I don't need to tell readers just how great soft plastic lures are. Anyone who was around when they first took off in Australia will never forget how deadly they proved, on flathead. And they are now such an important part of fishing in this country that a tackle shop owning friend told me that without them, he’d be out of business. For him they’re a close second to fresh bait, in sales importance.
Big SPs are deadly on kingfish too. But they are hard to cast and slow to sink. That can be a pain when the nor easters are blowing hard in the middle of kingie season. So when our primary supplier offered us some nine inch SPs at a good price I asked him to include some 40 gram spoon hooks too:
They are rigged with the SP head through the spoon hook then a 7/0 short shank stinger hook set back in the SP. That hooks short striking fish:
An even deadlier option can be to replace the soft plastic lure with a California squid. In this case the stinger hook goes through the squid head:
Looks good, doesn’t it? Effective too. If you don’t have whole squid cut strip works just fine:
Here’s two videos showing live hookups on this setup off Sydney’s South Head in 2014:
In this one you can hear the rubber band snap at the 30 second mark:
So when our first tester samples arrived I was busting to get out there and give them a try in Sydney Harbour. I rigged one with a small stinger treble which we don’t do anymore because kingfish often hook it up deep in the throat or gill rakers, and removing it causes too much damage:
First stop was the famous Tripod, off Nielsen Park. This is arguably the best kingfish spot in Sydney Harbour:
Straight into them! Mev hooked up first, on the white SP:
Then Ed scored a tiny Kingfish on the orange one:
No biggies found but I was pleased as punch because it was the middle of a bright sunny day in the busiest harbor in Australia with other boats fishing the same spot and doing no good at all. So why do they work so well? Firstly, the spoon hook gives the soft plastic lure a fantastic action. Check this out:
You cannot replicate that, just using your rod tip. Here’s one more, showing a moderately fast troll:
How good is that? Another big benefit is that the spoon hook increases casting range. That’s important, because in summertime with the nor’ easter blowing you can drift away from your intended marks so quickly. Lastly, the 40 grams of lead accelerates the sink rate. That’s a benefit too because if you mark kings on the sounder (for instance, around Harbour structure) they are almost always half way down. So, at the Tripod (in 16 metres) they usually show up 7 or 8 metres down – on the tide side.
Here’s the deal:
Here’s one of mine rigged on 80 mono:
And here's how to rig them:
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