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Thread: Yeehaw Hot King Fishing!

  1. #1

    Default Yeehaw Hot King Fishing!

    My wife and I stumbled on a nice batch of kings this afternoon in 15' of water and less. Nothing big, with the smallest 21# and the biggest just shy of 26#. But we got all four in under and hour. Lost one other in about the same size range after three big jumps. Nice. Best of all three of the four were white!

    Here's the best part. After we picked up the first one trolling, we got the rest casting!

    Here and here are looks at the rocks we were fishing around, just to show you how tight the quarters were. And of course the glory shot!

  2. #2

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    That's too cool. Casting for them no less. Nice catch!


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    How cool is that??!!! Nice work BrownBear!

  4. #4
    Member kodiakbound's Avatar
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    Nice fish and story BB. You're living the dream out there my friend!!!
    Experience is a hard teacher because you get the test first and the lesson afterwards.

  5. #5

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    Better get that boat in the water!

  6. #6
    Member Alan Sloka's Avatar
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    Good Deal! Thanks for the pics. That sounds like a lot of fun.

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    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    That's awesome, and impressive for how shallow you were fishing. What made you try that spot and depth; is it a known king spot? There are only a couple areas around here that produce kings in water that shallow, but they are sandy bays. I feel like if I tried trolling around rocks in 15' of water I would load up on rockfish!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anythingalaska View Post
    That's awesome, and impressive for how shallow you were fishing. What made you try that spot and depth; is it a known king spot? There are only a couple areas around here that produce kings in water that shallow, but they are sandy bays. I feel like if I tried trolling around rocks in 15' of water I would load up on rockfish!
    This is a "new" spot to me, in that we just haven't tried it before. The herring spawning made me want to try it, and you can bet I'll try it every time I pass in the future. No prob to idle the boat for a few minutes and make a few casts.

    As for why so shallow, we're shallow king "specialists" and have spent a whole lot of years (40+) figuring them out in the shallows. In fact we get well over half our kings in water less than 20', and something like 75% or more in less than 40'. It takes the right combo of food, tides, light level and chop, and cover (especially rocks and kelp) to draw them into the shallows, but come they will. You need to get to know an area really well, especially prop-wrecking rocks and change your fishing tactics in a variety of ways to match the spot. Casting lures is just the latest. We've done a fair bit of fly fishing too. Here is a video about it from BC, but we do much the same thing with a few additional twists the fish have taught us.

    We work about 10 miles of coastline most of the time, and along that we have a whole trap line of hot spots in less than 30' of water. When we look at the tide chart and gaze out our window, we can be pretty sure that we'll find the kings in one or more of those spots. It's kinda nerve-wracking to troll among the kelp and rocks in water as shallow as 6', but the hits are explosive, and hooked fish want nothing more than finding the nearest deep water. Talk about hot runs!

  9. #9
    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Ya, props are what keeps me out of there with this rig...at $1000 each and 2 of them on the outdrive, let alone a $14000 outdrive, I don't play much less than 10'.
    Life's to short for an ugly boat

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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abel View Post
    ...at $1000 each and 2 of them on the outdrive, let alone a $14000 outdrive....
    Ouch!

    And I just winced today replacing a $150 prop! That's the price I paid for learning this new spot.

  11. #11
    Member Ak Laker Hunter's Avatar
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    Wow that's way too cool. Kings caught casting in shallows . Amazing
    Got to look good even in defeat. IMAGE is everything.

  12. #12

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    I suspect that casting is going to become our standard way to explore new stretches of shoreline before trolling through it. Just cruise along a safe distance out at trolling speed and cast as we go- kind of like running a shoreline for bass or muskie. Won't take long to check out new spots, and a whole lot easier on the nerve endings (and props) than diving right into strange shallows to try and troll a hook in front of lurking kings.

    Shallow trolling is not a cure-all. It just lets us connect with fish that no one else is getting too. The biggest trick is finding them up shallow in the first place, and that just takes time and experience. Casting looks like a real easy way to get that- just a few quick hucks and move on if nothing is happening.

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained, but it's easy in this case. Once we confirm the kings are using a spot, I'll figure out how to troll it and add it to the trap line.

  13. #13
    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    I'm with ya, I loved casting to kings, haven't done it much up here. But chucking J-plugs, husky jerks and thundersticks was/is one of my favorite ways to pull kings. I still run all the above trolling, they work great off the outriggers this time of year. Nice fish Hank
    Life's to short for an ugly boat

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  14. #14
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    What kind of lures were you casting?

  15. #15

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    I missed your question- Sorry not to get back to you.

    I was tossing 2 oz Luhr Jensen Crippled Herring and my wife was tossing soft baits. It really didn't seem to matter, other than they had to run shallow. They were hungry and aggressive. Kind of interesting since I don't think there was a herring on hand less than about 10"!

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    BrownBear, were those feeders or spawners? We do pretty well casting rocks for the spawners in May/June here in Juneau. The good spots have rocky dropoffs with 10-30' water depth. My hookup rate goes way up if I run my bait just off the bottom. For example, if it's 15' deep, I'll try to run my bait around 10-12' down. Of course you risk tackle getting snagged by running that tight to the rocks. But that's the price of poker I guess.

  17. #17

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    These are strictly feeders- When you open them up you simply can't tell if they're male or female, the egg or milt sacks are so small- basically just threads.

    I've noticed the deeper-is-better on brighter days without chop. If they're in the shallows at all, they are hugging bottom and won't come up. But on overcast days (or early and late in the day) when the light is low, especially with some chop on the water, they'll come right up on top.

    Twice last year we lost our drop-weights or had a line pop free from the downrigger, and the flasher and herring were sloshing around on the surface. Both time kings came up and NAILED the herring. Wow, talk about explosive strikes! That has me pondering some of the marlin/sailfish/dorado/wahoo lures I use on top down in warmer waters. Especially in less than 10' of water, I don't see why they wouldn't work in spades. Also make it lots easier to tow more than a couple of lines up in the shallows. Might just hang a hoochie off the back of a light trolling spoon so I'd get some flash and erratic action while it was bouncing around on top.

    "The Book" hasn't been written yet on king salmon, I don't think. Got a wild hair? Try it. You won't know if it's good or bad till it gets wet.

  18. #18
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    interesting info on the surface strike. I've had coho come three feet from the side of my boat and grab lures skipping off the surface while I had my rod in the holder. I wasn't even trying to fish, I just had my tackle parked on the surface while I was helping someone else on the other side of the boat. Never experienced a marlin style surface strike with a King though.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaFishTerminator View Post
    Never experienced a marlin style surface strike with a King though.
    It's happened a lot to us on turns up in the shallows with both Apex and with cut plug herring. This whole thing has me thinking. We're usually trolling for marlin between 8 and 12 mph, depending on what they're eating. The lures sure skip well at those speeds, but I bet they're dogs as slow as we fish salmon. Probably not topping 5mph with the outside line on a turn at 2.2mph, and likely less. But hanging a hoochie off the right spoon would sail and have good action, I bet. I rigged some that way this morning, but forgot to take them out with us this afternoon. Next time the weather clears, for sure.

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