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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey 2-coolers, I am looking for some kingfish advice. My wife and I can catch kingfish all day long. I guess anybody who goes out a couple of miles off the beech can say the same. Right time of year, that is all you do catch. But how/where/when do you catch the smokers over 50#. Is it different bait, leader tricks of the trade, or just plain luck. Just wondering if I am doing something wrong.

Thanks for any input in this subject.

Robert
 

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Gig Em! '94
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It is a combination of all of those things plus long runs to less molested waters and hitting the right spots at the right times plus some measure of good luck. There are a lot more 25 pounders than 50 pounders in the Gulf. There is a lot to the kingfish game, offer to crew on a tournament boat and you will learn how.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
advice

hey thanks alot. I guess alot of it is luck. My biggest was chasing birds about 9 miles off the beach. I caught this 40# king on a shrimp tail of all things. We were trying to catch spanish mackeral on trout light tackle. The reel was a curado, and it earned it keep that day. But my wife and I have started to fish tka tournements and just dont know how they (regular winners) can do it time after time. Maybe thats why they are pro's...........last time out we caught alot of kings, but none over 30#. Are the 50+ just that rare or is there some tricks to the trade that I am not doing?
 

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My biggest kingfish have been at the end of the jetties in late April. No farther out than 1 mile from the ends of the jetties. It is only good on low tide. The big smokers run the shallow water because it is loaded with bait comming out of the bay on outgoing tides. I've had days where nothing under 35lbs hit. Live blue runners are the smokers favorite bait.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
jettys?

wow that is interesting. What about the water color or bait choice. It is pretty confusing to me about the logic.
 

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it is mostly luck and a little skill. we were out 30miles and caught this king just drifting out of the back of a boat from a rig. usual rig we always use. 50#leader with hook and sardine. sometimes your just lucky
 

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Cereal Killer
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gunsmoke said:
My biggest kingfish have been at the end of the jetties in late April. No farther out than 1 mile from the ends of the jetties. It is only good on low tide. The big smokers run the shallow water because it is loaded with bait comming out of the bay on outgoing tides. I've had days where nothing under 35lbs hit. Live blue runners are the smokers favorite bait.
I second the jetties on an outgoing tide. Caught many monsters there and seen to many to count chasing bait. Blue runner and hand sized perch will be a good target for them to home in on. We had one in the 40-50 range almost land in the boat the other day while it was chasing baitfish. Very cool!
 

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kingfish

BIG LIVE BAIT , small #4 4X Treble Live Bait rig, 61 lb wire , #50 spro swivel and 30 lb test line and go where kingfish live and hold on. Big kings somtimes bite about anything , but most of them are picky and they shy away from the big tackle. That is why they get #50 lbs , they are 20 + years old. Do this and you will get your bigger kingfish.
 

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I agree with the use of light line. Most of my big kings over 40 lbs are taken on 17 lb test. I like to use a calcutta 400 or 700 on a Penn Dave Workman kingfish rod with light aftco rollers. The bait just presents itself better on light line. The biggest one I ever weighed offically was 62 lbs and I was only in 37 feet of water fishing with a live blue runner for bait. It was rigged on a 3 foot thin piano wire with a gorilla live bait hook. No weight, just free drifting about 50 yards off the boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
live bait

That sounds like great advice. We mainly use cigar minnows, sardines (cheaper), and poggies. I have just started using ribbon fish, and to tell you the truth.....never have I had a bite on the ribbon fish. The ribbon fish are fresh dead and about 36" long. They were bought at marine seafood in houston (s/610 loop @MLK) I was paranoid about not finding bait for our first TKA tournament so I bought 2 cases of ribbon fish (15ea case) and 5 boxes of cigar minnows. Basically $150 dollars of bait. Needless to say I have alot of bait left for the next 3/4 fishing trips. How/where do you get the live bluerunners/perch. I have tried sabiki rig fishing and had no luck. Boy these tournaments are getting expensive when I have so much to learn................its only money and who cares if you are having fun........lol
 

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Live Bait

Live blue runners can be caught at rigs , bouys or weedlines. At rigs pay close attention to your bottom machine to locate them. Usually they are up current of the rig. Using a Sabiki rig , drop down and them jerk up while reeling the line in. Make the sabiki have alot of action. Sometimes the live bait will be down a little so try different depths until you locate them. You can also try a GOT CHA plug and cast around near the rigs and bouys to catch blue runners. Sometime you can catch blue runners pretty close , but most of the time you need to be in at least 70 ft of water. You can also tip your sabiki rigs with shrimp , but that sometimes attracts pesky triggers and bar jacks. Good luck!!!
 

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Robert,
I've been fishing SKA for the last 3 years. Due to other obligations and the fact that I'm fishing a small, single motor boat, decided not to fish tournaments anymore until I can upgrade and go where I need to to be consistent. I was in the same situation you are 3 years ago. What type boat do you have and what is your range? I would be happy to answer any questions you have and possibly buddy boat, go with you sometime, or even crew for a tournament. Let me know what I can help you with.
Richard Wyke
FRAYED KNOT
 

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As was said early on... use LARGE live baits. I've used pin perch caught around the docks, blue runners, and a few others I've caught at the rigs. If you're worried about not getting bait at the rigs or when you're out, catch a few of whatever's hanging around the docks before you take off. While fueling up in Port A one day, I caught an enormous (around 12") pin perch
which was later named "sure 'nuff". Later in the day, we hooked sure 'nuff to a free line and drifted him off the back while tied off to a rig. he caught us about a 40 lb king... probably not a tournament winner, but still a good sized king. I think just about anything alive will work good... mullet, perch, blue runners...
 

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We caught some decent kings last week within 5 miles of the beach in Corpus. Nothing near 50lbs but there was an obvious correlation to the size of the kings we caught with the baits we used. All the smaller ones were on free lined sardines and all the big ones, most of which we lost, were on live hard tails caught at the same rig we were fishing. 20lb test, 12" of small diameter wire, one J hook with a stinger #4 treble hook. Caught all but one fish on the stinger!
 

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had a picture of this one...I didn't catch this one, but I took a picture with it anyway. This one weighed in just under 50lbs...and was caught on live bait
 

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That's a good 'un! Are you sure you didn't scuba that one up? Seriously, suba diving, can you tell what size the kings are when you see them? I always wanted to scuba some rigs and reefs we kingfish on........
 

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no scuba on that one. We caught that one out on the rocks.

good point about that though. I used to fish out of a "dive" boat quite often, and once my brother in law jumped in, we would know in a few minutes whether or not it was worth our time.
 
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