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Went out this morning slow trolling live and dead bait and went 0-6 with the kings. Would hook up, reel zinging, slowly reeling the fish back, and then nothing. I feel like I have my drag set loose enough and I'm using stinger hooks on my wire setup. Tips anyone? I did manage to catch a small black tip shark, but lost the fish that hit my other line during the fight. Probably another king I am guessing ;).
 

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Make sure you set that hook good. A few good jerks or "jacks" should set the hook in the fish's mouth. Also your drag should be set to where there is some resistance when you pull it out. If you're using braid, be careful because it will pull the hook if you put too much pressure on the fish. Good luck!
 

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I went 4-0 on kings and 2-0 on cobia (27" and 28.5") on friday. They wouldn't touch my duster rig/stinger rig so I put on one of my pier leaders with just one treble hook and started slaying them. I keep my drag pretty loose and let them eat for 5 or so seconds just like I would if I was fishing from the pier. Once I feel like they have it I tighten down and jack them up!!
 

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I personally would go to a smaller size live bait hook for the leading hook , Smaller wire , and make your spacing a little closer . Drag pressure has alot to do with hooks pulling also a smooth drag . Like mentioned by RED above set the hook a couple times with your thumb on the spool then go run them down with light drag pressure . I like 3-5# when fishing light tackle .
 

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Look.....I don't want to sound negative but your leader rig is WEAK. If you are trolling at kayak speed, the fish have an opportunity to take a look.

Your stinger is too long....way too long for cigar minnows. Your twists, I mean, get on the internet and learn how to make these tight. Why such a large loop. Get some pliers if you have a hard time holding them tight.

I like stingers to come out of the hook eye and not the wire loop of the main hook. My method is a treble in the front and a single in the back but embedded in the tail so that most of the shank can't be seen. Stinger wire should be perfectly straight, laying against the side of the bait.

Get some cigs and practice making rigs till you get them right. Drag too loose and drag too tight equals no fish. You don't mention the type of reel but use a hand scale to set the drag or just hook the main hook under a wooden hand rail and pull up on the rod. Do it a few times and use your judgement to feel if it is smooth and, just like Goldinglocks. Not too lose and not too tight.....just right.

Finally, fish come unbuttoned. It just happens and some days it happens and just keeps happening. Two weeks ago, I went five for eight on Black Marlin and pulled the hook on every mackerel that bit and that was a bunch. Drag was just a bit too tight for the makerels mouth but perfect for penetrating a billfish bill.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Haha, no worries. I appreciate the feedback. I was thinking my setup was pretty amateur. I'll try out the suggestions and get some practice in. Next report should be better. What size wire do you guys like to use?
 

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Well if it makes you feel any better I followed all of the advise above, I went out this morning, and still managed to go 1/7 on kings, and managed a good sized Spanish. I guess you can follow the rules of the pros and STILL not catch fish. I know I know someone will say it, that's why they call it fishing and not catching!! Good luck and tight lines!
 

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Good question there, braid or mono? Kings are caught on both, every day. For a guy who is new to the game, I'd have to suggest you stay with mono for awhile 15 to 20 lb. Drag should be 'firm'. When the fish gets short, don't start tightening the. drag .

Are you getting more bites on the dead or live? Kind of a stupid question but the answer could impact your challenges.

Good news is, you are obviously fishing in the right places. You are getting the runs. Make sure you let the fish run. Don't try to crank down on the drag. Once the hook set is in, you can loosen....just not too much. Your boat is a bit of a drag system also.

Hard to understand what is happening to you without seeing it. You could just be getting a lot of small stuff and Spanish on. If you are getting lots of bites on live bait, just drift where you are getting bites, leave the rod in the holder and let the fish hook himself. It's practically flawless if the drag is set right. Get a scale and set it to 1/3 the line class.

I'll be really interested to hear what changes you made when you start having success.
 

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Everybody on here is pulling for you. We want you to be successful and we know you will if you hang in there and keep trying.

One additional thing. Make sure your rod is not too stiff or too limp. You should err on the side of the second more than using a pool cue for a rod. Flexibility will help your success. Good backbone (lower section) but some flex in the upper section. Good luck. It will come.
 

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Get rid of the long shank bait hook, too much hook for the fish to see.

To get nice straight leaders that are much easier to make, snell both hooks with one length of wire.
I prefer AFW Surfstrand 1x7 ss wire, 30# or lighter, in camo.
Snell the stinger, then the primary, one foot leader length & finally overhand with twist to a small black swivel.
So easy & quick to make that you can make'em custom for each bait in the yak.
I like the stinger in the bait, not free floating.
 

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At least your getting bites, I went the other day and nothing. Started trolling beach in 20 - 25 ft of water just past second sand bar. Not even a nibble. Good luck with adjustments and let us know what happens and what you did.
 
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