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Look for places that are holding lots of bait. The reefs and wrecks in the area are good places to start. Early in the season the kings will be further out but by late summer, early fall they move in closer.

It doesn't hurt to watch were other boats are headed either - and listen to the chatter on the radio. Not sure what channels are most active up that way - down here (Topsail/WB) it's 68, 69 and 72. Up around New River channel 19 is popular. Check with some of the locals - theyy'll know what channels to monitor.
 

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I don't know as much as some of the old stumps on this site, but where I come from birds are indicators of baitfish and that is where you will find your game. You see birds, go that way. I believe the folks here know exactly where to go and probably have the charts marked up where they've had success in the past. They're honey- holes. Good Luck.
 

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i recomend getting a chart of the area so you know where the reefs are and shipwrecks and such. and if you have a gps than that is great. but whenever you are around the area always ask the locals they will tell you alot of where to go or what is active at the moment. i myself havnt fished for kings in a while due to not having an offshore boat anymore, but i have fished tournaments out of there and i actually live 2 minutes away from it. but depending on what kind of boat you have will depend on where you going and how far out, and obviously the farther you go out the better chance you will have thats why you need the charts and gps. but lets just say you dont have either but you do have a boat to get out. some of the places around there are marked by bouys. but the further out you are the better chance you will have, but as always find the bait and you are in luck, and you catch something to make your time worthwhile. but let me know what you got as far as a boat and motor and i might be able to tell you some of the places to go. but one things for sure when it warms right outside of bogue inlet all the way to the peir there is good spanish fishing trolling along there than out to keypost 1 which is a mile directly in front of bogue inlet pier. i have cought kings in the area to, but its harder.
 

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Here are directions to the state's map of the hard bottom and wreck areas off Bouge Inlet. Click on fishing links in the tool bar above. Scroll down to 'Other Saltwater Links' and click on that. Then scroll down to 'CHPP Hard Bottom'and click on that. Scroll down to pg 29 in the pdf file that comes up. With good navigation skills you should be able to transfer this to a working chart for onscene verification. You should certainly be able to find some little known spots as well as all the "community holes" for the depth the kings are holing in at the time. You could also use it with the latest Sea Surface Temp. maps fromm NOAA to determine the temp breaks in relationship to hard bottom areas.
 

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Good way to find kings is cover ground on a fast troll with a Yozuri bonita in the 8 1/2 size 10oz. Braid Marauder in a mackeral color works great too.

For some reason if they're around.. they slam the bonita lure.. Of course scatterin schools of spanish is another sign, birds above/out in the distance another good sign that they're on the move if not over structure. But I'll agree with Mike, they're a little further out in that warmer water. It wont take but a couple posts on any NC fishin site to know when it's 'bout to get hot.

Water temps, rips in/around/near structure or drops,, scattering schools of mackeral all good signs.

Yozuri bonita, covers alot of water, fast, and large kings will definately nail them. Kings love to hang in around and over structure as well.. Sometimes a live pinfish "to the bottom" will usually never make it to the bottom. Of course there's slow rollin bait back and forth over structure and a whole bunch of other ways.. Some say live pogies are the only way to go...

Only thing I will say, is, kings like it when it's a bit rough out, not too rough, but like like sloppy conditions for sure, they'll slam a black/purple bonita lure and they'll shred a live pinfish or spottail pinfish. We'll pick up kings on the troll up to speeds of 12 knots, anywhere between 7 and 8 knots seems to be the ticket most of the time. Funny thing is,, we dont fish for kings,, but they get in our rigs while we're "targetin" other fish.



 

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yeah you good on the boat part lol. well you should keep us up to date on how you do and im sure people on here will guide you even more on you way once you active. but do pay attention to the radio people do like to brag and some just talk but you might be able to figure out where they are and what there doing or where a productive grassline will be, i forget the 2 main chanels everyone communicated on but i think one might be 62 or 68 maybe somewhere close to that, and i think the other was in the teens. and as far as the style you fish there are many ways everyone has there preference but im sure if you ask about one people will have more info on that to. personally ive always like to troll bait seldom harware, usually cigar minnows and such. but to me some of the best times came from live bait fishing seeing a king skyrocket out over your balloon and blasting that bait was something else. get more sharks that way along with barracuda though, but still a fun fight. but not as good as a king or dolphin. another thing to look for is poeple jiggin up bait around a bouy. get in there and get some that way you aint gotta go pay for it. good luck when you go
 

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If you leave the dock in the morning with the idea of targeting kings - natural bait is the way to go. As Dave shows above, you can catch them trolling hardware but the most reliable and consistent way to TARGET kings is natural bait. Live vs. dead - The big ones are more likely to hit live bait rather than dead bait but schoolies and an occaisonal smoker will hit dead bait.

If you flip back through all the King tournaments in NC last year - I think you will see live bait hooked the winning fish in just about all if not everyone of them. A dead ribbon fish also does fairly well.

On the other hand, if I'm just trolling for fun and want a mixture - can't beat ballyhoo - mahi and billfish love em as well as kings. Hardware is great too and the way to go if you want to cover a lot of ground. Live bait is usually pulled at idle speed or even slower (using a bump and pause trottle or a sea anchor).
 

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If you flip back through all the King tournaments in NC last year - I think you will see live bait hooked the winning fish in just about all if not everyone of them. A dead ribbon fish also does fairly well.

That's only because they'd be scared to death to try to use a lure during a tourney!!! :D

What's funny is they'll spend more time chasing and nettin pogies than fishin for kings it seems... but anyway.. Mike's pretty much dead on.. King fishin when they're packed up will take them live baits.

I was simply throwin out how to cover area to find a bunch of them with the plugs.. Like I said, I dont target kings and to be honest, there's better eatin fish in the ocean in my opinion.. so I'm not a "king finatic", but we hook them occasionally looking for other fish.

Brings up a good and interesting point though... if we flip back thru to see what baits were used, I wonder what the percentage is on live/dead bait v.s. lures.

What I find interesting though,, is every SKA guy has a "lure" to go to.. Dave Workman definetly sold me on the Yozuri

Target: Kingfish
Pro: Dave Workman, SKA Tournament Pro
Lure: Yo-Zuri Bonita (purple-and-black); Yo-Zuri Fishing Lures - Fishing Line - Saltwater Fishing - Freshwater Fishing
Advantage: "Troll it inshore, and kings will be all over this lure. It dives deep and has a really natural movement."

Thing is,, it catches wahoo, tuna and other fun fish! ;) But definately one lure to at least have in the box... fer sure! ;)

I say they need to make all them SKA boys (includin my buddy John..) fish with spoons and plugs out of no larger than a 25/26 ft boat with no more than 2 motors class! Now that'd be some competition! (kinda like restrictor plates in NASCAR).

My bud Tum's who fishes the SKA out of AL, LA, FLA wouldn't think of anything other than live bait. I'll have him send me some pix so I can post them for ya.
the shear mention of plug/spoon fishin get's a funny look of pain and torture for that non verbal cue.... :) (I think he's scared!!) ha ha ha ha...

I think though, bait, rips, structure and water temps are all agreed upon for stuff to watch for.

Radio... can be misleading... I know I mislead myself, cause I know others out there are "listening and watching" just like me. Now radar and radio... if you see a clump of boats on the horizon and no-ones talkin... "there's yer sign" ;)
 

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I know out of Wrightsville a good place Kings come in is around AR 376 and that area out to WR4.. trollin or rollin all along in between there and even out a little past WR4 seems to be where we've found them in the past each season. We usually drop our sail/mahi stuff a little east of the WR4 area as we troll on out to Esso Nashville and then south to what I call my "bowl" area,, but most king hook ups for us happen early in our troll. Rough sea days, we'll drop lines around or just before 376.

Sorry though cant help you for out of Bogue area... Only thing I do know for up that way is good mahi and some structure around the 13 bouy area. (I'll check on my #'s listing and see what I have for close to that area, I have more Beaufort/Lookout #'s, but I do have some spots close to where 13 bouy is, I'll send them in a PM to ya).

here's some pix of some kings: One note, all the kings but one were caught on the Yozuri plug, the pic of the half king them stinkin barracuda got to was caught on a live beeliner though.




 

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yeah speaking of ribbon fish they work great as far as dead bait for the larger kings i got my citation on one of them 48 pounds. which aint giant but it was fun. and as far as being bit in half that was one tournament i fished i can honestly say i would have won about 4 years ago and reason is i weighed in half a kind bit off at the dorsal that weighed 32. and come to find out that isnt scorable because its mutilated. bummer. still ate good though. but yeah pretty much your fishing style is gonna play on your patience. me i have alot of patience so i do alot of live bait, bigger weight but numbers seems to be a little less than if your trolling hardware which in turn will usually produce smaller ones but more so your pick. just my opinion
 

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What's funny is I dont even king fish!! ;) :rolleyes: They're rats of the ocean I tell ya! (snort snort while pullin up the waist band...) :D :p

Matter of fact, I'll bet anyone here a dollar that I can catch'm trollin gummie worms! :eek: ;)
 

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Sportsman - I think you are right on. In my original response, as a King fisher myself, I assumed that anyone targeting kings would want to catch the "big" ones. Like Dave said, they aren't the best tasting fish in the ocean. But it sure is a blast to catch a smoker king on 15 or 20 pound class tackle.

Here's an interesting clip from an article about SKA fishing in FLA:

Thanks largely to the professional anglers of the Southern Kingfish Association, a 25-pound king is a minnow today.

A couple of years ago, SKA national champion, Dave Workman, checked in at the weigh-in of the organization's Suncoast Classic in Sarasota and just shrugged his shoulders. He'd had plenty of action, but his name wasn't going up on the leaderboard.

"We caught six kings from 22 to 25 pounds," he said. "But it won't do us any good. You need a 30-pounder at this tournament just to make the leaderboard."

What the SKA pros did was come into the area and show the locals that the Gulf of Mexico, off Sarasota, is a veritable paradise when it comes to kings. "We feel Sarasota is one of the better stops on our tour," said Jack Holmes, SKA executive director at the time. "It's a great fishery, and our guys like coming here."

These days, it takes a king of about 45 pounds to win the event. Local anglers were quick to pick up on the techniques the pros employ and put them to good use. The main method is slow-trolling with live bait - a technique that produces more kings over 40 pounds than any other.
 

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What's funny is I dont even king fish!! ;) :rolleyes: They're rats of the ocean I tell ya! (snort snort while pullin up the waist band...) :D :p

Matter of fact, I'll bet anyone here a dollar that I can catch'm trollin gummie worms! :eek: ;)
Dave - I'm not betting against you - no way - I have too much respect for your fishing abilities. If a king can be caught on a gummy worm, you would be the man to do it! Of course if Forrest shows up with his hat, no gummy worms are needed - the Kings will just jump in the boat :) ;)
 

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yeah topsail thats unfortunately true but i know one things hearing a reel scream from a 25 pound king is exciting anyday. even though the bigger ones are more exciting its just not as common for the weekend angler.
 

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TrollnHeel,

here's 3 #'s I have for out of Bogue

Indra - N34 33.730 W76 51.104

Suloide - N34 32.706 W76 53.700

WE Hutton - N34 29.937 W76 53.863

all within 13 to 15 miles of the inlet there

For Further out (35 miles), some points of interest would be:

N34 25.830 W76 36.672
N34 23.237 W76 35.487
N34 23.271 W76 35.167
240 Rock N34 16.900 W76 38.000
Aeolus N34 16.672 W76 38.661
AR 305 N34 16.410 W76 38.390
Doorstop ledge west N34 11.900 W76 57.500
Doorstop ledge east N34 11.220 W76 57.000

If on a good day out of Bogue, here's a 46 mile run for ya
23 Mile Rock N34 00.300 W77 22.320
 
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