Big Bubbles No Troubles

November 04, 2019

Big Bubbles No Troubles

Hi Andrew. Was out yesterday on SYDNEY harbour and of course left my new 10g jigs in the car.🙄😡. Massive boil ups everywhere and we threw everything at em and nothing. A few pros that zoomed in with their clients also threw small metal slices and tiny plastics also to no avail. Saw your post the other day about the bubble float and fly with the kingfish. Sounds like I need to buy a few. In the meantime do you or your followers know what they are taking? I can’t remember being in such furious boil ups and not getting at least a couple of hook ups. I suspect they may be feeding on really tiny baitfish but without hooking one and bring it aboard to cough up some bait I’m clueless.  

Don’t be too tough on yourself! They’ve had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at them, since they arrived in big numbers six weeks ago. Let’s break it down: 

The salmon roll on the surface eating fish fry; 
To hook up, you need a lure the same size as what they are feeding on; 
To hook up, you need to deliver the lure to the strike zone 
 – which is only the top one foot of the water column; 
You need weight to cast your tiny lure a long way 
usually in windy conditions 
and often when other boats are pushing the fish down 
meaning your casting target suddenly disappears.  
We have a system: 


 A tiny five centimetre SP, pre-rigged perfectly on a hook; 

A water filled bubble float which, with our 802 Blue combo, can be cast 50 metres; 

Bubble is half filled with water to give you the casting weight you need; 
But floats when it lands, to keep the fly in the strike zone 
Basically you are fly casting twice the distance you can with a flyrod - off your threadline reel:

A good investment because it’s so frustrating making a hundred casts, without hooking up.  And salmon are the ideal target when you’re taking family and friends out on the water:

So let’s talk about how it works in practice? Firstly, where to go. I’m always getting asked:

Hey mate
Any reports on Aus salmon lately
Trying to get my misses on one
Fishing on the boat tomorrow in Sydney harbour
Cheers in advance 

Only experienced on Sydney Harbour but am pretty confident these techniques would work just as well in other salmon hot spots like Swansea Channel and Jervis Bay. They can be found anywhere in the system. But here’s a rough Harbour map showing where the salmon have been operating in October:

The first thing to do is to determine their general feeding direction. That will be affected by boat traffic. Particularly by the blokes who pull up too close on the leading edge and throw oversized lures into the boil: 

Cast your float and fly *ahead* of the leading edge of the school. These fish seem to have a pretty narrow field of vision. The big buzz comes when you see them spot the fly, turn, and suck it down.  

Can’t recommend our matching 802 Blue combo too highly, for this project. It will cast the bubble float and fly over 50 metres in still air, as measured by the colour change braid. On that topic one other thing to mention. In a cast, the fly will stream behind the bubble float as they both travel through the air. Meaning that, on arrival, the fly can wrap around the main line above the float and get wrapped. That’s easy to fix. As the float is about to hit the water, just apply a bit of tension to the line with your free hand? That straightens the rig out before touchdown. Check the combo out here? At $120 for rod reel and line it’s an absolute steal:


Give it a try? You get the odd snob running down salmon but the reality is they’re a great sport fish and can save the day, when everything else is quiet. But in hard fished spots there’s a few tricks to cracking the code. Before we go, a question about the float and fly combo from Chris Sales:

Would this work with kingfish? I actually saw you hook up on those salmon at north head. Couldn’t get them so i went back inside the harbour. Found massive schools of kingies boil up but same thing. They wont take anything 

A couple of  weeks ago we were getting them on the 10 gram metals. But haven’t chased them since then! Pretty sure the bubble float/fly combo will work great on topwater Harbour kings. They’ve gotta be hunting the same fish fry the salmon are hitting. Will give it a try this week and report on Facebook as to whether it does or doesn’t work:


Good luck and let me know how you go, 

Andrew Hestelow
Managing Director
Tel. 0402075000

Leave a comment

Also in Tackle News

Mini Kings, Maxi Fun
Mini Kings, Maxi Fun

January 23, 2020

The one reliable and predictable fishery has been kingfish, in metro bays and harbours. They have basically been on tap. But – it’s hard to find keepers.

Read More

Norfolk Island - Getting it Right
Norfolk Island - Getting it Right

January 20, 2020

Norfolk is a beautiful place with very good fishing. But there are a few traps for new players. I get so many inquiries about the place after posting pics and videos! So in this little report I’ll be covering both the good and the bad – without fear, or favour.

Read More

Down Down, Deeper and Down
Down Down, Deeper and Down

January 13, 2020

We ran a live slimy mackerel off the downrigger. Maneuvering the big boat around the moorings in a nasty cross wind wasn’t easy. But James handled it like the champ he is. A few passes and BANG.

Read More