Hi Mr. Rodgers,
Sounds like you are doing everything right. We all have the same problem with this species due to its bony jaw and mouth. But here are some suggestions that should increase your landing percentage:
- Keep your drag very light.
- The Stinger Hook rig: Front Hook use a 1/0 Mustad 9174 single hook. Rear Stinger use a # 4 treble hook. Use a #4 coffee colored single-strand wire.
- Troll with a keeled trolling weight if you need to get the bait down (if no down-rigger).
- The rod should be slow-to-moderate action (this will be a soft tip perfect for Kingfish).
- Try using the stinger treble hook two ways:
- Hook the # 1/0 single in the nose of the bait, let the treble hook hang down and when you troll the treble will lay alongside the bait.
- Alternate that another bait where you actually hook the treble into the rear of the bait.
- Besides the hooks mentioned above, try a lighter wire hook. The light wire will penetrate much easier. Just make sure your drag is not set too high because it will cause the hook to bend out.
- Try using a kite – it is a great way to Kingfish!
- Remember a Kingfish will slash a bait first, then swim back at it and take the second half. It is very common for them to get hooked on the second strike.
This is the best image of a stinger rig we could find anywhere on the web, and it came from OutdoorLife.com. Great example of how they're rigged.
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Captain David M Rieumont
The Online Fisherman Inc.