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Slow trolling live bait..

Old 06-07-2019, 06:50 PM
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Default Slow trolling live bait..

Wanted to see if there is a better way to do this.

I'm thinking I'm not in the optimal depth with my bait. We were out today for kings.. Tons of pilchards around.

We got our limit.. But it took way too long and boats were catching all over.

Free line a pilchard, one with a 2oz weight one without. Troll with 1 engine @ 2 mph. Trying to keep need the bait pods. Hook em through the nose with a circle

Maybe it was just one of those days.. But felt like we hooked up 1 in 4 of the other boats..

Anyone do anything different with this approach?
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Old 06-07-2019, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Jasongator View Post
Wanted to see if there is a better way to do this.

I'm thinking I'm not in the optimal depth with my bait. We were out today for kings.. Tons of pilchards around.

We got our limit.. But it took way too long and boats were catching all over.

Free line a pilchard, one with a 2oz weight one without. Troll with 1 engine @ 2 mph. Trying to keep need the bait pods. Hook em through the nose with a circle

Maybe it was just one of those days.. But felt like we hooked up 1 in 4 of the other boats..

Anyone do anything different with this approach?

Depth of bait should be above the fish from 2 ft. to surface, depending on how deep the fish are, where the bait is, are the fish FEEDING or just suspended. Normally kings feed early AM, and late PM.

Speed should be below 2mph, and rigs should be two small treble hooks on wire leaders, one in nose or lips, one in anal hole 3-4 inches apart.

Rigs purchasable at tackle shops if you can't tie your own(haywire).

It is called SLOW trolling because you need to be slower than drifting, so bait can swim.

Troll against the sea only to slow down in wind or current. My guess you were trolling too fast for your bait to look natural, so you only caught schoolies or stragglers(small).
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Old 06-08-2019, 02:45 AM
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Fish the entire water column. Most of the kings we hook,are on either the down rigger or mid-depth rod'.Try not to drag baits.
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:17 AM
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When we slow troll, the downrigger gets hit 3-1 surface lines. If I had 2 DR's, I would deploy both.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:35 AM
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Thx for the feedback. I don't have down riggers.. I'll look into them.

Used a small weight and a longer leader to get a bait into the water column.

Must have been my speed. Might be easier to just drift. Thx
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:04 AM
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Leader and wire and hook size matter.
Nobody uses a stinger rig on a pilchard.
Don't know about your speed bc currents are different. Just go slow enough that your baits don't die.
My main suggestion would be a bigger weight to get deeper. We never use 2oz. More like an 8oz.
Drifting is better IF you drift in the right areas, otherwise you gotta slow/bump troll.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:25 AM
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I use circle hooks too, but I drop back to the fish on the slow troll using a small piece of copper wire to keep the bail open.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:29 AM
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Use Gogs instead. Keep the engine in gear (or one engine if you have more than one). They can handle that speed. #5 wire trace albrighted to 40-50 lb flouro leader. I use #2 or 3 owner live bait hook for nose (you don't have to bridle in this situation) and treble stinger in back. Stinger does most of the work here.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:09 AM
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Where are you located?
​​​​​
I never used stingers in South FL but once I moved over here they became a necessity.

Slow troll is useful to work a concentrated area but again back down south it was drifting 90% of the time even when the kite wasn't up. Over here we slow troll most of the time simply because a drift isn't fast enough to keep the spread organized. That's all I shoot for slow trolling, keep the boat moving in an orderly fashion so baits aren't all over each other or swimming back to sit under the boat. In South FL the drift will do that for you, over here on calm days it just isn't like that.

South FL for us used to be pilchards on top/mids, and down baits were hard tails. Over here it's hard tails on everything slow trolling, unless we get some nice big sardines or something.

How are you gauging your hookup rate against other boats? Sounds pretty subjective to me?
​​​​​​
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:25 AM
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Buy yourself 2 manual downriggers and Fish ON
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by DarcizzleOffshore View Post
Leader and wire and hook size matter.
Nobody uses a stinger rig on a pilchard.
Don't know about your speed bc currents are different. Just go slow enough that your baits don't die.
My main suggestion would be a bigger weight to get deeper. We never use 2oz. More like an 8oz.
Drifting is better IF you drift in the right areas, otherwise you gotta slow/bump troll.

Except me! I will put a stinger on a glass minnow.
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:26 PM
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I'm in NE FLA.. Jax, mostly fish out of Vilano.

Haha.. Well, I saw the next boat over with 4 people hook up a counted 7 times and then they left

The got there an hour after us and left an hour before. Our boat limit was 4..





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Old 06-08-2019, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by EricF View Post
Where are you located?
​​​​​
I never used stingers in South FL but once I moved over here they became a necessity.

Slow troll is useful to work a concentrated area but again back down south it was drifting 90% of the time even when the kite wasn't up. Over here we slow troll most of the time simply because a drift isn't fast enough to keep the spread organized. That's all I shoot for slow trolling, keep the boat moving in an orderly fashion so baits aren't all over each other or swimming back to sit under the boat. In South FL the drift will do that for you, over here on calm days it just isn't like that.

South FL for us used to be pilchards on top/mids, and down baits were hard tails. Over here it's hard tails on everything slow trolling, unless we get some nice big sardines or something.

How are you gauging your hookup rate against other boats? Sounds pretty subjective to me?
​​​​​​
Very helpful, thank you
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DarcizzleOffshore View Post
Leader and wire and hook size matter.
Nobody uses a stinger rig on a pilchard.
Don't know about your speed bc currents are different. Just go slow enough that your baits don't die.
My main suggestion would be a bigger weight to get deeper. We never use 2oz. More like an 8oz.
Drifting is better IF you drift in the right areas, otherwise you gotta slow/bump troll.
Thx will try 8oz or buy some downrigger.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SLA1DC View Post
Use Gogs instead. Keep the engine in gear (or one engine if you have more than one). They can handle that speed. #5 wire trace albrighted to 40-50 lb flouro leader. I use #2 or 3 owner live bait hook for nose (you don't have to bridle in this situation) and treble stinger in back. Stinger does most of the work here.
I hate to spend the $ on gogs to catch kingfish, seems like a total waste. I actually wish the meat tournaments around here would eliminate them, stick to dolphin, wahoo, tuna, cobia...its not like any of the teams catching them are doing anything with those fish. Nasty! More of a nuisance like bonita than anything worth catching. When fun fishing, we dont bring them aboard.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:47 AM
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Down here in SE Fl if we're bored I'll put 3 lines out with pilchardsall with single strand wire, a small live bait hook and a stinger treble back a few inches on top. Can hardly keep a bait in the water when trolling a big circle around the anchored boats where the bait school sits. Just have them staggered short, longer off flat lines way back off the t-top. Idle speed to keep them swimming straight my boat barely moved so its a perfect speed. Just a big circle they usually hit in 1 spot or 1 direction so sometimes I'll change up which way I troll. Definitely better hookup with a stinger if you want kings. Problem here is the dolphins(the mammal) will hunt down our hooked kings and bite them off behind the head. Its wild to see, even had them pull a pilchard off a hook once. Just have to figure out whats working and try and repeat it.
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