1st king of the season

Go on then, tell us your stories...
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Rabbit
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Took a days leave on Friday as the weather forecast was looking great. Hit the beach by 5am and was paddling out in the cool early morning first light to the livie spot at the end of the peninsula by 5.20am. Found the little buggers at the normal spot and within ten minutes I had a good dozen in the livie well. Stuck one on a 6/0 hook and dropped it out on a weighted line behind me. Within two minutes it was schnaffled by a nice 8lb snapper just off the end of the reef. Off to a flyer with visions of having a grand morning!! And then it all dried up. For the next 4 to 5 hours it was a case of complete nothingness...not a bump, a nibble, a tug ....simply nothing despite trying so many different things and changing position multiple times. By now the wind had got well above the forecast at around 10 knots...not unplayable but just enough to be a bloody nuisance and it was a chilly southerly made worse by the fact that, in my wisdom, I had left my dry top back in the car.

With nothing happening and a feed in the hatch I decided to throw in the towel and head back in whilst trolling both a livie on the left and a big softbait on the right. As I came back in i started seeing a lot more sign at the 12m mark and then a couple of hundred meters later the livie starting getting very skitish with short zzzz....zzzzz....zzzzzz on the clicker...slowed down to 5km/h and the reel fired up with a big run and the clicker singing in soprano....kingie on. Reached around and cranked up the drag, the circle hook buried itself in the corner of the mouth and the rod went over. I knew straight away that this was a king bigger than average as the first run was really strong and it had me going in tight circles as it looked for the reef for safety.

I didn't get my softbait line in soon enough and I was going in circles hanging on grimly resulting in a complete bloody tangle and something akin to a 'comedy hour' moment as I wound in two lines on the kingy reel...major cock up... got the knife out and hacked off the softbait line.

After a good ten minute fight in 5m to 7m of water I had it alongside. Stuck my hand into its gob and hauled it on board , quickly despatched it and slid it into the hold in front of me...yeh boooi!

Was great to get the first king of the season and it came in at a fraction under 16kg....super chuffed. Here's hoping summer brings many more kingie excitment
AB King 3.jpg
AB King 4.jpg
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Nemesis
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Top fish there! That would have been a very sweary few minutes with the softbait gear tangle if it was me, and probably a completely different outcome as well :D
You're aware that while it affords one the momentary illusion of satisfaction, the spewing of bile is never a permanent solution.
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kingiFiddler
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Onya Rob.

How good is that first ripping change of speed when they realise they've been pricked and light the afterburners!

10mins for that size is doing really well. At least that way you've got a shot of releasing them in reasonable shape if so inclined or undersized.

The livewell on the stealths is an unfair advantage, although I still haven't got a wee aquarium net to fish livies out, so it can be bloody frustrating when they wise up and stay way up the back.

What size was the livie, if you didn't bridle how did you place the hook please? Have never tried such a small hook but will add it to my experiment list (for every one thing that gets crossed off the list, two more get added :-)

Have had a few people say kings are just coming in down there. They seem to have buggered off up here. That or I need to up my game after the last three doughnut sessions.
Rabbit
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Cheers mate

Yeh super great to have the reels screaming again after 6 months

Presume you have a Stealth livie torpedo tube clipped alongside your yak? If not Ryan sells them for between $80 - $100 I think. When I had my Ocean Kayak I used the torpedo tube for quite a while and it worked perfectly.

The livie was bloody small....couldn't have been more than 6" which I rigged on a narrow gauge 6/0 Daiichi recurve hook that, although looking not strong enough for the job, worked perfectly. You won't find these specific hooks in a retail store but my mate Robert Janse sells them - see www.twooceansangling.co.nz
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kingiFiddler
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Thanks for that info. Was the hook through the nostrils, or up through the top jaw or? Will give 6/0's a try and even on the larger baits (although will bridle the 6/0's in that case).

Regarding the livewell, I'm talking about the one built into our stealths (I got a fisha a few weeks ago). Love the livewell but not so much when the livies are playing hide and seek in it.

I just sold Kermit. Here's the last fish we caught together a few weeks ago:
kidstixKingB.jpg
Rabbit
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Aaaaah OK. Congrats on the Fisha.....great move! Yeh those little buggers can hide at the back and then in an attempt to get one your paw on one you turn the livie wel into a wild spa bath especially when down to the last one or two :D ...i must also buy a little acquarium net

Hooked the Jack macs sideways through the nostrils (as opposed to vertically through the jaw
Rabbit
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Beauty of a king. How big did it go?
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kingiFiddler
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Cheers for that. IIRC that last king was about 18kgs, took 45mins to land, on a wet noodle kidstix rod and tiny plastic reel. I'm a glutton for punishment and loved every minute of it.
Am trying to find the limits of the kidstix and am pretty sure it won't handle a shark...but only one way to find out ;-)
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SitDown
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Rabbit wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:37 am12m mark and then a couple of hundred meters later the livie starting getting very skitish with short zzzz....zzzzz....zzzzzz on the clicker...slowed down to 5km/h and the reel fired up with a big run and the clicker singing in soprano....kingie on
nice king at 16kegs :y:

interested to know what your kingie setup is... what would you guesstimate the drag setting on the reel..... looking for my first yak king
Rabbit
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Catching a king much easier than catching a decent snapper in season...from now til next Mar/Apr they are dead easy to catch from Army Bay through to Leigh which is my turf. If you get a livie youv'e got a 'ticket to the ball' and getting a livie means getting your arse out of bed early and being on the water before the sun comes over the horizon because by 1 hour after sunrise they get harder to catch. Get yourself some Hayabusa sabikis (navy and black pack) size 12, cut the string to 3 hooks (6 is bloody unwieldly) and stick a 2oz sinker on the end. Livies can generally be found in bays e.g. Army Bay and easy to spoy on the sounder...big yellow blobs. You need a way to keep them alive - livie tank or a livie tube clipped to the side of the kayak. Once you have a livie stick a 6/0 hook through its snout and put it out about 20m behind you on the lightest drag passible, the king mustn't sense its a 'stitch up' and paddle around at 5km/h or less. I run a Daiwa Saltist 5'5' rod rated 200g (you dont want a broom stick on a kayak for risk of being tipped) with a Shimano Torium 16 star drag which has a claimed drag of a round 11kg which is plenty - a pretty average priced set up but its dealt to heaps of kings up to 20kg. 50lb braid with a 6m to 10m 80lb fluoro leader. Once you get a hook up let it run for a few seconds and then slowly wind up the drag...and then it should hopefully be 'game on'. important to keep the rod straight out in front of you and not perpendicular. Could write a long story but that essentially is the bare bones of it
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kingiFiddler
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Good info, thanks for sharing. Leaders are high on the experiment list this Summer. Why are your leaders so long? Have you tested shorter ones but they didn't work out as well? I stepped up from about 2m to 3m-ish last Summer after a big critter's tail pinged my braid about 3m from the hook. Haven't noticed much of a difference in strike rates with the longer (to me) leader. Maybe 6-10m sees more strikes?
Rabbit
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To be honest I use a long leader as it was something I picked up from Stephen Tapp, who as you almost certainly know is a kayak fishing sensei, he actually runs a 10m leader. The logical reasons I see for a long leader are 1) fluro carbon is close to invisible in water so the fish doesnt see the line 2) the long leader gives more shock absorbtion 3) there is a lot more 'insurance if the king pulls you into the reef and seaweed...its bloody tough stuff and can take a lot of abrasion 4) with sharks around you may end up with it getting shorter and shorter during the day, an extender leader means you can run it for longer before having to retie the FG/PR/chain knot which is a pain in the arse . Flurocarbon is not cheap so an alternative used by the guys is mono of about equivalent strength (100lb) which they claim works just as well and probably has a bit more stretch.
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SitDown
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Rabbit wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:52 pm on the sounder...big yellow blobs. You need a way to keep them alive - livie tank or a livie tube clipped to the side of the kayak.
kool man, thanks for the intel.... my gear is a little lower end, but plenty enough for them
What sounder are you running, not sure if I have seen yellow blobs... I have a helix g3

My home grounds are the Waitemata harbour, Pt Chev to Bastion reefs then over to Narrowneck plus the Manukau, west side
Got a couple spots for curious kings, basically, the kings are on the flats, feeding on the flounder & baitfish

I know what you mean about twilight fishing before it stops for catching maccies, its the same down this way.... the muddy (Manukau) its piper on that side
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kingiFiddler
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Rabbit wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:26 pm To be honest I use a long leader as it was something I picked up from Stephen Tapp, who as you almost certainly know is a kayak fishing sensei, he actually runs a 10m leader. The logical reasons I see for a long leader are 1) fluro carbon is close to invisible in water so the fish doesnt see the line 2) the long leader gives more shock absorbtion 3) there is a lot more 'insurance if the king pulls you into the reef and seaweed...its bloody tough stuff and can take a lot of abrasion 4) with sharks around you may end up with it getting shorter and shorter during the day, an extender leader means you can run it for longer before having to retie the FG/PR/chain knot which is a pain in the arse . Flurocarbon is not cheap so an alternative used by the guys is mono of about equivalent strength (100lb) which they claim works just as well and probably has a bit more stretch.
Thanks. I wonder why the visibility issue between fluoro and mono isn't an issue when the lengths get longer. I'll be testing that some more - to see if there's really much enough of a difference (in any length) between the two to justify the fluoro's higher price. I only use fluoro and frequently wipe it clean (it's amazing how dirty it can get even after an hour), but have to admit to not really testing out mono to any great degree, hence leaders going on the experiment list.

The price difference in the lower strengths is palatable but when getting up to the 200/250lb range I want to be super sure the fluoro is worth the investment before I pay an extra $150 to use it on my bigBoy set-up. In the back of my mind is the exceptional eyesight of tuna and marlin and how from a kayak, slow trolling a livebait is about the only option, so fish have a lot of time to eye up the livie. Not many that I know who I've asked that have caught a bunch of marlin on livies, can really tell me for sure why a marlin that's able to discern the difference between fluoro and mono isn't put off by the crimps and gazillion bubbles coming from the huge black swivel/clip or doesn't see the crimp (if not snelling).

I'd be stoked if mono works just as well in the longer lengths as it also has more stretch and is cheaper.

IIRC (which, given my memory is a crap shoot some days), there was only one bust off last Summer where a longer leader might have made a difference. All the other times when I couldn't stop them getting into the bricks and couldn't get directly over them fast enough, an extra 3-7m I don't think would have made a lick'n difference as there was way more line out than that when things went squirrelly. That said, if it stops even one bust off per year, it's worth it.

But on the other hand, 10m is allot of leader to lose if the braid goes ping or I get spooled - and those two scenarios have been the main point of failure in my king/shark fights last Summer. In a kayak there are times we are hopelessly out-gunned and at the mercy of whatever that big critter we are attached to wants to do. I don't think in those scenarios 7m extra leader is gonna make a difference but will be stoked to prove otherwise.

Not having to retie a new leader so often is a plus for sure.
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Marc N
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kingiFiddler wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:27 pm I'd be stoked if mono works just as well in the longer lengths as it also has more stretch and is cheaper.
When I was a boy we used green string, thicker stuff for bigger fish.

Mono came in and once we'd got used to the new fangled knots, it was great!

It's worth remembering that most fish we catch, will have never seen line of any sort and if they can get over the straight lines of sun rays striking through the water, I reckon they'll not know the difference between mono and flouro, if they even noticed it.

Sea fish, generally, are not like trout, in a small stream, that become wary of large anglers stomping about the place.

I had a tank of Snapper and Gurnard once, at feeding time they had to get real close, to smell the food before they'd eat it, sight didn't seem to be the primary driver.

Kings on the other hand will probably be looking for movement and shape of the bait
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kingiFiddler
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Misty watercoloured memories :-)

That green string on a stick like builders string lines was a staple on my Summer holidays up North as a kid, crushing up aniseed lollies and spitting them into dough as bait in the town basin in Whangarei. The fishing comps with my cousins were brutal. If I won it was because I cheated. If they won there was no skullduggery on their part just local knowledge.

Testing out a visibility theory tomorrow. Got 10m of 50lb fluoro and a 6/0 on Frog (the livebaiting rod of choice for all discerning livebaiters this season - accept no substitutes). Let's see if the fish can't see the leader. One thing straight off the bat - I can see a few birds nests on the spin reel, trying to wind most of that leader on.
Rabbit
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SitDown wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:56 pm
Rabbit wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:52 pm on the sounder...big yellow blobs. You need a way to keep them alive - livie tank or a livie tube clipped to the side of the kayak.
kool man, thanks for the intel.... my gear is a little lower end, but plenty enough for them
What sounder are you running, not sure if I have seen yellow blobs... I have a helix g3

My home grounds are the Waitemata harbour, Pt Chev to Bastion reefs then over to Narrowneck plus the Manukau, west side
Got a couple spots for curious kings, basically, the kings are on the flats, feeding on the flounder & baitfish

I know what you mean about twilight fishing before it stops for catching maccies, its the same down this way.... the muddy (Manukau) its piper on that side
I run a Garmin 45cv Echomap. Never fished West side and always East Coast almost always Army Bay to Leigh area.......Although we fish opposite coasts I would think that the same methodology would apply though
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