King fishing help - SaltwaterCentral.Com

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kp1226
Posts: 151
Location: Clinton, NC
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Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:55 pm
Maybe a dumb question but I have to ask. What is a good depth to fish for kings using dead bait in the fall? I know live bait is the ticket for the big boys on the beach but I’m not much on the live bait style. Due to time, I usually can’t get an early start and hunt bait so I fish 99% of the time with cigars or small Bally. Have caught them at lighthouse in the fall but just looking a general consensus on the depth. I have watched several videos made by local captains but none seem to put much focus on a depth other than “on the beach” or “ nearshore”. I’m thinking the 60-70’ range. Any opinions appreciated. I fish out of Southport.
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paynefish
Posts: 537
Location: Beaufort
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Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:55 am
Not familiar with Southport, but I would start at the local tackle shops and get some intel. Out of Morehead, one of the hottest spots in the fall is in 50-65' of water that I have found. I also know people who catch plenty trolling the beaches. I don't know that there is a clear cut answer to that question but I would think that you could get some good intel from the locals in that area. One thing is for sure, if anyone on here is familiar with that area they will help you out. Good folks on this site
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KatfishKayak
Posts: 490
Location: Duplin County, NC
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Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:11 am
For what it's worth, I'm not sure you should focus so much on depth as on where the bait is. Water temp is pretty important too, especially as temperature breaks become a little more pronounced later in the fall, but really, the fish are where the food is.

When the bait is running along the beach, the kings should be there too.

Nice thing I've found the handful of September trips I've made to that side of the shoals, is that bait is pretty easy to find and catch along the beach. It's not like hunting up and down the ICW at Wrightsville or CB.

If you can't find live bait, cigars work as well nearshore as they do offshore.
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kp1226
Posts: 151
Location: Clinton, NC
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Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:50 am
Thanks Guys. Sounds like i just keep doing what i'm doing!
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asaltweapon
Posts: 14
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Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:03 am
I have fished out of Southport for over 30 years.

There is a class of kings that are “resident” and winter offshore of the Tower and beyond all the way to the shelf ledge, depending on water temperature.

They start slowly working their way closer in the Spring, again with the water temperature.

By the first or second week of May usually, around Mother’s Day, they will be close to the beach with some fish being caught on the piers. And some big fish mixed jn.
There is sully a bite at LH Rocks and in that 30-60 foot range. Some schools will have very small fish also. Just depends.


Then, as water temp increases, they main body of fish head out to the 60-150 depths and most stay there all Summer.

As the waters start to cool, they start to stage back closer. In Sep and Oct, again closer to the beach out to 90 feet. The piers catch the most fish in this time range. I know on year Oacean Crest decked over 100 kings the week before the US Open (1st weekend in Oct). I think this was around 2005 and am sure has been done many times as I don’t always keep up with the piers.

As the water cools below 67 degrees, the fish move with it. Sure, they have been caught in 65 degrees and colder water, but this is about the bottom of their temp range.

In the Fall and Winter, when water starts to cool, if you find 67 degree water or higher, over structure with bait, there will be Kings there.

And while some fish are @on the beach for the Fall Bite, there should also be lots of fish at Either Light House Rocks, 15/18/shark hole or the Horseshoe area.

As the water cools, they will push to the Tower SW Bottom and Akron for the tower ledges. Follow the temperature and look for bait. Then Fall and early winter are the best and easiest to catch Kings.
  
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kp1226
Posts: 151
Location: Clinton, NC
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Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:42 pm
That sir is just the information I was looking for.
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King fishing help - SaltwaterCentral.Com