Avalon Fishing Tips

"The Angle for the Angler"

TIP: Setting the King Rig

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A king rig is a two pole system used with live bait to catch the bigger fish off the pier, namely king mackeral and cobia. TanDan, from Kill Devil Hills, NC, helps us out with this tip. Here he is with a 47 lb cobia caught off the end of the pier:
The two rods that TanDan uses are a 9 1/2' heaver for his anchor rod(top rod on pix) and a 7' fighting rod. His heaver has an Ambassador 9000 reel filled with 300 yards of 20 lb test with 15 feet of 50 lb leader line.
His fighting rod has a Shimano TLD20 reel with 780 yards of 20 lb test with 50 feet of 50 lb leader line.
An 8oz nail sinker is used for his anchor line. Tie the sinker directly to the 50 lb leader line on the heaver rod.
When you set your anchor line, keep in mind the other rigs that are already out on the pier. Try to keep line 50 feet away from others. Pay careful attention to other anglers when throwing your line. As you can see, Dan cleared the area around him. If you do not feel comfortable casting the nail sinker, ask for help. Most of the guys will be glad to lend a hand.
After you anchor line is set, you are now ready to rig your fighting rod. You should have a good snap swivel tied to your leader. Next, you need a "pin rig", and a "king mackeral rig" which are shown to the left. The "king mackeral rig" is has a wire leader anywhere from 2'-6' long, with two hooks set apart. The "pin rig" attaches to the anchor line by its snap swivel and to the fighting rod by its "clothes pin". The hooks, of course, attach to the front and back of the bait, allowing it to swim around "freely", up to the length of your leader. The pictures below further illustrates.
The clothes pin should attach to the top swivel on your fighting rod. The snap swivel is seen on the left being attached to the anchor line. You then need to glide the rig gently down to the water, as Dan shows us below. Work both rods simultaneously until the desire depth is obtained.
The bait is seen here ready to hit the water. A good bait might last an entire day. (A really good bait should catch a big fish.) Keep an eye on it and change it if it becomes too lethargic. Everybody likes fresh seafood!

After it is set, now the fun begins. Dan is already smiling(below) with anticipation of the big catch. Or it could be because now he can drink his favorite beverage and relax in the sun with his fishing buddies. Or he could use another rod to fish for fresh bait, or other gamefish.( Keep a bait bucket onhand that you can lower to the water in order to have a good selection of bait handy).
Anyway, if a fish does come around and takes the bait, the pin rig will release itself from the fighing rod, leaving only the fish and the angler to do battle. Usually, all other rigs are brought up so they will not tangle up the angler's line. A battle can range from minutes to hours depending on fish, angler and/or tackle.

In case you are wondering how you can bring up a 50-80 lb fish, the answer is a rope gaff, which is pictured to the left. It is lowered down below the fish( when the angler has brought the fish to the pilings) and quicky jerked upwards, digging itself to the sides of the fish. Then the fish is pulled up by the rope. Sometimes if the fish is large, two gaffs are used. If the fish is small, a net(which is also shown on the left), is used so the fish can be released alive.
But alas, it was not TanDan's day to catch a big one. Now he must release the nail sinker from the ocean bottom, which entails lots of pulling and tugging. Once it is released, it can be easily reeled in. His only solace is that tomorrow is another day!