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Thread: Drifting for kings (Kenai)

  1. #1

    Default Drifting for kings (Kenai)

    Hello, we got lucky last year and got 2 kings in the Big Eddy area (I think) drifting sideways to the current with lots of other boats; please let me know if this is the right setup to use:

    I've been using store bought rigs using a spin-n-glow with a egg loop; we actually got those 2 fish (on 2 separate days) using store bought (TW) cured eggs; seems like the opinion is that store bought eggs are not good, but that's all we had.

    1. Anyway, do you put a big glob of eggs on or a small portion?
    2. How much leader length from swivel to hook?
    3. What's the best method/type of lead to use for weight? We just attached a 2 or 3 oz. bank sinker to the snap swivel that goes to the spin-n-glow rig. I think others use round ball-type sinkers?
    4. Can you legally use a combo of bait? We had some sardines and I put a small fillet on the hook itself along with the eggs in the loop. (kinda late to be asking that question....oops)
    5. Do guys use corkies instead of spin-n-glows?
    6. Best colors?
    7. How much line do you let out? Seems like everyone casts the whole rig upstream and that's about it. Last year we lost a few rigs to snags, maybe too much weight or too much line out? I hate that cause we end up disrupting the symphony of boats in the line up and that current can get you in lots of trouble in no time!
    Thanks,
    Jim
    PS---is it better to use fluorocarbon leader?
    Last edited by Big Jim; 03-02-2008 at 10:30. Reason: additional question

  2. #2
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    I have only done that one time and caught one king.

    This is how I did it.

    #0 red spin & glow this is back when there were only about a dozen colors.

    double 4/0 hook egg loop.

    gob of eggs about the same size as the spin&glow

    30" leader

    2oz tear drop sinker

    --

    Yes you can use combo baits when it is legal to use bait.

    I am guessing 30' behing the boat at the most. We did not cast we just dropped it down and let out some line.

    I am a spin&glow junkie

    --

    My go to spin and glow is a flame/chartruese #2

    clear water cloudy weather; pink, flame/chart , anything bright

    clear water with sunny or mostly sunny weather; purple, frog green, black or metallic and shiny chrome, chrome blue and green.

    I have caught a few kings out of the Kasilof with flame/chart and pastel colors pink and lime also dark colors like purple.

    If there is low water clarity I sometimes use the larger #0 spin&glows. My favorite size is the #2 . I have caught quite a few kings on the #4 also.

    I dont know much about leader color making a difference as I have almost only ever used trilene XT , XL and the brown Maxima for leaders.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  3. #3

    Default

    RMiller, I'm guessing from your post that the smaller the number, the larger the spin-n-glow? Is it mandatory to have some flotation (spin-n-glow) on the bait end to keep it up off the bottom & snagging? Since we caught those fish last year, I'm kinda into that as the backtrolling/bouncing is a little more daunting and it seems there's more things to worry about and watch while running the boat & fishing at the same time, but I'm gonna try this year! I forgot to ask earlier, what lb. leader is good for drifting? I've been buying & using the store bought rigs, I think they had 40 or 50 lb leader. I saw one guy using a rig with 2 spin-n-glows, bigger ones too. I would think that it would be too much flotation.
    Thanks,
    Jim

  4. #4
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Yes the smaller the number the bigger the S&G.

    Your leader would depend on the size line you are using it with. I dont use less than 25 pound leader as kings have some teeth. I would say a leader that is 10# heavier that your main line is good.

    But the reverse can be true too. If you are in danger of getting a lot of snags sometimes a leader that is lighter than your main line can limit your losses when hooking a stubborn snag.

    This year I am going to use 80# tuf line xp for my salmon fishing. My spin and glow leaders will be 50# mono. I use a rod rated for 25#line and I set my drag to the rod rating.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  5. #5
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Floatation can be achieved several ways and it does not take much of a floater to get enough. A chunk of eggs will sink the biggest floats around. The way the corkies or spin&glows float the bait is with help from the current.

    I like to use the attractor so that if I lose some bait I still have something there for the salmon to bite at.

    One thing I always wanted to try is for drifting Kenai kings is this http://www.combat-fishing.com/basicu...eewayBotFinder . This technique would be able to keep plain bait of the bottom.

    If you used 40 pound line with 25 pound line going to the bait and to the sinker you would only lose one or the other if you got snagged.

    Losing gear to the salmon gods is a given and it is why I keep a bunch of terminal tackle handy.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post

    I've been using store bought rigs using a spin-n-glow with a egg loop; we actually got those 2 fish (on 2 separate days) using store bought (TW) cured eggs; seems like the opinion is that store bought eggs are not good, but that's all we had.
    No worries... get it in front of them and generally most any bait will work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    1. Anyway, do you put a big glob of eggs on or a small portion?
    Depends. You just have to work at it and see what is going on. Of course, more bait = more scent, but sometimes that can work against you. I cut my bait into smaller chunks and then simply add more chunks if I want a bigger glob.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    2. How much leader length from swivel to hook?
    Depends. The longer the leader the higher your bait will float in the water column. Generally speaking, I am running between 2-3 feet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    3. What's the best method/type of lead to use for weight? We just attached a 2 or 3 oz. bank sinker to the snap swivel that goes to the spin-n-glow rig. I think others use round ball-type sinkers?
    Depends. If you are in faster or deeper water, you may want more weight and likewise, in slower or shallow water less weight. You want just enough to feel it touch the bottom as you go. I prefer a 2 1/2 oz bank sinker secured to a 3 way swivel. Some folks will use the small cannonballs, and others slinkies. For illustrations on the way that I set up my rigs take a look at http://www.alaskanfishguides.com and browse to the Tips and Tricks page.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    4. Can you legally use a combo of bait? We had some sardines and I put a small fillet on the hook itself along with the eggs in the loop. (kinda late to be asking that question....oops)
    No worries. Perfectly legal. When it is open to bait, that means any kind of bait (of course withing the scope of the regulations). I haven't seen anyone mixing eggs and sardines however.... interesting thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    5. Do guys use corkies instead of spin-n-glows?
    Depends. While the spin-n-glow or cheater adds a bit of attraction, what you really want it for is floatation... to get the bait off of the bottom. In my experience, you will snag the bottom a lot more with the smaller body spin-n-glow or cheater or corkie...

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    6. Best colors?
    Depends. Think about the wavelengths of light and the water clarity. It is like headlights on a car... ever notice how piercing those blue lights are... they will penetrate more terbidity and retain their color much deeper than other colors. While you won't be drifting in water deeper than 10' (generally speaking), red loses it's color to the human eye at about 10'. Blue retains its color the longest/deepest. Now the fish eye is built differently and I honestly couldn't tell you if they could see red at 11' or not... I always keep a variety of colors on board and figure out what is working and stick with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    7. How much line do you let out? Seems like everyone casts the whole rig upstream and that's about it. Last year we lost a few rigs to snags, maybe too much weight or too much line out? I hate that cause we end up disrupting the symphony of boats in the line up and that current can get you in lots of trouble in no time!
    Depends. Cast your line out after you get the boat set. If you don't feel the bottom, let out more line. If you are snagging the bottom, use a bigger float or less weight

    [/QUOTE]

    Good luck

  7. #7
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default great tips and tricks

    Thanks for sharing alaskanfishguides. I have only caught four kings out of the kenai.

    One was drifting with the rig I described above 40# king. One was backtrolling k16 kwikfish 30# king. The other two one 38# and one 40# were caught from the shore in May with number 4 vibraxes and 17 pound line. I have only seriously fished for Kenia kings less than ten times.

    One time at the moose river mouth I kept seeing kings rolling way out where the rivers meet. I had the idea of trying for them one morning before the bank got crowded.
    I tied some monster 4" long extra thick coho flies and cast them into the current with a 2oz sinker.
    I hooked and lost seven kings in an hour and had to respool twice. This was back when I used 17 pound line for kings.
    I probably could not of kept one as that was also when I used to always fill my king tags.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  8. #8

    Default Good advice...

    RMiller, I like you're point about still having something to attract fish if the bait is gone. I did see the bottom rig you mentioned, kinda like what we're already talking about, but having the weight some distance from the swivel. This is how we fish for reds (using a 3 way swivel); we tie on a piece of lighter line (as compared to the leader) about 4" long and overhand knot it a couple times on the end, then crimp on however many split shot you want. If it gets stuck, either the lighter line breaks off or if you're careful, the split shot will slip off the end of the line, even over the knotted end. Not much different than using a slinky, but cheaper! Also, we've been using 30# Vanish fluorocarbon for leaders for reds and I know everyone says the fluoro doesn't matter, but I'm not going with anything else in July.
    Back to kings!
    AKfishinguides, very informative site you've got! Nothing better than pictures to explain things. As to #4 in my questions; I used the sardine/egg combo just because I had both in the boat and some of each on the cutting board thawing out; looked like a good combo! Now that you mention it, aren't sardines part of a king's saltwater diet? The eggs obviously get them to bite, but maybe the sardines trigger their past feeding behavior? We haven't used it every time, but last year my buddy hooked a king (I believe on the bait combo) that we couldn't even budge vertically, it just ran submerged all over the place, made us look like rookies (we are)! If I recall correctly, I think I even went nuts and sprayed the combo bait setup with that scent that comes in a bottle; we found it floating down river and about 1/2 full; man I had a mess going on!
    Is it July yet?
    Jim

  9. #9
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    My favorite bait for salmon now is peeled shrimp either raw or cooked and died with pro cure or not.
    The cooked shrimp are less messy. Way less than eggs.

    Anyway peeled shrimp and eggs might be a good combo.

    The shrimp are less spendy too. just buy 1/4 or 1/2 pound. Actually I have never used up a quarter pound of shrimp before as they are hardy on the hook. I figure a 1/4 pound of shrimp is equal to a tub of eggs. I can leave the shrimp on longer that eggs but still change baits every 20 mins or so to keep them fresh.

    I have started the season out many times with store bought eggs. They will work but of course they arent as good as the ones that I cure up.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  10. #10
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    The one time I hooked a hog on the kenai I was using a spin and glo and a glob of eggs and a small bannana sinker. Basically the usual king rig for anywhere in the state. When theres that much pressure though I'm a proponent of using something completely different then everybody else.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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