When fishing buddy, Justin Duggan suggested we hunt big kingfish on topwater, it took all of 10 minutes to scoop up my flies, poppers and stickbaits while simultaneously tying leaders and setting the alarm for 4am – not that I was going to get a wink of sleep anyway. There had been some seriously good fish caught of recent, and after the non-stop downpour in Sydney we were hopefully going to be the first boat to get back into the action.



With the sun still enjoying its sleep-in, we launched under the cover of darkness and made our way to a few ol’ favourite spots. Justin obviously got the wrong end of the stick, as along with the fly rod, he was casting a tiny 3500-sized Daiwa spinning reel with 20lb main line and leader. I opted for a heavy 80-100lb popping outfit. I hoped for Justin’s sake, I was the only one hooking hoodlums today – but the fish had other ideas…



Bombs away.

There must be some big fish around, our poppers seemed scared to be in the water!



After landing a few small rat kings on stickbaits we moved further afield to the offshore washes. We worked hard; firing cast after cast into the churning white water. Then, out of nowhere, an explosion behind my lure, then another and another – how the metre-plus pack of kingfish missed the hooks on my lure, I don’t know. As I quickly lined up my next cast back towards the bommie, Justin had already landed his stickbait right into the honey hole. It was instantly engulfed and the little 3500-sized reel let out a high pitch noise that would’ve had any nearby dogs running for the hills.



Justin holds on for dear life.



The fact that Justin managed to stay connected after the first run was a miracle in it’s own right. The fish ran him straight through the bommie and out the other side, taking with it over 150 metres of line. Nevertheless, Justin fought on, often performing ballerina-esque manoeuvres to coax the fish from heavy cover. The slog continued for over 30 minutes as we slowly motored the boat towards deeper and less treacherous waters. Eventually, the brute came up boat-side and after a few circles the 110cm, 12kg beast was guided smoothly into the net. Mission accomplished. 



9kg leader vs a 12kg kingfish - now that's a serious achievement.


Mission accomplished. 



Is there a fish you want me to attempt to catch? A location I should fish? A photographic challenge? You tell me. Either email or leave a comment below.


Until next time,


Jack Murphy


© JackMurphy Fishing and Photography



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