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Thread: KINGS...!!! To mooch or troll...??? That IS the question...

  1. #1
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Default KINGS...!!! To mooch or troll...??? That IS the question...

    Let's hear the argument. Why do you prefer one over the other?

    Probably the best king I have ever caught was on a chunk of herring in about 20' of water fishing for halibut around this time of year. But that was by accident. I'd love to do it on purpose if it's a better way to fish. Why should I mooch???

    Would love to hear the thoughts of both trollers and moochers. So have at it...!!!

  2. #2
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I prefer trolling unless I know that there are fish around a plenty.

    When we get into a big bunch of hot silves we will stop and drop - you can really feel them hit when you are mooching and we think that it is more fun that way. When searching for active fish - trolling is probably the most common technique - especially for kings.

  3. #3

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    I prefer mooching, but only when it's working. It takes familiarity with an area, but over time I've found several places where we always seem to connect while trolling. I hit those mooching and often do better than I ever did trolling. But when the fish are scattered or you don't know the hot spots, troll to find them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I prefer mooching, but only when it's working. It takes familiarity with an area, but over time I've found several places where we always seem to connect while trolling. I hit those mooching and often do better than I ever did trolling. But when the fish are scattered or you don't know the hot spots, troll to find them.
    Thats what I do too. I'll also stop and mooch somewhere if I know there is a bunch of bait around.

  5. #5

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    That's a pretty loaded question with various answers depending on when and where you're fishing for kings, and, as I'm sure will be evidenced here, depends a lot on just plain old personal preference without either method being superior to the other.

    I'd say if you're fishing for winter kings in Kachemak Bay in the middle of Jan. you're probably going to freeze to death before you catch a king mooching. Even right now I'd have to say your chances of catching a king mooching are pretty slim.

    But when the spawners start coming through and you're in an area like off of Whiskey Gulch or beyond Stariski, if there are plenty of kings around mooching might just be more fun since it's a lot more interactive.

    I just don't think you can really make a definitive general statement about one being better than another.
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  6. #6
    Member redleader's Avatar
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    I would rather jig or mooch for any fish any day, that being said if you want to be successful and consistent for kings you better learn how to troll.

  7. #7

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    You can catch a ton of fish with downriggers. Open water, scattered bait balls, and abundant fish makes for some good downrigger fishing. Nothing sucks worse than slow downrigger fishing though.

    You mooch where you can't troll. Lots of high current spots that need to be back bounced, kelp lines, points, humps, eddys, deep spots, shallow spots, etc exist that you can't troll with downriggers. Most of those places often hold the big spawner kings too.

    One exception is that you have a boat that can turn tight while trolling downriggers, you can slaughter the kings along the jagged kelp lines by trolling shallow and fast. Most bigger boats don't like to venture that close though.

    It's a big myth that you need a bunch of kings around to mooch. In fact, the exact opposite is true. If you know kings, know the area, and know where the kings position themselves.. in times of low abundance, you park yourself on the best spot, and mooch. Eventually the few fish in the area will slide into that spot and you'll get them. It's the old, stick and stay, make it pay. Every kelp line, point, eddy, and wash rock has a sweet spot. Fish it enough and pay attention to things, and you'll find it. It'll be a small area where the kings show up like magic.. tide after tide, year after year. Often times you'll see the experienced guides fighting for position over those areas, where the less experienced have no clue why other boats consistently limit, and they don't. Knowing those spots is what separates the men from the boys, when it comes to king fishing.

    If you just expect to drift around in open water and expect to get lucky by a king swimming under your boat while mooching, you better troll with an 11" flasher and cover as much water as possible.

  8. #8

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    During the spring fishing the runs we anchor and just drop them down. If that doesnt work we mooch. Caught many a limit just anchored although i am sure most people think we are stupid.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Probably the best king I have ever caught was on a chunk of herring in about 20' of water fishing for halibut around this time of year. But that was by accident.
    it might have been an accident for you.. but not for the king. He was exactly where he lives. People don't realize that kings are often shallow. I've seen them in 3ft of water in front of my house. The big kings are often really shallow. Some times when the fishing is dead, (no feeders passing through) I'll find some big spawners up on the reefs, rocks, and in shallow bays against the kelp. You can't troll those spots without loading up on rockfish or losing a ball due to hanging up on a rockpile or kelp. I've caught a fair number of big kings on my black bass spots too, while catching limits of black bass. Using herring heads! Now that I think about it, I've never caught a king smaller than 30lbs off those black bass spots. But, it's a trade off. You aren't going to hook a bunch of kings fishing those shallow spots. So, you can stay out in the open water trolling for feeders, and catch a bunch of those 15-30lb kings. Or you can grind it out on those shallow spots for a few fish. But the odds of a big one are much better on the shallow spots.

  10. #10
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    I just don't think you can really make a definitive general statement about one being better than another.
    I wasn't really asking if one was better than the other, only why moochers mooch and troller troll.....lol.

    I also want to ask the die hard moochers.....is that all you do regarless, or do you troll sometimes..??? Would also like to hear about your personal mooching technique.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    it might have been an accident for you.. but not for the king. He was exactly where he lives.
    Indeed....he sure acted like he knew what he was doing.....I don't think I've ever had a king hit so hard. I've always wondered when the kings actually get into spawning mode. Does anybody know?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I'd love to do it on purpose if it's a better way to fish. Why should I mooch???
    Hmmmmm! You said you want to do it if it's a better way to fish and all I said is I don't think you can definitively say either way is a better way to fish. What's wrong with that?
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  13. #13

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    Mooching seems to be most effective when bait is concentrated, or when the Kings congregate in a specific are (e.g. points, coves, drop offs). I also like to use cut plug herring and motor mooch by putting the boat in and out of gear. A technique widely used in the Pacific NW. My favorite technique fishing Queen Charlotte Islands in BC to Santa Cruz, Ca.

  14. #14
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muttley Crew Fishing View Post
    Hmmmmm! You said you want to do it if it's a better way to fish and all I said is I don't think you can definitively say either way is a better way to fish. What's wrong with that?
    I may have typed it that way but that wasn't the way I thinking...(computers are bad about that...sorry), as I don't know enough about either to make that assumption either way really. Of all the years I've been here I have only caught one king trolling, and that one while fishing for halibut. Maybe I should have just asked if mooching is better during a certain time of year, but it seems now that that question has been answered....well kinda I guess.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I may have typed it that way but that wasn't the way I thinking...(computers are bad about that...sorry), as I don't know enough about either to make that assumption either way really. Of all the years I've been here I have only caught one king trolling, and that one while fishing for halibut. Maybe I should have just asked if mooching is better during a certain time of year, but it seems now that that question has been answered....well kinda I guess.
    Yeah, I've found over the years that my mind reading skills aren't what I thought they were 40 years ago. I try but it just doesn't seem to work.

    Like I said before, and as evidenced by the wide variety of answers, it just depends on the situation and personal preference. I love to mooch for silvers because if you get into a big concentration of them to ME it's a lot more fun to feel that fish grab your bait and then take off like a freight train.

    But where I fish for kings most of the year, and especially with clients that often don't have any experience fishing, trolling is really the best way to go.
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  16. #16
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    You can catch a ton of fish with downriggers. Open water, scattered bait balls, and abundant fish makes for some good downrigger fishing. Nothing sucks worse than slow downrigger fishing though.

    You mooch where you can't troll. Lots of high current spots that need to be back bounced, kelp lines, points, humps, eddys, deep spots, shallow spots, etc exist that you can't troll with downriggers. Most of those places often hold the big spawner kings too.

    One exception is that you have a boat that can turn tight while trolling downriggers, you can slaughter the kings along the jagged kelp lines by trolling shallow and fast. Most bigger boats don't like to venture that close though.

    It's a big myth that you need a bunch of kings around to mooch. In fact, the exact opposite is true. If you know kings, know the area, and know where the kings position themselves.. in times of low abundance, you park yourself on the best spot, and mooch. Eventually the few fish in the area will slide into that spot and you'll get them. It's the old, stick and stay, make it pay. Every kelp line, point, eddy, and wash rock has a sweet spot. Fish it enough and pay attention to things, and you'll find it. It'll be a small area where the kings show up like magic.. tide after tide, year after year. Often times you'll see the experienced guides fighting for position over those areas, where the less experienced have no clue why other boats consistently limit, and they don't. Knowing those spots is what separates the men from the boys, when it comes to king fishing.

    If you just expect to drift around in open water and expect to get lucky by a king swimming under your boat while mooching, you better troll with an 11" flasher and cover as much water as possible.
    That say it all 270ti! very well put.
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