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Thread: The Beat Goes On!

  1. #1

    Default The Beat Goes On!

    With kings on fly rods that is!

    Took a friend out with us into the fog today, the lower light and chop boding well for shallow water fishing. And it paid off! He was excited when he hooked up a 21# version in the first 10 minutes. But better things were to come a half hour later. He said it was without a doubt the most exciting fish he'd ever hooked! The nice 34# white king showed him over 100 yards of line on the first run, jumped completely clear of the water 4 times and took over 20 minutes to land. The pictures tell the story well, including the fact that it's darned tough to photo fish midair with a point-and-shoot camera!















  2. #2
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    Nice fish and story!

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Hard to beat kings on a fly rod. That's how I came to start using a fly rod in the first place......for Kasilof kings. What a blast on an 8wt.

    I can't even imagine one in the salt...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I can't even imagine one in the salt...!!!
    They're unbelievably fast in three dimensions. It sure takes a quick hand on the boat, as well as a quick angler. They're all over the place, and sure as you walk away from the steering and throttle, they're going to change directions. Lotta "suicide runs" full speed straight back at the boat after they've run straight away. Even with large arbor reels, line retrieval is not all that fast with fly gear. Three times our bud had to stop reeling and strip line, it was coming at him so fast. Meanwhile I was hard on the throttle in reverse. Purty darned exciting for everyone on board!

    We try to keep the boat broadside most of the time so you can maneuver quickly forward or back depending which way the king jukes, making sure we're downwind/downcurrent when it's time to net it.

  5. #5
    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    I'm thinking my outriggers are going back on, and my 12' noodle rods with rapalas, thundersticks and husky jerks are coming out again. I don;t ahve anything booked until end of month, some fun fishing is in order.
    Life's to short for an ugly boat

    Blaze N Abel Charters
    Kodiak, AK
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  6. #6

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    Sounds perfect! Plugs have to be killers! Keep us posted. This is all about having a blast. And of course, a whole lot of messing around too!

  7. #7
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Too cool. Love to come chase a few with you someday!! I only know how we get them here in k-bay... Looks like you have a whole new paradigm in comparison!!,
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    Too cool. Love to come chase a few with you someday!! I only know how we get them here in k-bay... Looks like you have a whole new paradigm in comparison!!,
    First step is finding the places and conditions where they come shallow enough for you to get at them with shallow gear. I'm betting they're over in your waters too, but no clue where that might be. This might help, though:

    Conditions are important. Kings don't like the shallows in bright light and flat water unless there's a whole lot of food around. Early/late when the sun is off the water are best on flat calm days. Overcast is good any time of day. Chop is good then too. Give me overcast skies with chop any day! Bright sun, and it's time to move off some and drop your lines down into the 20'-30' range.

    Birds crashing bait up close to cover are always worth checking out, but sometimes the kings are there and sometimes not when the birds are busy. You're as likely to find them without the birds if the bait is there, but the birds haven't found it yet. I keep a couple of spinning rods rigged with 2 oz Luhr Jensen Crippled Herring for quick casts in close to cover for a quick check. Gotta cast to the side of the birds to avoid them, but you can check a lot of areas quick and easy with casts. It's especially handy when entering new areas you haven't figured out how to troll yet. When fly fishing we do the same by casting flies into tight spots as we idle by.

    Current that tends to push bait up into the shallows is important, even mild current. And especially with irregular cover- reefs, rock piles, single boulders, and especially "coves" in kelp beds and the start/end of kelp beds. Even if the bait isn't there yet, the kings seem to hang there waiting for it.

    Any time you see bait balls that come up within about 30' of the surface (and closer is better!), the kings are likely to be right on top of the balls or just off to the sides.

    Incoming tide really helps, but if the bait is around on any tide, it's worth checking.

    Develop a "trap line" of good places like that, and check them on a regular basis. My regular area stretches along about 10 miles of coast, and I have dozens of hot spots along the way. If they're not in one spot, I keep moving to the next one. Most days I can find kings in at least a few of them. And I'm always exploring for new ones as the conditions change. I do a lot of my exploring at low tide when it's easier to spot the cover. I used to mark all the spots on GPS, but there were just too many. My routine now is easier. I have the track lines on the GPS, and any time I find a likely new spot I just spin the boat in a tight circle to leave a little "donut" on the track line. Dandy!

    I've been exploring the shallows for going on 40 years now, spending more and more time up there, and catching more and more fish as I figure out the spots and conditions. It's real easy to fall into a habit of a few hot spots you keep going back to day after day, but the conditions change too much for that. Always check the spots, but don't sit there grinding around in circles if you don't get fish in one or two passes. Best is to keep moving and keep checking all likely spots.

    We catch about 90% of our fish in less than 30' of water, and most of that in less than 20'. Got a little disoriented in the fog a few times yesterday and got so shallow I had to raise the motor and drift across the reefs 3 different times. Close calls even for me!

    I took the downriggers off the boat about a month back, mostly because they were just in the way. But if you're a downrigger kind of guy, I'd think about letting out only 4' to 10' of wire depending on the depth. I usually shoot for running my lines halfway between top and bottom any time I'm running in less than 40' of water. Gotta hunt for them, but I'm using 4# balls most of the time now. One reason is so they sweep back out of the way of my sounder. The other is so they'll "sail" up when I hit the throttle if I suddenly get into water I think is too shallow for my wires, then back off the throttle and drop the wires once I pass the shallow spot. Really, really handy, even if I have to pull the wire out by hand because they're so light. Here is where I found them.

  9. #9
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    I for one want to thank you Brown Bear for giving us new guys your pointers. Enjoy your photos. Hope to see you on the water one day.


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  10. #10

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    My pleasure! This is fun stuff. The more of us get to playing with it, the more we'll all learn. Just report back when you find something interesting. Look at my tackle boxes, and you'll know I'm open to trying almost anything!

  11. #11
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post

    I was looking back on this thread and because of this pic I decided I finally had to ask this question, because of what I've heard, and that I don't actually know if it is true or not.

    I've heard that it is a big no-no to grip the rod where he is, as it's a good way for it to break right at that point......especially on a big, hard fighting fish. I was told that the rod needs to be able to flex all the way down to the handle grip just above the reel to be safe. It makes sense but it's only rumor to me. Does anybody know for sure if there is there any validity to that statement...??? Obviously it worked for him with no ill effects. But was he taking a big chance with a fish that big?

    I've just always wondered as I've seen people do it quite a bit.....

    edit: Oh wait, I just realized that rod has a split handle that I hadn't seen.....that must make a big difference on that rod. What about rods that don't have that split handle? Sorry.......but I'm pretty much a rookie when it comes to fly rods and their use.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  12. #12
    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    I have seen more than a few rods, mostly steelhead/salmon spinning rods blown up when someone is tryign to horse them like you are saying 4mer. I build and repair rods on the side, and this use to be a common break I'd see.
    Life's to short for an ugly boat

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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I was looking back on this thread and because of this pic I decided I finally had to ask this question, because of what I've heard, and that I don't actually know if it is true or not.
    I won't touch a fly rod above the grip when fighting fish. If you look a little closer, that rod is actually built for doing just that. It has a "fore grip" for your hand up above the main grip. It's almost standard on big fish fly rods intended for tarpon, tuna, billfish and such. We were very specific in choosing this particular one for kings because it's the only 10WT I've found with a fore grip. It's the "Baby" version of the TFO Lefty Kreh Bluewater rod. We're running 400 grain Rio Leviathan lines on them along with the TFO Large Arbor 425 reels. Just a dandy combo.

    After fighting some bigger fish recently, we're seriously considering adding the LD versions of the Bluewater to our collection. The LD would be decidedly too big for kings less than 20# or so, but the extra spine would be welcome when the kings get up over 30#. Today our visiting friend insisted on trying his own rod after landing a few yesterday on our Bluewaters with the foregrip, pics in this thread. After that looong fight, he see's the value of foregrips and is ordering Bluewater rods of his own!

  14. #14
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I won't touch a fly rod above the grip when fighting fish. If you look a little closer, that rod is actually built for doing just that. It has a "fore grip" for your hand up above the main grip.
    Yes, I did in fact notice that after I posted and mentioned it at the bottom of my post as an edit.....sure looks like a nice rod.

    As much as I'd like to, I don't think I'll be going after one with my 8wt Redington that I used on the Kasilof. Even with those smaller kings, I heard that rod creaking a few times and felt it was at it's max.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abel View Post
    I have seen more than a few rods, mostly steelhead/salmon spinning rods blown up when someone is tryign to horse them like you are saying 4mer. I build and repair rods on the side, and this use to be a common break I'd see.
    Thanks "Abel" for the input...

    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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