If you are keen to target kingfish then the first installment of gearing up is knowing that it is mandatory to use the right gear. Anything lesser and you’re wasting your money purely due to the fact then you just won’t be able to stop these fish. Reels with drags pulling up to 30 kilos of pressure are the standard with rod ratings to 37kg should put enough hurt onto fish early. Personally, I use a Wilson 'Venom' 250 with Shimano Sustain 10,000 FE that’s loaded with 50lb braid. While this outfit handled the majority of the fish, I was blown away on a few occasions. With this in mind, I quickly reached for my heavy artillery; a Wilson 'Venom' 450 matched with Shimano Stella 18,000 and 80lb braid which is more than enough brute force to land such brutal fish. My leaders were all joined to the braid with a PR knot. This is a specialised knot that is capable of handling such pressure when fighting fish of this calibre. Leader strengths can vary, but it suggested that you stick with 100 or 130lb.
How much is enough:
Lure decisions are always the most difficult to decide on and when your jigging, your excess weight for a flight can tally up quite quickly with the weight of jigs in your bags. Having pre-purchased two extra bags from the Qantas website, I had no worries about being over.
Still, knowing which jigs and how many to take was still a problem. Basically, when packing for a trip like this you have to do the math. Basically I work out how many jigs I would lose each day. For instance, if I lost four jigs a day x five days fishing, then I would need 20 jigs. I also add in a few extras and then my hooks, leader and all the other bits and pieces that are required.
For such a specific type of fishing you will need to have a range of jig weights and colours. While I already had the heads up on the depths we were fishing, I had eight 200g jigs, twelve 300g jigs and a further eight 400g jigs.
Mind you, one the first day I lost none jigs to bust offs and big barracouta. At the end of the trip, I returned with just four jigs from my collection.
When it comes to jigging it is important you have all the right gear. One of the most important is the braid you have spooled on your reels. At all times, spool up with a multi coloured braid. This will allow you to drop the jig right on the fish’s nose when you sound them up. At different times of the day the fish will hold in different water columns. Early in the morning they may be right on the bottom where by lunch time they could be 50 meters down. Having the advantage of the multicoloured braid will allow you to drop the lure to the right distance to get an instance strike rather than by having to work the lure from the bottom to where they are which will tire you out very quickly.