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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When fishing with live bait for kings, how fast should the boat be going? Also what bait works best? Today I caught 1 king on a clark spoon and some guys showed up with live bait and completely killed the bite except for the live bait. Any help would be great. Tight lines - Crappie
 

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Hi Crappie. You want to troll slow enough that you don't drown your baits. Really the slower the better when trolling with live baits. You want those little guys looking pretty natural back there, not skiing. :) It is hard to beat good size pogies if you want to live bait fish for Kings. What part of the coast are you going to fishing out of?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
NCangler - I'm fishing out of morehead/atlantic beach area. Yesterday I fished off AR-315 and caught 1 king. But then guys with live bait showed up and killed it. The reef holds some really good sized fish. Do you fish them with a live bait king rig with treble hooks or something more standard? I caught some atlantic bonito there earlier this year. I will also run offshore every once in a while to northwest places or big/little 10 fathom.
 

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Crappie,

I found some 6 adn 7 inch Manhaden in the Innercoastal WW this weekend, they were as thick as flies. You'll want to rig up a leader of 25-30 Lbs, run that leader down to a treble hook with a small skirt on it, brighter colors work better in the spring, then use a wire to attach a second treble to the main hook. Put one in the nose, and one in the tail and move the boat at 1 to 3 knots.

You wnt to move slow enough to not drown them and fast enough to keep forward motion. Watch your depth sounder, adn keep circling bait marks that you find.

To catch the Manhaden, use the biggest net you can throw well, and have someone drive the boat for you while you are on the bow. early in the morning you'll hear pops on the water, ( prefferably flat calm back waters) get the boat into position where you are near those pops and skips on the water and throw on them. Note though, if you launch the net way out, chances are you'll miss; for some reason, drops closer to the boat work best. I guess less motion scaring them away???

Good luck!!!

rye
 

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Crappie, dont overlook slow drifting live bait under a balloon. Just free line a live bait with a balloon 3-4 ft above the bait and let it just float out from the boat.
If fishin for kings knowing they're in the area, we'll toss out one free lined bait with nothing but a leader and hook rig with a live pinfish and the other side we'll toss out the same thing but with a balloon on it so the bait wont try to hide up under the boat.
(one rod in the starboard ttop holder and the other in the port holder.

Another good tip is to simply toss the anchor out as well and anchor over structure if you know the kings are there. VHF reports are a good key as well as the show of boats trollin in the same area. Around the WR4 area out of Wrightsville, we knew folks were hooking up snake kings last year so we anchored up near the wreck and basically everyone else was trolling around and around. Well, we boated/hooked our fair share of kings with the floater rigs (two ballooned floated off the ttop, and one weighted down 40 ft off the starboard rear holder and one sub surface out of the rear port holder.

I do alot of plug trollin, my favorite's to drag are the Yozuri bonita lures 10 oz. 8 1/2 inch in mackeral and purple/black colors. If there's a king around, it'll hit them for sure. I drag those baits between 5.5 mph and 7 mph. Between 5.5 and 6 is usually the ticket. But probaby a those speeds, depending on the bait, they might wash out, so probably around 3 mph or the throttle just kicked up out of neutral/in gear would be a good speed.

By no means am I any kind of king expert, but that's what seems to work for us when we catch them. So just addin my .02 on a different angle to give you options incase somethin else isnt working for you.

P.s. Live pinfish about 3-4 inches long dont seem to last long if kings are around :D
 

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There are about as many ways of catching them as there are fishermen. Spoons take their share as well as well as numerous plugs. Kings will hit a variety of live baits so if you don't find menhaden right away you can use whatever is out there at the time. some days frozen cigar minnows will outfish livebait. Just pin one on a #1 4x strong treble with a short wire leader and toss her out and let them sink to the bottom and bring her back with long fast sweeps of the rod . Works great at times. That method works best with a big spinning reel on an 8' rod. But for the biggest kings you are probably better of with big pogies,11/2 lb blues, ribbonfish and larger blue runners. Spanish mackeral are also known to be big king baits. Personally if I can get them I like blue runners best but somedays it seems that the top baits just aren't around . On days like that just go with whatever you can get and don't fret. they aren't normally as picky about baits as the people fishing for them. Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
rye,wellcraft, and sinker man thanks for all the help it really is appreciated. I'm planning on going back down this weekend and if I catch anything I will let all of you know. Wellcraft - Do you usually catch more fish on the deep rig or the one with the ballon 3-4 feet under the surface? The one king we caught was probly 15 feet under the boat when we hooked him. And to get it that deep do you like a downrigger or just a regular weight. Thanks for all the help you guys have already provided!:D
 

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Crappie, usually the one under the balloon gets hit first. The floaters usually seem to be the ones that get tag'd. I swear by having at least one floating rig out when drift fishin, if not two.

If it's bumpy out, the deeper ones get the most hits. Just all depends on how the macs are acting/feeding that day. We've even caught them off the bottom before fishin for grouper.
 
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