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Thread: trolling for kings

  1. #1
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    Default trolling for kings

    curious what everyones using to troll for kings with?.......I know herring is prob the best & the "go-too", just wondering how many others use artificial or spoons.....I've had some luck on apex's, been trying the Brads cut plug but no luck yet...

  2. #2

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    Where are you fishing? Kachemak Bay and Lower Cook Inlet, one of the predominant forage fish are sandlances. I have had great success trolling needlfish (as opposed to the more tradidional octopus style) hoochies on a short leader behind a dodger or a Silver Horde Coho Killer behind an inline Flasher.

    Lot of times I can't fish bait because unlike a powerboat, its hard for me to run away from large schools of pollock. I fished herring for equal times with the Silver Horde Coho Killer during the Homer Winter King derby and the day prior. Silver Horde Coho Killer spoon = 2. Herring = zero.




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    Member BRWHUNTER's Avatar
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    Kardinal your using a banana weight just above the flasher correct? What weight do you normally use and how deep do you think the bait is. I've tried a little trolling around Yukon island in the kachemak without luck, mostly I've been trying a Williams dartee http://www.williams.ca/1-6oz-dartee-1 .My achillies trolls a little fast for kings probably in the 3-4 mph range, what do you think?

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    The King Kandy produced last weekend in Homer.

    http://www.kingkandylures.com/
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWHUNTER View Post
    Kardinal your using a banana weight just above the flasher correct? What weight do you normally use and how deep do you think the bait is. I've tried a little trolling around Yukon island in the kachemak without luck, mostly I've been trying a Williams dartee http://www.williams.ca/1-6oz-dartee-1 .My achillies trolls a little fast for kings probably in the 3-4 mph range, what do you think?
    I do use a banana weight directly to an inline flasher like the fish flash. Can't do it with the dodgers or other attractors where the front end of it moves. I have been using 12 oz. it's ok until I want to fish less than 15 ft down because then the gear seems awful close to the kayak. I'll drop to a 6 oz or 8 oz to get it further behind the kayak like when I fish WHiskey Gulch. My troll speed is much lower since I am human powered. Typically 1.5knts to 2knts.

    The reason I started attaching it directly to the flasher is that in a kayak, you can't have the total leader length longer than about 75% of your rod length since it makes netting the fish impossible. You don't have to rig it that way off a boat but I do anyways and it works fine. All my gear has braid on it so its the way I run my rod when I am out with others using downriggers which all have mono to avoid cutting each other off. Droppped it a ways back and it caught as many fish as the downriggers did last fall.

    This has been my go to set up for the past few months with herring or spoon. Hoochies require a dodger or something that will give it action. It used to be chartreuse flasher or cop car but for some reason this red flasher with the pink sinker seems to be doing the trick. Also I know its probably not true, but once I added more chrome tape to make the flasher more "uneven" or more "contrast" the hook ups seemed to increase but who knows.



    I'll add that the for herring, the two hooks in tis picture are super close together. I typically leave 12 to 18 inches of separation. If you are using herring, I like this hang back rig. You will be amazed how many fish come on the back hook...hooked right in the mouth. Makes you wonder if they are actually hitting the trailing hook. Need video. But at 10 bucks a tray for herring, I am going to be fishing a LOT more artificial. Slowly but surely starting to think that while bait may be best, there are times where the artificial can be every bit as productive if not more so especially when junk fish around.

  6. #6

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    Boy, I use an array of techniques and gear depending on the time of year and location. The big trick is to figure out which is going to be best right here and right now. That usually means having at least one rig different than the others, if not all of them different. Once I connect I switch all the rods over to what produced. I always have a best guess for the first rig (most often cutplug herring behind a flasher), but the second might well be a whole herring and no flasher, and the third a spoon of some sort (I keep swapping them out). I keep changing my array of rigs in the water, at least hourly, and sometimes every half hour. We sure bang a lot of kings this way, but start each day with only a "best guess" as to what's going to work.

    After that it's systematic testing. In the places we're fishing we're often the first to catch kings each day, and too often for coincidence, the only ones to catch kings. Gotta say if there are too many boats cutting up the water and I'm having trouble connecting, I'll pull off to the side of the mayhem and start mooching with cutplug herring. There are days when we tap out doing that, while nearby boats continue to grind away for little or no fish. I'm more and more convinced that the more boats there are in a spot, the spookier and pickier the fish get.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Basically, what you want to do, is take all the information you can gather, try it all and figure out what works best for you. Brownbear and i fish a lot of the same waters, stuff that works great for him, not for me, and it probably goes vice versa. I start my day out with what's been going best for me each day, this time of year, BIG herring, naked, no flashers. I've noticed that my flashers won't turn with large herring behind them. But I always staart out with, and I hate to say it, a green glow flasher with a green bucktail or ace-hi down deep. I love spoon fishing, less time riggin baits, they will run 5kts and not spin out, no mess or tangles with them. 3-4kts speed is fine, kings can catch that bait no problem, but you may have issues blowing out cutplugs. I run bags to get me down to speed, and they make the boat ride nicer in the trough as well.
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  8. #8

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    Yup. Same waters and completely different paths to success. My target trolling speed is 1.8 and I get real twitchy if I get above 2.2. I get the flashers and big herring to move well, but with a completely different setup than Abel uses.

    Your own answer is likely to be different than either of ours, but you'll find it by experimenting. Just keep trying different gear, rigging and speeds.

  9. #9

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    I am using the wiggle fin swarm flasher hooked off the cannon ball. Then 3 feet up I use a stacked release to hook my lure at about 20 feet behind the down rigger line. I like to use chocked herring and Owner hook set up with the up hook adjustable with kevlar slip knot 25 lbs test. I use a beed swivel at the end of the rod with full length line that comes with the Owner double hook setup. I do the same with spoons and plugs. It is nice when fighting the fish to have just the herring and the fish to fight. I troll at 1.5 to 2 knots.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKcaveman View Post
    ...wiggle fin swarm flasher hooked off the cannon ball....
    Shhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

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    all good info guys.....a couple of the colors of apex i use work well & make it hard not to try other stuff......i've read over at other sites where they say it's not necessarily what you use but having faith in what your using & being willing to put in time. got a couple ace-hi-fly's to try next time out as well
    just thought i'd be good to see what others are using also, since fishing kings is like playing poker...

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKcaveman View Post
    ... the wiggle fin.... It is nice when fighting the fish to have just the herring and the fish to fight.
    Wiggle fin eh? haha... I've always used the standard HotSpot red with dimpled silver hanging behind well behind the downrigger clip and have always thought the fight would be much more exciting sans flasher. I've been meaning to give the naked herring a try behind stationary flasher, maybe one of those spinning thingys like Kardinal has set up! Never have given artificial much of a try while trolling, I usually stick to a threaded herring with a 2/0 or 3/0 treble with one of the points buried in the backbone so the bait doesn't slip back and twist funny. The old timers who catch way more kings than I do just throw the herring away if the rig rolls on the surface behind the flasher and swear by it...


    Guess I'll have to bring a buddy along so I can fish old faithful while they drag the new stuff!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kardinal_84 View Post
    Where are you fishing? Kachemak Bay and Lower Cook Inlet, one of the predominant forage fish are sandlances. I have had great success trolling needlfish (as opposed to the more tradidional octopus style) hoochies on a short leader behind a dodger or a Silver Horde Coho Killer behind an inline Flasher.

    Lot of times I can't fish bait because unlike a powerboat, its hard for me to run away from large schools of pollock. I fished herring for equal times with the Silver Horde Coho Killer during the Homer Winter King derby and the day prior. Silver Horde Coho Killer spoon = 2. Herring = zero.



    Glad to hear the Coho Killer scored. I picked up a cop car and an army truck, but they saw, ahem, limited success despite my thinking they were the ticket. Next time... How come silver horde stuff is so hard to find? I'm a fan of their rudder flashers too. Sure makes the fight more sporty when the flasher is hooked to your rigger rather than your rod.

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    Coho killers are an excellent choice. Their hook is a little small, but the action is fantastic straight, or behind a flasher.

  15. #15

    Default trolling for kings

    I'm a diehard bait guy. But more and more I'm starting to think that there is a difference between reaction and eating strikes. Once they get close I almost think they can't help themselves when they encounter the proper action but when they see a herring they take longer to eat it. I see it a lot ice fishing. Bait gets a good look and finally "sipped" at. Smaller fluttering lures get smashed. Both effective.

    Fun to think about! Sounds like these fish are voracious enough that if you can find them, there's a lot of ways to success!


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    i've heard they smash it with there tail to stun it first then swing back around to grab. also read the other day that there sloppy & miss getting the bait most of the time...think i read that on salmon univerity where theyve done a lot of underwater footage....was interesting reading for sure

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    I used to be a 100% bait guy for 20 years. Whole herring for kings, cut plugs and strips for Coho. I haven't fished bait on my boat for 6 years, only time I use it is when fishing the waterfall boats in June. I swear by Brad's, spoons and most recently the King Kandy (although I'm going to modify mine to bring hooks closer). I never fish flashers on my line, they only sit on my cannon balls, such as swarm and others.
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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Ya, for the most part, the onyl time I run flashers on the rod anymore is if I'm running a fly behind it. Bait for me is a no go after June15th.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlingitwarrior View Post
    The King Kandy produced last weekend in Homer.

    http://www.kingkandylures.com/
    What model do you like...???
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    What model do you like...???
    Green crome and cop car both produced. I went to these because I like a full herring alternative to the brads cut plug. What I don't like is having that trailing hook so far behind the bait. On my brad's, both hooks are up tight on the lure, which I think leads to better hookups. I'm going to mess with the king kandy and drill some holes to get the same effect. I think they are winners though. The guide we used out of Homer really liked the roll of these lures, as did I.

    They produced as well as threaded herring. But for me, the selling point on lures vs. natural bait is that I always know they lure is rolling correctly. Missed strikes, no problem, just leave it down there. On bait, with missed strike you pull up, reset, check, etc. Less time in the water equals less fish.
    In 1492 Native Americans discovered Columbus lost at sea
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