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Simon kingfish

Simon Kingfish

Autumn fishing on Sydney Harbour

Here’s my latest Sydney Harbour fishing Report, and what a ripper! Early autumn fishing on Sydney Harbour can be spectacular. The change of seasons can always bring surprises, especially as the BOM has officially announced La Nina is over. Let’s hope this just means more settled weather and we don’t head into another El Nino drought.


We’ve had incredible fishing since my last Sydney Harbour fishing report. The standout has been a solid week of non-stop surface action in the lead-up to the full moon. From the Harbour Bridge to South Head, I have never seen so many fish working at once. Birds and surface splashes were everywhere. You could almost identify which species you wanted to target next, although the largest splashes of oversized mac tuna came hard and fast. If you didn’t get the first cast right on point… they were gone. But between the Australian salmon, bonito, small kingfish, tailor, Watson’s leaping bonito, and frigates it wasn’t hard to knock out some serious fish counts.

Things might have slowed down a bit since then but the fish are still about and dare I say it’s a little more rewarding when you have to work a little bit harder?

Call Stephen for bookings on 0422709139

Fly fishing on Sydney Harbour

Recent fly fishing on Sydney Harbour has been a once in a lifetime experience.  The week leading up to the full moon will go down as the best in living memory for the lucky anglers on the spot… maybe that’s a bit over the top, but definitely the best the most consistent and predictable fishing I have ever seen and with such a diverse range of different species to target.

Right now poppers are killing it for kingfish with a strong tailor, bonito and salmon by catch. My popper of choice is the Pole Dancer made by Lionel at the Compleat Angler in Sydney. Still by far the best popper I’ve ever used (can’t wait for the new mk2 to be completed) also his new Howitzer is also producing great results. When popper fishing use a heavier rod and line to makes the casting easier and up the retrieve. The standard full-speed-all-the-way-back is effective but slowing it down and using long pauses get most of the bites. Just remember to strip strike when they hit; the old lift-the-rod trout-strike won’t hook up and leaves you with nothing but slack line and the memory of a big splash.

Small surf candies are good for just about everything right now with even small kings going on the chew. If you’re fishing your flies down deep the humble chartreuse clouser can’t be over looked. And if you do mark some big Noahs, fish the same water depth for good sized cobias hanging off there backs for scraps.

Lure fishing

Anyone focused on lure fishing on Sydney Harbour should think about metals, stick baits, poppers, soft plastics; pretty much anything really, it’s all working right now. Poppers on the markers, stick baits when prospecting open water, metals into the bust ups, and soft plastic for flathead, jewfish, cobia and everything else under the bait.

I’ve been blown away by how productive the lure fishing has been and you don’t have to spend huge money on the big name products I’ve been so impressed with the Yakamito range from the Compleat Angler. The 80mm surface poppers and 130mm sub minnow have claimed countless fish in the last few weeks.

Soft plastic of choice is Zman Streaks 3.75 Smoky Shad. From the surface to the bottom fished on a light 1/8 jig head. We’ve had jewfish, flathead, cobia, bream, salmon, trevally, frigates and macs. Definitely add a pack to your kit.

Bait fishing

I always think of bait fishing Sydney Harbour as the back up plan. You all know I love my fly fishing, but at the end of the day not everyone can cast, and lures don’t always work, so if you want a fish, a good bait can usually deliver. But recently, bait has been my least favorite. The large numbers of predators in the harbour mean the squid are in hiding and have been tough to catch. But not impossible if you’re using small 1.5-1.8 pink/natural and orange/natural jigs fished around their safe zone on the kelp edges of the harbour. The bulk of the fish seemed to be so zoned in on the diverse range of baitfish that they don’t seem interested in other offerings… though as usual expect exceptions.

Pilchards, squid and chicken thigh are my usual go to bottom baits. Always try get the freshest and don’t bother buying squid from the servos, either catch it your self then freeze or use something else. Jewfish don’t mind a fresh frozen bait but I find people who catch kings consistently have the freshest squid. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve had kings swim up and kiss live squid. It doesn’t have to be alive, but it does have to be fresh.

Highlight of the bait fishing recently would have to be for the big sharks. I’ve noticed they like fresh caught bonito vs vacuumed sealed frozen bonito, definitely fish the bottom, have some solid wire trace and most importantly bring your big daddy fishing gear!

The next few months are shaping up to be awesome. The big kings will continue to increase in numbers and the waters temps will remain high – so fingers crossed the fishing keeps on firing and I expect the Sydney Harbour fishing report to continue to be excellent!

Call me on 0422709139 for bookings and check out my website.

Tight lines, Stephen!

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