beautiful nearshore morning and a smoker for the smoker....

Launched at Vilano yesterday before sunrise to chase the beach kings. I have been trying to get my neighbor offshore for a month but we've had to go to plan B several times due to wind conditions. Yesterday was just beautiful. We caught some mullet just north of the ramp and headed out. I don't like to leave the inlet without some bait this time of year because I hate wasting too much time looking for pogies early. Mullet are much more hardy anyway and I figured if we burned through them we could go look for pogies then. So, with 15 mullet in the live well we headed out into the fog. We went north about a mile and got out to 30 feet and released the hounds (mullet). :blowkiss There was activity everywhere early. There were cow nose rays scooting along on the surface, tarpon were jumping for no apparent reason all around use and we had a big school of monster jacks cruise right up and around the boat.....I thought for sure we were going to have 4 on at once but they left the mullet alone. Then the sharks showed up and went to chewing on our helpless morsels. We had three blacktips on at once and kept two in the 10 to 15 pound range for the grill. By the time we landed the third one, there were more just circling the boat. I had fun catching 5 or 6 and losing a couple and then decided enough was enough and headed out a bit deeper. We trolled to 50 feet without a strike, saw some huge sea turtles, another school of jacks came by and we saw acres of small sardines with a few big bonita in tow. Around 9sih, we decided our last 6 mullet were looking a bit lonely so we ran in to the beach to get some pogies. We ran all the way to the picnic tables but no pogies. Plenty of other boats doing the same thing. We saw one nice king landed right off the beach in that general area in about 20 feet of water and there were schools of spanish mackeral and small bonita jumping all over the place. We put four mullet out and went back to trolling and I put on a gotcha to sling at the spanish. I caught two and then the disappeared. We stayed close in between 15 and 25 feet and around 11AM, just as we were really hitting the snooze time and talking about heading in, one of the mullet we had forgotten about finally found a hungry fish and we were brought out of our near-coma by the wonderful scream of line pouring off the speedmaster. I took the rod while Bob brought in the other three lines and then we went after the other end of our line. The fish headed due east but we caught up pretty quickly and stayed on top of her as there were a lot of other boats in that area. I have not caught a lot of big kings so, when I first saw it down in the clear water, I was more than a little excited at it's size....plus, I'm a fisherman and you all know that adds at least 25-50% to the size of any good fish! :grin One good circle or three and Bob put the gaff in her and we had our first beach king. Awesome. I know a lot of you have been catching 30 pounders this summer and I really had no doubt that we had one but those must be some huge fish because I thought this was a whopper and it only weighed......25#. Still, I canned five jars last night and there is a pile of thick kingfish in the smoker as I write.....dip is on the way! Good luck to everyone today.

Replies

  • ReeltightReeltight Posts: 204 Deckhand
    Nice job...I love me some smoked kingfish dip.
  • pilingjunkypilingjunky Posts: 2,044 Officer
    Nice work. I smoked some king lastnight. Just polished off a plate of dip.
    I did
    Mayo
    Cream cheese
    Sour cream
    Old bay
    Cowgills hot sauce
    Diced onion
    Worcestershire
    Lemon
    Garlic
    Turned out delicious.
  • pilingjunkypilingjunky Posts: 2,044 Officer
    Post your recipe.
  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,437 Admiral
    Good job....nice king for sure...!!
  • RulemakerRulemaker Posts: 40 Greenhorn
    equal parts mayo sour cream cream cheese, lemon pepper, garlic salt, diced red onion, lemon, tad bit of franks hot sauce, and the magic ingredient...capers.
  • pilingjunkypilingjunky Posts: 2,044 Officer
    Capers... that does sound delicious.
  • Morocco_madnessMorocco_madness Posts: 2,899 Captain
    Were you guys drift fishing or trolling when the King hooked up? Also were you going with typical King Fish Rigs or heavy flouro leader? Congratz on an amazing fish. Been working on my first King but having zippo luck. After an hour of slow trolling a spread of top water Pogies, i start having thoughts of suicide lol. Boring as hell....
  • Brother DaveBrother Dave Posts: 595 Officer
    It can be boring as hell!! Your trolling speed is critical to getting bites on live pogies....are you dragging a drift sock or bucket to slow you down?
  • Morocco_madnessMorocco_madness Posts: 2,899 Captain
    I am not. My fish finder says i'm cruising at 2MPH. I'm having to take the boat out of gear every so often to slow me down. Otherwise i'll creep up to 2.5MPH.
  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,437 Admiral
    Steve....2mph is way too fast.

    Get a couple of drift socks like mentioned....or just tie a couple of buckets off your bow cleats, and make it so they drag along side your boat......that way they are out of the way.....drill a hole along the bottom edge and put a trip line on there and tie it somewhere handy, that way if you have to chase a fish, you can pull those buckets from the trip line and dump all the water as you clear them...makes it easier on your back.

    Also helps to troll into the wind, helps slow you down....
  • creekgeekcreekgeek Posts: 852 Officer
    MM - my boat doesn't idle as slow as I'd like either but mullet are more durable than pogies and I don't think the kings mind too much. You just don't want to kill your pogies. We were using traditional kings rigs - multi-thread tieable wire leader with a single nose hook and a stinger - size 4 trebble (had some 6's and I know the tourny guys go small but I hate hooking big fish on size 6's). I don't have down riggers so I use trolling weights. I also don't have a t-top as I'm in a small bay boat. We fished four baits. Two on top - one close and one way back. Two with weights - one with 1 ounce and one with a two ounce. I paint the weights dark green or black and tie on about 8 feet of #30 flouro leader below the weight and then the wire - about 6 inches in front of the nose hook to a barrel swivel (tiny) and then about 4 inches between nose hook and stinger.....should have been longer with the mullet but I was using some rigs I had tied for pogies.
  • ElementElement Posts: 1,749 Officer
    Creekgeek awesome fish - that real-scream alarm is one I don't mind waking up to... but canned kingfish?


    MM - I would add that your biggest mistake was giving up after an hour. I agree it can be boring as all hell when you have no action, but you'll forget about the hours of doldrums when you finally hear a big king smoke your reel, chase him down, baby him to the boat with you light gear and eventually sink the gaff. Sometimes you park on a bite and sometimes it can take literally all day.

    If you wanna work out your gear, troll over any of the nearshore wrecks. Kings will be generally way smaller than what you'll find on the beach, but typically more abundant, plus the cudas will offer a separate challenge...
  • creekgeekcreekgeek Posts: 852 Officer
    Element - I got an old, original Ball pressure canner last year from my mom and decided I would learn how to use it. I haven't opened a jar of the kingfish yet to taste test but I canned about 15 pints of blues last fall and they have been excellent fish salad all year. I deboned (although you don't have too) the meat and stuffed the jars to the neck with chunks layering with mustard as I go (also did some with french dressing but the mustard seems to be everyones favorite. Some recipes say add salt but I did this with some of the blues last year and did not like it. I only used a little and they were still too salty. Comes out just like tuna - in mustard sauce...the mustard is not real strong and they aren't as oily as sardines. I was kinda going for the sardines in mustard sauce consistency but blues and macks have less oil and the mustard loses a lot of its mustardness in the canning process.....15lbs pressure for 90 minutes.
  • creekgeekcreekgeek Posts: 852 Officer
    Oh,

    And I made the smoked dip yesterday....added the capers....excellent.

    recipe:

    cream cheese
    sour cream
    miracle whip
    old bay
    worcestershire
    garlic powder
    chopped peppers from garden - some hot banana and cowhorns
  • creekgeekcreekgeek Posts: 852 Officer
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