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Hi Everyone,

Help me out with King Mackerel fishing from the end of the pier. I know there is a two rod and reel system but don't know much more than that. I've seen a lot of King fishermen and their setup and would like to know the details of the equipment and tackle. It looks like you may also need some type of rod holder that fits on the end of the pier if these are not already built in. What equipment is needed and where can you find the equipment? What time of the year do kings show up and what are some basic tactics once you have your equipment? Any knowledge would help as I am trying to get on some bigger fish this year from the pier.
 

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Well it's a 2 rod system as you know and this is how it works , Rod 1 your anchor rod 11-12 foot heaver all it's for is to cast out your anchor and holds to the bottom so when the rod is placed in the holder upright it gives you a tight line to slide your baited line out on , Holding it to the anchor line by a release clip that will pop open when the Mack hits and runs off with your bait, Rod 2 fighting rod is your average boat rod 6-8 foot with a reel that can hold a goody amount of line , I use a Avet HXW filled with 30 lb test. Now as for rod holders for the anchor a 2'' pvc pipe and hold to the pier with those Black rubber bungee's the other kink are to soft , You fighting rod is cradled in a "Old Salty " rod clamp and you'll find them in most well stocked Tackle shops on the coast . Hope this gives a a starting point and BTY what Pier are you planning on King Fishing ?
 

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Well it's a 2 rod system as you know and this is how it works , Rod 1 your anchor rod 11-12 foot heaver all it's for is to cast out your anchor and holds to the bottom so when the rod is placed in the holder upright it gives you a tight line to slide your baited line out on , Holding it to the anchor line by a release clip that will pop open when the Mack hits and runs off with your bait, Rod 2 fighting rod is your average boat rod 6-8 foot with a reel that can hold a goody amount of line , I use a Avet HXW filled with 30 lb test. Now as for rod holders for the anchor a 2'' pvc pipe and hold to the pier with those Black rubber bungee's the other kink are to soft , You fighting rod is cradled in a "Old Salty " rod clamp and you'll find them in most well stocked Tackle shops on the coast . Hope this gives a a starting point and BTY what Pier are you planning on King Fishing ?
I am going to try Bogue Inlet pier, Surf City, Johnnie Mercer's, maybe Kure and Oak Island. I want to get to a pier where I can "be a beginner" and not have to battle for space and deal with the local experts that may not want a beginner fishing near them. I don't want to ruin anyone's fishing by getting out there and not know what I am doing. I'm very unfamiliar with heavers. I only use spinning reels, are they like bait casters? If so, I don't know if I would be able to cast a heaver. Would a large spinning reel work for the anchor?
 

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I've seen several spinners used for anchor rods. You just need to be able to throw a 5 to 8 oz anchor out with it. Not familiar with the southern piers but all the guys on the northern ones are great to learn from. You just have to be nice, not cocky and listen. The one guy i know from down south would do anything to help a fellow out. Everyone has their own way of doing things, I've picked up different techniques from different guys. Found what i liked. Best thing i found is spend a day out on the end catching bait and giving it to the king fisherman with out having a king rod out. Get to know them and start asking questions. It's amazing how helpful that grumpy old fart who doesn't have a rig out becomes after you give him a bait.
 

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I've seen several spinners used for anchor rods. You just need to be able to throw a 5 to 8 oz anchor out with it. Not familiar with the southern piers but all the guys on the northern ones are great to learn from. You just have to be nice, not cocky and listen. The one guy i know from down south would do anything to help a fellow out. Everyone has their own way of doing things, I've picked up different techniques from different guys. Found what i liked. Best thing i found is spend a day out on the end catching bait and giving it to the king fisherman with out having a king rod out. Get to know them and start asking questions. It's amazing how helpful that grumpy old fart who doesn't have a rig out becomes after you give him a bait.
I usually give my bluefish to the king fishermen, they are always appreciative. I just don't want to do the wrong things out there and like I said, ruin someone else's experience. If I can get a handle on what I am doing, I won't get in the way of anyone or depend on their help to get going. I have been watching for a few years now and want to try it. It seems like it takes a lot of patience but will pay off when you get the bite.
 

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Head out one day, ask around, if you don't come across as a know it all most will happily help you out and show you the setup, how to tie a rig, and especially how to drink beer while waiting for a bite. If you're fishing they love small bluefish, or anything on some days when bait is hard to come by. If it's cobia time a few would love a saucer sized ray.

Ask questions and listen. The worst thing you can do is cost someone a fish because you didn't want to ask, or you're fishing in/near the rigs, or walk away and can't drop your anchor rod, etc. There is more than enough downtime while king fishing for questions.

There are a million different ways to tie a rig and slide out a bait and everyone will do it different. Listen when you start and you'll develop your own opinions in the coming years.
 

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Get a 12' battalion or prevail, bg 5k and spool it with 20, there's your anchor rod. Find a speedmaster, spool it with 20lb mono and a short 50lb topshot on a 7' billfisher live bait rod and your set. If I was closer, I'd go through and see if I didn't have any gear to let go off cheap. Trolley rigging isn't my thing anymore, to much BS and drama, especially on Mercer's. Place has gone to hell. Good luck and stick with it, oak island in the spring and anywhere in the fall is good. Learn to read tides and winds, you will be miles ahead of FB fish chasers.
 

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I think there is a Carolina pier Kingfishers face book group page. Different places have different styles of fishing some like braid for fighting reels some are against braid all together. Some like as far as they can get a bait f on the pier, some like it close in. Learn what people like to fish at the pier you like to fish. The worst thing you can do is go there and out fish them, they hate to see someone doing better then them. Some people feel entitled to specific spots. Fish do feed in certain areas on certain tides and times of day and the wind and water play big factors. Friend a local at the pier you fish who knows what there talking about but watch not out because everyone thinks they know what there talking about. Some people are fishing on hope.
 

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I usually give my bluefish to the king fishermen, they are always appreciative. I just don't want to do the wrong things out there and like I said, ruin someone else's experience. If I can get a handle on what I am doing, I won't get in the way of anyone or depend on their help to get going. I have been watching for a few years now and want to try it. It seems like it takes a lot of patience but will pay off when you get the bite.
I pretty much retired from King Fishing in 1996. Before 1996 I was apt to fish quite a bit when the water was right. My advice would be to stock a big cooler with sandwiches and beer and soft drinks and bring that out to the end of the Tee, you will be more likely to be accepted with bribery rather than just being one more person in the way. If the pier allows bait buckets you better have your own with you. Keep in mind that some of the folks fishing view it as their home, not yours. You are going to do the wrong things at times, but if you graciously admit to the other King Fishermen that you do indeed need their help you will have a better time of it.

You want to get into the corner where the predominate current is coming from. Forget about the center of the pier you want the hot corner. Most times in the Spring on the OBX anyway that corner was the south corner. I would get up at 4:30 AM every morning to put my anchor out on NHP, and before the sun came up on the horizon I had a bait out, and that bait stayed out until full dark set in later that day.

You may have to fight your way into the corner, and you may have to fight to protect your spot in the corner this was perhaps the major reason I gave up besides the numbers of Kings decked getting worse every year. The crew I fished with were famous for not letting outsiders into the hot corner. If you are 6'4" and a Marine or Special Forces you will be more readily accepted, if they think they can bully you or boss you, some of them likely will.

You may have to share space with people you would have nothing to do with back on dry land. You will meet self professed experts, drug addicts, alcoholics, people who love the water and people who want to be the "Pier Boss". Some people are sharing and some are greedy beyond comprehension.

The sand spiking rod clamp bunch of today makes it more difficult than when everyone laid their heavers down on the rail and when a fish hit, it was relatively easy to sort out whether the line with the fish on was over or under the other fishermen's line. These days sometimes by the time someone gets their anchor down or their fighting rod un-clamped there is a chance that the only bite of the day will be lost by a tangle or a cut line.

Bring humility patience and beer and you will have a better chance of having an enjoyable day. My problem at the tee was that the more beer I had the less patience and humility I possessed so there were problems on hot scorching days.

DD who also decked a lot of Kings will have a more generous view if he decides to join the conversation.
 

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Started pin rigging back around 1975...............anchor rod was always 11' - 12' capable of throwing our standard 8 oz anchors, custom made locally.....reel was a penn squidder loaded with 25# mono in locked down mode...........you lose more anchors with 20# than with 25# and the price of lead has gone way up............fighting rod 5'6" -7' with a Penn 4/0 loaded with 30# mono.........6' 61# Malin single strand, coffee color wire leader to a 2/0 barrel swivel on one end to a two hook rig on the business end.....haywired and barrel rolled.......hooks were Eagle Claw # 2 or #4 4X strong tied in tandem(I liked about 6" apart, one hook behind the head, one behind the dorsal in the bait)......always kept several three hook #2s rigged in case of running a large blue for bait..........also kept a couple #6 two hook rigs tied for when the spanish were busting finger mullet during the fall run......never put my rig in a rod holder, just rested on the top rail, reel brakes on and drag about 20% for the initial run..................you've never really fished until you've pin rigged with at least another dozen anglers and a school of hungry kings come by the end of a pier..........right after Hugo hit I was on the Jolly Roger at Topsail when kings and alberts came through.....there were 32 of us pin rigging..........biggest mess ever. :D:D
 

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I pretty much retired from King Fishing in 1996.
The sand spiking rod clamp bunch of today makes it more difficult than when everyone laid their heavers down on the rail and when a fish hit, it was relatively easy to sort out whether the line with the fish on was over or under the other fishermen's line. These days sometimes by the time someone gets their anchor down or their fighting rod un-clamped there is a chance that the only bite of the day will be lost by a tangle or a cut line.
I "semi retired" in 79.. Fully retired in 84.. Reasons? Not that there were more folks doing it.. Back then when fishing the old Frisco Pier we had as many as 40-50 anglers when the bite was hot.. Two different days in particular,there were "the old float rig setups" from one cleaning sink near the surf to the other one on the other side of the pier,completely covering the pier around the end!! Saw as many as 50 kings on the deck in one day,and probably sunk my gaff into 30 for myself and others in one day to aid in the cause.. Blood thirsty folks we were back then.. Had to be in that sw corner as much as possible,although many were caught in the center and ne corner as well.. We actually had kings to catch back then as opposed to the situation now.. Our rigs were MUCH different back then.. We would have clear water and plenty of kings that would "window shop".. There would be as many as 7-8 fish in the baits at times,and a bunch of shiny stuff,like stainless wire,hooks,or even more than two hooks, would be shunned. We would fish with very small single hooks,many rigs including my own with NO treble.. Yes,there would be a few misses,although as I said,there were kings back then.. Most of the kings were snakes,a few in the 30's,but in general the fish were 15-25lbs.. If you caught wind of a 40plus back then,it was considered a monster and a very RARE catch..
As Garbo said,we laid our rods on the rails. We had a few folks come from some of the southern piers with standup rigs,and would get shut down as soon as they went to strap their fighting rod straight up in the air..Very much frowned upon,as everyone used float rigs or clothespin rigs (yes real clothespins were used :D ) and laid their rods flat on the rail.. You could fit more rods and not a bunch of tangles,MUCH LESS than having rods standing straight up in the air,because you could get over and under while following your fish down the rail and dodging the other fish that may be hooked up as well... It would be a hell of a circus act these days with rods straight up and NO WAY to get by.. Not everyday was 40 fish,just a few every season.. Although,if the water was clear,conditions were right,you were ASSURED of at least seeing a few.. Nowadays your lucky to see 4 or 5 a year off these piers on the obx..

It is a sad state of affairs as far as the king fishing now vs then.. Doubtful we will ever see it again.. Never took pics back then,figured it would last forever,wish I had...
 
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