Trolling mullets, blue runners, and ladyfish for Kingfish and Tunas.
Running mud minnows 7-13 inches on a triple rigged stinger rig with two treble hooks on the back is a great choice when targeting giant King Mackerel & Wahoo offshore in the bluewater.
Free lining the baits 50-300 yards behind the boat is great way to trolling these baits on behind the boat. Anglers can have success using either spinning or conventional tackle while targeting surface bait and tide lines. Running the free lined mullet from the rod holders on the T-top will give the angler the advantage to seeing the lines to help avoid tangles, it will keep the live bait swimming on the surface as a desired method. While trolling 3-5knts, the trolling rods stowed up top give maximum leverage for the stinger rig to get a quality hook-set during the initial bite and run. Following these steps are all part of a successful technique, that is a tried and true way to catch fish while trolling offshore. Lets not forget most importantly to acquire a bite or a lot of them, an angler must first locate surface bait and other pelagic fish hanging in the area. Most often theses Bigger kingfish, Wahoo’s and Tuna’s are holding to bottom structure typically in over 55ft of water, for example an old ship wreck that is holding a ton of life and bait. Bottom structure’s like these that hold many baitfish, also hold plenty of big gamefish too! While trolling avoiding sharp turns is ideal, in attempt to reducing potential line tangles. Proper movement of the boat is to drive over and around both the structure and the bait that the angler is marking on the graph. While slowly circling the structure with lines out rather than continuing to troll away from the bait after the first pass. Every so often the angler may choose to turn the boat 25degrees to either starboard or port while trolling in attempt to mimic a nervous or calm swimming pattern from the bait behind the boat, that is depending on which side they may choose to turn.
In addition during spring time, and levels of high pelagic feeding activity, some anglers turn towards high speed trolling with an 5oz-7oz plug. These hard baits intended for you bigger pelagic’s such as Wahoo and King Mackerel that react to baits whizzing by them in the water column with blistering aggressive strikes. This is a technique that all anglers can utilize if the correct feeding patterns are identified and surface bait. For this technique anglers must have the correct heavy gear. Typically 60-150lb briad is used connected to a 3-4ft 80-300mono topshot that is then connected to 80-2000lb steel leader. Heavy gear is a necessity while trolling these hard plugs, trolling speeds commonly are between 12-15 knots. With both the boat moving quickly in one direction and the ferocious strike of these pelagic’s, the line has a really good chance of snapping in two! Tension during the immediate bite is powerful enough to break through even some of the heaviest lb test, thus the super heavy gear! Note that this technique every once in a while will produce a few monsters also!
Hope this article was helpful and there are a few notes to keep the next time you go trolling off shore!