was my turn. I gave it a little toss and as soon as the bait bounced on the water it was gone. Between the panic and excitement, I managed bring the kingi on board in five minutes. This one was a whopping 20kg!

Unfortunately, our live bait was gone and catching more turned out to be unproductive. We managed to catch a beautiful gurnard (one of my top five table fish to eat) but after many, many minutes of trying to catch live bait, we decided to head back relishing in the two amazing kingies we’d caught.

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