Kingfish are the heavyweights of the harbour, and will leave you standing on the boat broken line in hand, fly gone thinking “What was that?” These fish are not a light tackle exercise and will need at least an 8wt with a 10wt being a much safer bet. Twenty pound leader will be standard and expect to be towelled up frequently, though the excitement of landing one of these beast is worth every lost fly.
Fish structure like rock ledges and drop offs such as North and South Head, or one of the many navigational markers in the harbour which hold good numbers of kings. It is also worth keeping an eye out for bust ups and bird movement along the lower harbour edges. These bait balls will have kingfish following them and make for a very exciting and visual fly fishing experience.
The go to flies for kingfish are squid patterns and large clousers for fishing structure, with weight being important to get the fly down to the fish quickly. If they are up on the surface and chasing bait school eye flies and surf candies are the go to fly in sizes 4 through to 2/0 depending on the bait thts in the water.
The favoured winter sport fish of the harbour and for good reason. They are fun, put a decent bend in an 8wt and aren’t hard to find. Not always easy to fool the Australian salmon call for leaders around the 12lb mark and nothing works better than eye flies, surf candies and small surface poppers. During the winter months hop in the boat and do a lap of the lower harbour and you will find birds diving and massive bait balls being smashed by hungry salmon. Pay close attention to North Head area and the Clark Island.
Flathead have been a classic go to fish to chase for novice and expert alike. They are accessible, fooled by basic techniques and a lot of fun. A morning or afternoon chasing crocs on the flats between the sand and weed beds will leave you very happy.
Area to chase flathead are varied, a good start is the sand flats and drop offs of the rivers feeding Sydney Harbour such as Lane Cove River, Middle Harbour Creek and the bays of Parramatta River around Rhodes, Putney, Abbotsford and Tennyson Point. The Port Hacking and Sans Souci areas to the south and Narrabeen Lake and its feeder creeks are also good places to look.
Methods that work well for flathead are targeting the edges of weed beds on wadeable flats or shallow drop offs bringing the fly parallel to the bank and working it back in short sharp strips keeping in contact with the bottom during the retrieve. Keep in mind the tide movement, a dropping tide will find flathead waiting to ambush prey at the edges of drop offs. A high tide will find them close to weed beds and mangroves waiting for a prawn or baitfish to venture out.