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Thread: Trolling For Kings....What Is Your Favorite Lure?

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    Default Trolling For Kings....What Is Your Favorite Lure?

    I am getting ready to outfit our boat and was wondering what everyone's "go to" lures are for feeder kings?

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    Herring! It is hard to beat day in and day out. Good downriggers are a must after that it is just putting good bait in front of a fish that wants to eat it

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    We try them all, often side by side. Herring is my first choice, but since you said "lures" I'll go with the next best for us after herring: Apex, followed in a distant second by Coyote Spoons, then hoochies. Apex will usually outfish anything else we tie on except herring. Just be sure to change out the hooks, leaders and swivels on the Apex before you use them. The ones they provide are trash.

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    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Brad's Super Cut Plug and this squid imitation from Cabelas.

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    Member idakfisher's Avatar
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    Cliff, I have to ask-what color of Brad's and color of squid do you prefer? And how do you hook up the squid?

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliffhanger View Post
    Brad's Super Cut Plug
    In "Blue Hawaiin" and coyote 4.0 spoon in glow/green.
    If you can only have two flashers get a bechol's in "cop car" and a green e-chip.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
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    You can get them on a lot of things, but it sure helps to match the hatch. I've caught kings in SC in one place one day, then three weeks later had to change to something completely different. Have a few different "go-to" options that you can change up until you're getting fish. Seeing the stomach contents of the first couple fish is a big help.

    For small skinny stuff like candlefish:
    *needlefish hoochie behind a hot-spot flasher. Color of hoochie: dark back and light belly. Lots of choices - if you only pick one, get glow with green spatter back
    *coho killer spoon

    For medium size stuff like eulachon, capelin, small herring and others:
    *Kingfisher spoons of various sizes behind hot spot flasher. Colors: pearl white and cop car
    *Coyote spoons size 4.0 and 5.0 behind hot spot flasher. Same colors (Kingfishers are better quality these days, but both work)
    *Octopus hoochies behind hot spot flasher. Lots of color choices - I've done well with green/blue backs and UV or glitter bellies.
    *5" tomic: good colors are the various mother of pearls, 700 and 232. Lots of other choices.

    For BIG feed like horse herring:
    *6" and 7" tomic plugs. We got a six king limit one day last summer, three on mother of pearl and three on scale-back (similar to 232) 7" tomics, all fish had more than one 10"+ herring in their gut.
    *Big spoons like the big Tomic, Ok'i, zur-tro, or some of the older #7 and #8 commercial spoons.

    For flashers, I like Hot Spots, Jim's break-away and Ok'i. Hardware and action on these are superior to all others in my opinion. For colors - start simple and change up from there. I generally avoid the real aggressive prism sticker patterns.

    For leader lengths, use 3x flasher length for hoochies and 6' or more for spoons. Big horse-herring imitator spoons run by themselves - they'll drag too much and kill flasher action if you put them behind a flasher.

    Plugs run by themselves, about 50' back from the downrigger cable. All others can be 15' to 20' back. Troll fast with plugs - at least 3mph water speed.

    Troll fast enough that you get a good hum out of your downrigger cable. Disregard gps speed - get a paddlewheel sensor for your fishfinder for water speed. Lots of people troll their artificial gear too slow - not much king gear works well below 2 knots except dodgers and hoochies with short leaders (which, incidentally, can work VERY well if you're into dodgers - I'm not). Bait can be trolled slow and be VERY DEADLY if the rigging is right...

    Rig hoochies with a single 4/0 to 6/0 stainless siwash hook clamped on a barrel swivel. Google up spoon rigging with a barrel swivel between the spoon and hook - the fish can't use the spoon to lever the hook out that way. Study the tomic website regarding rigging - best bet there is to buy plugs with the tow ring. If it catches fish, leave it alone. If not, cut off the tow ring and tie to the tow bar. If it catches fish, leave it alone, if not, pull the tow bar and rig with pin pulled. If it catches fish, use it, if not, give it to your friend. They don't all work, but the ones that do, work VERY WELL.

    Hard to pick a favorite when they all work. Most fun are the tomic plugs - no flasher between you and the fish.

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    Member cormit's Avatar
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    Nothings is more fun than hooking up with a king in salt water. Nothing is more heart breaking than having a nice king on ..... and then loosing him.

    Was whining in the Gear Shed one day ... 10 to 12 years ago ... about my poor luck down rigger fishing for kings ... mostly in Kachemak Bay at that time. Whoever it was I was whimpering to pointed to a guy over in the tackle area and said .... you need to go see that guy. Might have been Dave? Memory not so good with names. The guy didn't say much. He pulled out a length of 100 lb test mono (like this was the 500th time he had done this) ...... grabbed a big treble hook and some crimp sleeves and paper clips ...... put the pieces together where they belonged ..... then handed me a threading needle ..... and said, here try this. This set up changed my life ...... well, at least my success in catching and landing kings. I won't use anything else.

    The 100 lb mono might seem like over kill ... but kings have sharp teeth ..... lots of break off's happen between the dodger and the hook .... not with 100 lb mono they don't. Nice big treble hook rarely lets them get away.

    The only change I made to this rig is ...... I added a second two barreled crimp sleeve six inches up from the end of the hook. When I thread the leader through the herring ..... I stop the second sleeve just inside the herring mouth. When I put the paper clip on the herrings lips ... to keep his mouth in the closed position .... the crimped sleeve keeps the herring from sliding back. If the herring slides back ..... sometimes a king will bite the tail off ..... so, I want there to be a hook at the very end of the tail. I like to use 'green size' herring. Put a dozen or two in a half gallon bait jar with a pound of any kind of salt and water ... and that's all you need. At the end of the trip ... I stick the jar of salted herring in the bait freezer till the next trip ..... stays good all summer. Almost anywhere I go .... until I find the perfect depth .... I put one down rigger at 55' and one at 65'. Everyone has their own 'special way' ...... but this one works for me.


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    Member cormit's Avatar
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    Someone asked for a better pic of the paper clips. Have only been able to find these at the Gear Shed in Homer.




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    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Rav'n-
    Blue Hawaiian like HomerDave said and I run a 48-inch leader thru the squid and end it with a large bean, then a treble hook. The bead acts as a bumper between squiddy and hook.

    I used to rig my herring using Cormit's suggested method, but for secure holding of the herring and speed to make up a bait, I've gone to the Rhys-Davis herring hood. I like the "clear" ultra violet hoods like the one in the link. I use tooth picks after the plugs they include get bent up. It's quick, tunable, and I make up a half dozen using a crimping took. One some of them I slide a Silver Horde Ace-Hi Fly in front of the hood before I finish crimping to add a little bling. And I always use treble hooks.

    I can tell you the herring hoods are a LOT easier to deal with when you're hands are freezing and you're trying to thread the $#%^&*! needle...

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliffhanger View Post
    and end it with a large bean,
    Lima or garbanzo?
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

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    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Neither...jelly

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    Member cormit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliffhanger View Post
    Rav'n-
    Blue Hawaiian like HomerDave said and I run a 48-inch leader thru the squid and end it with a large bean, then a treble hook. The bead acts as a bumper between squiddy and hook.

    I used to rig my herring using Cormit's suggested method, but for secure holding of the herring and speed to make up a bait, I've gone to the Rhys-Davis herring hood. I like the "clear" ultra violet hoods like the one in the link. I use tooth picks after the plugs they include get bent up. It's quick, tunable, and I make up a half dozen using a crimping took. One some of them I slide a Silver Horde Ace-Hi Fly in front of the hood before I finish crimping to add a little bling. And I always use treble hooks.

    I can tell you the herring hoods are a LOT easier to deal with when you're hands are freezing and you're trying to thread the $#%^&*! needle...
    I sure agree ... threading herring this way is sort of a pain. The thing is ...... I've fished along side other fishermen when I'm the only one hooking up ...... so, I'm hooked.

  14. #14

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    Thanks for all of the help, we'll be fishing out of Homer Memorial Day and after that in a new black Wooldridge, the Pam-A-Lure, give us a shout if you're out there.

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    Member Bearclaw67's Avatar
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    Pro Kings or Silver Streaks behind the cannonball.
    Paul

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    Great looking fly, thanks for providing the link too.

  18. #18

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    I think when it comes down to it, pretty much every single lure and color has it's day, for catching kings. "Favorite" is very subjective, changes yearly, and guys are always toting this and that, as the "secret" king killer. My advice: Find something that consistantly works, save the rest of your money for a quality sounder and gas. Then go fishing and actually learn how to find kings.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Find something that consistantly works, save the rest of your money for a quality sounder and gas. Then go fishing and actually learn how to find kings.
    I know guys who would do well to tattoo this on their foreheads!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I know guys who would do well to tattoo this on their foreheads!



    I was reading another forum, and one of our old friends, who happens to be a guide, was lamenting how his sounder sucked, as it didn't show bait. He then went on to say that it only showed large blobs, and wasn't sure what those things were...(grin) How many more months of peace do we have?

    Learn to find fish, what they look like, and the reasons why they are in certain places, and catching them will be easy.

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