TIPS & TRICKS
Personal best or trophy kingfish…
Catch some live bait
This might sound easy (or not) but it is one of the secrets that we at EPIC always have first in mind to make the day a success. Put the time in and don’t give up too early. It will make the difference between success or possible failure.
Jack Mackerel are our preferred option but beggars can’t be choosers so just take what you can find. Using sabikis sizes 12 or 14 with small baits attached is the way to go.
Try areas where you might see birds working and then use your sounder to try and find the bait schools. Check out the locals to find the areas that may be working that week or give us a call at EPIC.
Go heavy or go home
You need to use at least 80lb braid, 100-130lb leader, and trace to try and stop these yellow tail monsters of the deep. In winter, the Kingfish are XXOS in size. You may only hook once in the day and you don’t want to loose it.
Head out wide
Head out to areas well marked on charts showing under water mounts/pins that are around 60-120 meters deep. Look for signs of bait fish and other activity on your sounder. At this time of year you will find the fish are deeper than normal and almost on the bottom, which makes it harder to see Kingi sign. You will also be able to catch super size snapper down deep where the kingfish are lurking.
Attach live bait to circle hook
Attach a live bait to your standard Kingfishing rig. We use Shimano rods and reels like the Stella 10000 reels, Ocea jigger and Talica 12 reels on rods like the Anarchy PE8. Pass the hook (8-9/0 circle hook) through the nose of the mackerel or other bait.
Present the live bait to the same depth as the sign on the sounder using rainbow braid and count the colours to judge depth. Usually, one colour =10 meters but check as some are from the USA and one colour can be 7 meters!
Be aware that the colder waters have slowed the metabolism of the Kingfish considerably. They will look and play with the bait presented and may not gulp it immediately. You will feel them nibbling at it but whatever you do don’t strike as you will loose the fish. Wait until the kingi has swallowed the bait and taken off with it. How will you know this? Because the reel will be screaming and you will be struggling to hold on!
It is always a good idea to use jigs as well as live bait due to the fact that you will then use all the water column, top to bottom searching for the illusive green back Kingi. Our skippers at Epic will often have two fishing at once, one on live bait and one on jig. This gives you more of a chance on some days depending on many factors, which are too many to mention at this time.
Plus… if you have not managed to find any live bait then at least you’ll have the next weapon at your disposal. If only jigging follow tips 2 & 3.
Call EPIC Adventures
If the above sounds a bit hard to manage on your own then the last tip of the day is to book a trip with EPIC Adventures. Our skippers are out there most days and can certainly show you our tried and true methods of catching these monster kingfish, snapper and trevally. The hapuku in winter will also show up in the shallower pins after coming in from the deep. Don’t be shy of the cold and get into it. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Cheers Guys & Gals!
Roy Veal and the EPIC Team