how to catch live bait for kingfish

Slow trolling a variety of live baits over offshore structures and contours is standard procedure for anglers chasing the hard-hitting kingfish. A balloon will not be needed in this situation; just drift and let out a couple of livies. Kings are without doubt one of the toughest fish that swims, and veteran Whakatane skipper Rick Pollock calls them street fighters. For fishing on the bottom in water only a few metres deep, for example at Crusoe Rock, it is also hooked through the nose or the tail. However, for the weekend angler it is always smart to carry a live bait outfit in the boat or on the rocks for you never know when an opportunity will arise. They are fully of energy and their tails rattle on the deck just like a skippie or yellowfin. Soft-tipped rods are common to act as a shock absorber against pulled hooks which are common when using the small trebles preferred in this fishery. Catch Smoker Kings Like the Pros. An EXCELLENT tutorial for setting up a fly reel correctly. Should set up my 24 kg outfit for a piper live bait or a kingfish live bait? As with all fishing the first step is to find them. “They are cast netted along the beaches and inner harbors during the warmer months and then taken offshore to be slow trolled over rock ledges and wrecks. In Auckland it is surprisingly easy to catch kingfish, provided bronze whalers don’t steal your catch and turn it into their dinner. By fishing the sand right on the edge of the reef, baits can be fished on the bottom as well as on the surface. A Florida fishing expert shares his tips and tools for how to catch kingfish, also known as king mackerel. Kingfish like current, and headlands or the channel between islands are places to target. Lever drag reels are easier to use than star drags, and will have a better drag system. Be prepared. There are several different ways you can get a bait deeper under the water. Want bigger kingfish? A big fish is hard to lift sideways if it has been gaffed in the middle of the body, and by the tail is even worse. Slow trolling also works well along a rocky shoreline or around an island. First points to the kings. Winter fishing has its challenges. Each summer, they spawn in shallower water, and sometimes can be found very close to the beach. But during summer it is not hard to target kingfish at known spots. And, because the break-away sinker holds the mainline in position, everything stays put until a predator comes along and eats the bait. Slide-baiting has expanded the potential for surfcasters (and some boat fishers) to tangle with big predatory species, enabling us to position our live baits much further away and more effectively than previously possible. It’s a balancing act to carry as many as you might need for the day offshore, but not so many as to kill them all by overloading the bait tank. The majority of work-ups will involve kahawai, mackerel or small tuna but there are usually kingfish hanging around the edges. Then when a fish strikes, let it take line before pushing up the drag, winding in line until it goes tight and lifting the rod. It’s difficult sometimes because you don’t always know which live bait you will be able to secure on the day. By Peter Miller / Bass 2 Billfish. This is top king country! Sammy Tuitupou hooked his first kingfish on a slow-trolled kahawai at the Noises. Well named, the kingfish is indeed one of the most regal fish in the sea. Our set up’s consist of a 7ft live bait rod, 30 class reel (Fin nor marquesa 30, Avet LX 6.0), spooled with 25lb bullbuster line and 30ft of bullbuster 30lb fluorocarbon leader tied together with a Uni knot. Your submission has been received! The Keys to success involves patience, keen observation and a variety of different types of oily berley. Aaron Covavich on the Leigh charter vessel Thor calls them ‘kingfish candy’ and loves dropping them on to the deep reefs around the Mokohinau Islands. They have short shanks and are super strong. When fishing on the surface, the reel will be set on a light drag so fish can take line, but on the seabed it is fished with the drag hard on strike. Part of what makes them so fun is the fact that the king is a ferocious predator and often the strikes are very close to the boat if not airborne. Many anglers feel like 1.5 to 2 knots is a good speed. The WT (walk-thru) model is the natural follow-up to the original 2250, launched in 2019. Anglers in their hundreds flocked to the iconic Canterbury high country to take part in the annual fishery opening with many anglers out on the water just after midnight. Winter isn’t always considered the best time for fishing, but it is a long haul between autumn and spring and I spend as much time winter fishing as I do fishing at any other time of the year. The just announced Surtees/Yamaha Grand Prize for the 2021 Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show will again be a huge incentive for Kiwi boaties and fishers to attend the country’s largest, longest-running and most popular boat show. Yellowtail or jack mackerel are the most common bait fish around the coast and the easiest to catch, so they are used a lot. Kingfish do manage to make it in closer than many of the offshore reefs. Surtees/Yamaha Grand Prize a great lure for 2021 Hutchwilco NZ Boat Show! If you’re doing it all the time, you’ll need bait-catching rods and reels, sabiki/bait-catching rigs, a live well and a bunch of live-bait rigs with different sized hooks/leaders to suit the baitfish you are using, in addition to your kingfish gear. For dropping into deep water, like at the Mokes or White Island, it is hooked through the nose so the sinker pulls the bait down head first. Matt gets to choose the location and Shaw gets to choose the techniques. Here's a nice video from the team at Fishing Addiction. After a visit to Florida’s East Central coast, BD’s Rodney Marquez created this overview video on the techniques used to live bait for king mackerel, commonly known as kingfish. Dental floss is ideal for tying on a balloon or float, but light monofilament line can be used also. Their most common staging and foraging stops include nearshore wrecks, reefs, oil rigs and ledges, as well as beaches, inlets and passes inshore, all places where baitfish often congregate. At 0001 hours on Saturday the 7th of November, the high country fishing season kicked-off throughout Canterbury. It includes a Surtees 7.5-metre 750 Game Fisher enclosed cabin, a Yamaha F250 4-stroke outboard complete with Helm Master EX boat control system, a custom tandem Hosking trailer, a comprehensive Garmin electronics package and much more. If presenting your bait under a balloon it should be hooked through the back just ahead of the dorsal fin. In this situation, having the anchor connected to a float so it can be quickly released and picked up later will save time. Do not penetrate the backbone or you will kill it, and always clear any scales off the point of the hook. Like all fishing, if you go cheap on the gear it will cost you in the long run. Since we were fishing a calm inshore platform and Aaron Dodds had his gear set up for a kahawai live bait, I chose the piper set up. They often miss the bait, so just keep trolling slowly and wait for the fish to come back and have another go, and let it swim away before setting the hook. Kings like to hang around structures. The principle of live-baiting is pretty simple: catch a live bait, put it on a hook and wait for the bite. So should we all. A strong flow of incoming seawater is crucial and in the heat of summer, the balance is delicate.”. These chunky little dudes are like miniature tuna. It’s no mystery that dirty water is where kingfish prefer to hunt. Kahawai in a work-up like this one off Rangitoto often ignore the traditional green or white plastic trolling lures because they are feeding on small bait. When fishing waters regarded as premier big fish territory like the Ranfurly Banks, White Island, North Cape or the Three Kings then everything goes up a notch. Try live baits. It is this incredibly fast tail action that makes them such good live bait, and the charter boys up north are quite happy to drop one in front of a marlin as well. Too large a hook can kill a live bait. Number one, you can use them almost anywhere. Use circle hooks because they can often hook a fish in the side of the mouth where there are fewer teeth. Kingfish in this country are in good shape in terms of the fishery and as they are large fish, one is sufficient to feed a family or group. It takes practise to perfect the shot, but will not damage the fish and it can be lifted, photographed and released. Oops! Finding the Depth of the Feed. Thank you! The snapper were in deep water in late January, and the first stop in 60 metres yielded a handful of pannies. Piper are possibly one of the more difficult fish to catch but they can be a deadly bait to use for snapper and kingfish. Kingfish can be caught with live bait or lures. Bring a live-well filled with bait fish with you so you have replacements in case they’re eaten while on the line. As with all fish, some days they are on and other days they are off, assuming that there are not many days you cannot catch at least a few live baits and you only need one live bait to catch the winning fish in a contest. They can be found from inside harbours to offshore reefs 200 metres deep, and it is this widespread distribution that makes them so popular and easy to catch. Sign up to receive the latest news and fishing reports. A blazing run upon being hooked is followed by sporadic short bursts of speed. Yamaha School of Fish - Deep Dropping with Whitiangler, INTRODUCING THE LATEST SIMRAD® VHF RADIO & CLASS-B AIS SYSTEMS, New netting restrictions now in place to protect Hector’s and Māui dolphins, How To Use A Sabiki Rig To Catch Live Bait, Trout season 2020 -2021 begins on October 1st, Deepwater fishing for hapuku, bass and bluenose. The hook size should match the size of the bait, not the fish being targeted, and you can catch very big kings on small live bait hooks which are made for that purpose. Finding King Mackerel Near Shore . The boat can be anchored and baits presented on the surface under a float.Or with reefs like Crusoe Rock where kings cruise along the edge of the reef, this is the place to target. The bait is fished with the reel in free spool with the clicker on to signal a strike and just enough drag to stop the bait pulling off line. They recognise the value of these magnificent fish and what a unique and valuable resource we have in a world where fisheries are coming under immense pressure. Having four lines out allows you to literally fish four different 'levels' or "water columns" of the target area. Something went wrong while submitting the form. Bait fish like structure because it offers them shelter from the elements and from predators. Catching live baits can range from being very easy to very hard. The 14-kilo king was soon at the gaff and Dan was posing for the camera. Even better, some heavy-duty plastic floats are hollow and filled with rattles, so every bob and jiggle produced by the live bait, or the ripples on the water, make a noise - great for attracting the curious kingfish. This is not only slow and inefficient – and it is important to get the bait down quickly before the boat drifts off the spot – but can also kill the bait. Therefore, most anglers catch their bait fish the morning of the fishing trip using either a cast net or a Sibiki rig. Note the hook is angled backwards as the king swallows the bait head first. A standard outfit here will be a 24kg stand-up combo spooled with 37kg line. Using cast nets is a very popular live bait catching technique, and for a number of reasons. Otherwise use a long-handled net with a wide mouth and net the fish head first. A skilful stand-up angler will work the rod quickly, dropping it only a few degrees each time and working the reel with short cranks; rather than taking long strokes and dropping the rod all the way down to the water each time. Some places are well know kingfish haunts while others could be classed as opportunistic locations, like when coming across a work-up. The summer also finds the kingfish following clean water and large bait pods into coastal areas where both tournament and casual anglers chase these fun-to-catch fish. At does much more than that too, but take a look at the results we got on a great day out with Gene Denton 'Whitiangler' and the team from Yamaha. If the fish are being picky, we shorten the wire leader to 18-inches and tie it directly to 40# wind on leader of mono using an Albright knot. He worked the short Fin-Nor rod beautifully, and was not shy on taking instruction. While the limit is a generously set at three fish per day, such a quantity is not needed and charter skippers have an unwritten agreement to limit the number of kings they will allow punters to take. A metre and a half of 45kg or 50kg mono is usually fine, connected with a quality swivel (either ball bearing or clip) and a live bait hook. Fishing in depths of 90′ to … Rock Fishing - A basic instruction on how to rig up a Live bait for targeting Kingfish and other large predatory fish. - Bluenose and Blue Sharks, Soft bait basics with Matt Watson - Ultimate Fishing, How to catch tarakihi - Pete Lamb's top tips, How to use the all new Catch 'BOSS SQUID', Fish On in the Hawke’s Bay region under Alert Level 3, How to correctly flush and clean your Yamaha outboard, South Island salmon harvest survey to start, Pete Lamb’s top tips for catching snapper, How to smash your PB kingfish on stick baits, Fishing with Venturer Charters off Kawhia / Raglan, Tips and tricks for fishing off the rocks, Create your own assist rigs for inchiku and other jigs, Hints and tips for surf casting off the sand, Reading the Beach - sandbars, troughs and cuts, How to target bluenose with Ultimate Fishing, The best fishing spots at Whangarei Heads, New Zealand, Surfcasting Muriwai Beach - Tips and tricks. If it is to be released and is not a big fish, it can be grasped with the thumb and forefinger by the point of the lower lip and lifted so the hook can be removed. The last thing you want to do is hook it on the back so it sinks sideways through the water. Kingfish are great to eat when cooked really fresh, and after that, they are often put in the smoker and turned into smoked kingfish dip which is extremely popular. The main thing is to not have the sinker on the trace between the hook and swivel, so if a kingfish breaks the line it is not dragging a weight around with it until the hook rusts out. It is very exciting when a king slashes at the bait, and it is usually preceded by the bait jumping out of the water. Jigs have certainly earned their place in the tackle box and the stick baits are exciting and effective, but are best suited to using where there is a concentration of fish like a workup or known kingfish hot spots like White Island or Bird Rock, or under channel markers in a harbour. It helps to have extra rods rigged up so you can swap outfits after a bite or fish and get your bait right back in the water while you are on the fish.”. Once in deep water the fight can begin in earnest. But they do not make the best kingfish bait. When slow trolling, the livie is set about 30 metres behind the boat at about two knots, with the drag set just enough to stop it pulling out line but still light enough so that a fish can take line when it strikes. Scott Goodwin. A couple of phone calls soon had a helicopter lined up for a hop across the Hauraki Gulf to Great Barrier Island where Peter ‘The Penguin’ Blackwell was waiting on his 65-foot launch. The downside to the Goggle eye is its cost – at over $100 per dozen, they don’t come cheap. Kingfish swallow their quarry head first, which is why it is important to let them swim away for some distance, giving them time to turn the bait prior to swallowing it. They are best caught on small baits or even tiny jigs rather than sabiki rigs. Both systems will work and it is a matter of personal preference. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. Some fishermen like to also drop a bait on the bottom when fishing close to a reef, and a heavy sinker will stop the bait swimming around and tangling other lines. I believe in keeping it as simple as possible. Catching your livies usually entails a berley bag on the surface in shallow water close to an island or reef, and a sabiki rig. Here's a how-to on rigging live kahawai to target kingfish off the rocks. In fact the kings you usually catch are the ones you don’t see. Stand-up tackle is designed for fast short strokes, and the key is short strokes. At the annual Lake Coleridge fishing competition over 200 anglers entered the popular contest and many more came for the prize draw. When fishing with live baits we are fishing the same locations as detailed above but we are focusing on dawn / dusk and into the dark of night for these big kings. The first yellowtail was scoffed immediately, but no hook up. Unfortunately for them the predators like structure because of all the bait fish! So its soft-baiting the wash and inshore reefs, and Matt shares all of his secrets on how to find and target the fish successfully. reviews, fishing videos, fishing recipes, When fishing close to a shallow reef or rocks a popular technique is to keep a light drag and slowly ease the boat out into deep water, leading the fish away from the hazard. But for those who don’t have access to koheru, slimy mackerel are the next best thing and they are not far behind for the same reason. If the fish is going to be kept for eating, it should be gaffed somewhere around the head, so that its energy when it reacts to the gaff shot actually helps drive it upward and into the boat. Large recirculating live wells are standard on kingfish boats. These bait fish are difficult to keep alive. How the live bait is hooked varies, depending on where it is being fished. He was all smiles.Then it was around the corner to Cape Barrier where the currents swirl in a whirl of racing white water. The best places to catch live bait in the Hauraki Gulf tend to be semi-sheltered areas in depths of 10-30m of water. He was all smiles. Just follow the stream up the valley, turn and come in,” he instructed. The latter integrated with a Class-B AIS transceiver and GPS. If fishing from the rocks or an anchored boat close to a reef, it usually involves a float to tether the bait and stop it getting into the weed. A metre and a half of 45kg or 50kg mono is usually fine, connected with a quality swivel (either ball bearing or clip) and a live bait hook. Then another reef saw Dan’s first 4-kilo snapper bend the rod.

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