I love witnessing people's first kingfish capture and take pride in watching mates getting buckled over the side of the boat by a big green beast.
My top tips to capturing kingfish
1. It might be pricey but Fluorocarbon leader makes all the difference. It’s tougher than nylon trace and near invisible in the water.
2. Shorter rods will help you control the fish by putting maximum leverage on the fish and minimum on the angler.
3. In my experience heavier jigs catch bigger fish. Perhaps it is because the smaller fish are less inclined to attack them.
4. When talking about the art of jigging, don’t be afraid to experiment with different speeds, strokes and movements. Change your routine to induce the bite.
5. Kingfish are dirty fighters. If hooked close to the bottom the first priority is to get that fish away from the hard stuff. Many fish are lost in the first 60 seconds.
6. PR knots are great when jigging but clinch knots are my favourite for casting as they slip through the guides easily and don’t restrict your cast.
7. Jigging with heavy drag ensures immediate stopping power when the kingfish hits. It also helps set the hook in the fish’s mouth. I’d rather loose a fish at the bite than at the boat.
8. A good action is more important when top-water fishing than a long cast. The drunken lizard is a good description of the ideal lure motion.
9. I’m sure that $250 stickbaits are fantastic but I have found Orca stickbaits work just as well. When the fishing is tough, my never fail stickbait is the Shimano Black Back and Silver 58-gram lure – it gets me a fish, no matter what.
10. Check your knots constantly. This may seem obvious but even some of the best fisherman forget to do this. If your not 100% confident with your knot then re-tie it. Losing a trophy fish is the worst way to learn this lesson.
11. Kingfish usually have an entourage with them so if you loose a fish during the fight (especially while jigging) keep the action going. It’s highly likely other kingies will be following your jig.
12. If you are like me and want to know more about these interesting predators then do what I do, get in the water with them. I like to study their feeding habits, which help me figure out better ways to catch them.
13. Having a good skipper will make your life one hell of a lot easier. It can also be the difference between landing a trophy fish, or not.