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KINGS!!!

The trip left at 10:00 AM which meant not only more night fishing but more trolling on the way out. News flash King fishing is hot! They started coming over the rail with the beach still insight. There were some likely smoker’s hooked but lost due to improper tackle. Late in the day a nice Blackfin Tuna was landed as well.

We started around 9:00 PM and from the beginning the Mangrove bite was solid. On every stop I caught nice Goozers from the beginning till the end of the stop. Most of the night I wouldn’t say it was a hot bite but a steady one. The closer to sunrise the hotter the bite got. The way they were biting (just tapping the bait) meant experienced anglers were close to their limit by day break but those inexperienced were struggling. Tip: when Mango’s are biting like this attention to detail is vital. Make sure your bait is hooked correctly, make sure you are on and holding bottom, use a leader no less than 3’ (I use 5-6’), when you feel the bite just wind and be aware of whether you have bait on your hook or not. Watch what others are doing and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Normally the Mango bite slows considerably after sunrise but it remained steady most of the day. (At least it did for me) The Gag bite was slower than usual and for the first time in a long time I didn’t even get a Gag hit. There were some nice ones caught but we picked at best. The same was true for Red Grouper but I did manage to land a nice one in the middle of the day after soaking a Pig fish for what seemed like forever. Back to the Mango bite, as I said I picked Goozers steady throughout the day but many did not. Which brings up a question. I was primarily fishing in the bow area and with less than 30 people on the boat I was often by myself. When I looked down the boat people were all clustered up trying to get as close to the stern as possible. My question is if you see someone catching fish with almost every cast in an area with plenty of room and you’re bunched up and not catching fish why wouldn’t you move? Especially when that person has is inviting you to come fish with them? I guess I need to reach out more.


Late in the day the King bite was on fire. It started when I cast a large Pig fish hoping to hit the bottom and get a Gag. About a quarter of the way down Bang! No matter how many times I go fishing it is still a thrill to have the drag singing and your whole body feeling the power of a big fish. After a great battle I landed a 45 LB Smoker King. After that there were multiple hook ups of big Kings. Several that I suspect were larger than mine were lost but there were more 30-40 pounders caught than I’ve seen in a while. Tip: When Kings are on fire don’t complicate targeting them. I know there are multiple ways to target Kings and I am not knocking them but when they are chewing you just need to get a bait in the water with the proper tackle. The easiest way is to flat line with the current using live or dead bait. The most important thing is using the proper tackle. You should have a wire leader or if you don’t have wire hook 3 hooks together. I would also recommend using a heavier rod and leader so you can crank them in as fast as possible if you are on a party boat. (Private or smaller boat is different) as the longer you have the fish on the line the more likely you are to lose it due to tangles. Can’t wait to get back at them.

See you out there!

Replies

  • harbisonharbison Posts: 4,056 Captain
    John, still another great report with excellent advice.
    :huh " My question is if you see someone catching fish with almost every cast in an area with plenty of room and you’re bunched up and not catching fish why wouldn’t you move? Especially when that person has is inviting you to come fish with them? I guess I need to reach out more."
    I have often wondered the same. Been doing this stuff for over 40 years. I see just as many fish caught near the bow as on or near the stern.
  • nightflynightfly Posts: 504 Officer
    Some nice fish there bud. Good job
  • SuperMutuSuperMutu Posts: 413 Deckhand
    I love fishing the bow rather than the stern.

    I think it could be that many people believe that they are assigned a spot/number and that is where they can fish. Which, when it's crowded is probably the best bet. I've been on crowded trips, trying to stay in my little area only to have people pack in all around. As if the numbers are not close enough, put another person in the middle.

    John, how do you rig for kings? I usually bring a 6500 size baitrunner/7' 30lb class rod with 45-65lb. braid. Alberto some 30lb. flouro then small swivel and about 6" of single strand to a nose hook, I believe 2/0 4x livebait style with #4 4x vmc treble for a stinger.

    I haven't hooked up with one yet. That being said, on the trips I was on no one was getting kings.
  • redkevredkev Posts: 48 Greenhorn
    Where did you go out of? Head boat?
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