I have been downrigging for many years now & only wish I started 20 years before I did.
I know lures work on fish, but there are more days when they don’t than day they do, I have noticed most of Craig’s post talk about mainly getting Kingfish in the early mornings and late afternoons, However most guys that use live baits on a downrigger experience them all day long, I like them as they are a gentleman’s hour fish.
U will try not to go into to much depth here, but I might waffle on a bit lol.
I have basically spent the past 6 years targeting Kingfish up and down the sth east coast of Australia from Jervis Bay to Coffs harbour.
I actually learned about it on a forum & the guy who mentioned it didn’t actually ever do it again till he asked me a few years later how I was always catching Kings.
Now Kingfish can not resist a livie that is in trouble, bit like a dog in pack, when one gets hurt the whole pack attacks,
One day we were in Lake Macquarie targeting Kingfish under balloons,
Right on dawn we got a few fish, then went all quit.
Next thing you know there is a massive school of Kingfish well over 200 fish under my boat,
My livies were close to the boat and the kings were swimming up to them and turning away from them like a cat toying with a mouse, the livies were sitting there frozen in fear playing dead.
I sitting there thinking surely one will eat them,
I then rigged up a popper as fast as I could and chucked it out and ripped it back to the boat, heaps kings chased it, but would actually strike at it, tried a 7 inch Gulp. nothing again, they would chase it, but not strike.
In the end I took the balloon of my livie & casted it away from the boat and slowly wound it back towards the boat forcing it to swim, BAM I was on,
This got us to trolling livies & from then on we always smashed them on every trip.
Now the second thing, you can mark the Kings at say 20m, then you can accurately lower the livie to their depth and slow troll your livie at the depth they are holding. This also great for Spanish & Marlin too
One day at the ovens of Sydney we found a good showing of bait on a pinnacle, every pass over we had a double hook up,
My deckie told me to stop and anchor on the pinnacle and we could drop lives down to them,
I said it wont work & he got the shits, so I anchored right on the Pinnacle to prove a point, We had 6 livies in and around the boat from the bottom to the top & not one got taken for an hour,
I then insisted we up anchor and continue trolling, first pass back over right where we were anchored up, bam double hook all day till we ran out of livies.
Once I can finally get out there and source some livies & give it a go in the Seaway I’ll let you all know how it goes.