The Best Rig & Bait For Kingfish (When Trolling Nearshore)


Have you heard of a stinger rig?

It’s the most simple and effective rig when trolling for kingfish.

And it is quick and easy to make!

So in this video, you’ll learn how to make a stinger rig and what bait I use when trolling for kings nearshore.

Check out the video below!

Best Rig & Bait For Kingfish [VIDEO]

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A stinger rig will catch a lot more than just kings.

But since kingfish are known for striking at baits and missing the lead hook, this rig will help “sting” them when they are taking a swipe.

How To Make A Stinger Rig

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Single strand wire, 50 – 60 lb
  • Barrel swivel
  • Treble hooks
  • Egg sinkers, 3/4 oz.

Here are the steps for making a stinger rig:

Step 1: Cut off a 2ft strand of wire.

Step 2: Take a barrel swivel and connect on one end of the piece of wire with a haywire twist. The other end will be connected to your main line.

How To Make A Haywire Twist:

  • Run the wire through the eye of the swivel.
  • Run wire back over itself to make a loop.
  • Apply pressure to wire with pliers.
  • Twist wire 4 times around itself.
  • Barrel wrap the wire at a 90-degree angle.
  • Cut off the tag end or bend the wire until it snaps for a cleaner/less sharp end.

Step 3: Take 2 egg sinkers and add them to the wire.

Step 4: Add the first hook with a haywire twist.

Step 5: Take a 6 inch strand of wire and tie it onto the loop of the haywire twist that’s securing your first hook.

Step 6: Repeat this two more times so that you have 3 hooks that are secured with a haywire twist and connected with a haywire twist.

Best Bait For Kingfish

Ribbonfish are super shiny in the water and attract kingfish incredibly well.

You can use live or dead ribbonfish but you’ll need to rig them differently.

Rig a live ribbonfish with its mouth open and rig a dead ribbonfish with its mouth shut.

Your first treble should go through the mouth from the bottom and out through the nose.

And you don’t want any tension in the wire, so straighten out the wire as you place your hooks.

Run your second and third hooks just above the ribcage.


best rig and bait for kingfish

Anglers often complain that kings will come in and take out the middle section of their bait.

But if you use a ribbonfish with this rig and hook it properly, this should “sting” a kingfish no matter where they strike.

What’s your favorite set-up when trolling for kings?

Let me know down in the comments.

And if you know someone who wants to catch kingfish this summer, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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11 months ago

For your kingfish trolling rig video using dead ribbon fish, what top shot/mainline do you use and how fast for the troll speed? Liked the video by the way.

Capt. Cas
1 year ago

Nice Work!
I have used planers for different depth’s, but other than that, same set up.
I use those mainly with different size Spoons & colors.

Matt Cline
1 year ago

Check out the Tim barefoot j-Hook chin weight in 7/0 for the front hook, keeps the bait tracking true!

Luke Simonds
1 year ago

Great work Wyatt!

Mel Crissey
1 year ago

Very well done video. I’ve been doing the same rigging for over 45 years and the triple stinger is the best to insure a hookup. Kingfish are real “jumpy” when brought into the boat so be very careful of all of the treble hooks flailing around. If I know I’m going to keep the fish I usually will gaff it, but sometimes will use the net. Once in the boat I use a small bat to knock it in the head to stop all of the flailing around with those hooks. You can imagine getting one or two of those stinger trebles in an arm or leg and the fish is still jumping around. Disable it quickly. Next is to bleed it before icing it down.

Steven Rackas
1 year ago

Can you show us a way to safely store these rigs so we can pull them out safely when needed?

michael vanacore
1 year ago

how fast would you troll this? and would you want it about 100 feet behind the boat or more?

Charles Garrett
1 year ago

I like to add a weighted skirt (try different colors) in the place of the two weights. But this is a great rig for Kings.

Capt Bill Bennett
1 year ago

I have used many techniques & all work, key factors are wire rigged bait { Ballyhoo, Cigar Minnows, Ladyfish, & Ribbon fish, even flashy strip bait works. But make sure the bait runs true & use a 3 hook set up. I’m not a fan of treble {TROUBLE} hooks as they cause a lot of damage to any fish that you may want to release, not to mention the good possibility of you getting hooked up with a flailing fish.

David Stone
1 year ago

Fishing for kings out of Port Canaveral if I can’t find live pogies I will troll frozen cigar minnows. To keep them running straight I will use a 3/4 ounce jig for my front hook and then a 3-4 inch piece of 34 pound single strand wire to a number 2 or 4 3x strong treble hook as a stinger. I have about 12 inches of wire in front of the jig that is connected to a five foot 40 pound leader with an Albright knot. I have a small spro swivel attached to the front of the leader which I have attached to my main line (usually 20 or 30 pound mono). I will also substitute the jig for a 3/4 ounce weigh that is haywired to a 2/0 single hook that is then connected to the stinger hook as outlined above. When using the weight instead of the jig I will usually place a King Buster skirt between the Albright knot and the weight. This adds some flash as well as disguises the weigh.

I have caught numerous kings using frozen cigar minnows when live bait was not available.

Juian Haro
1 year ago
Reply to  David Stone

Good post Wyatt. I have learned from the old salts to add another stinger hook streaming 6-8 inches behind the ribbon fish so if the king misses the bait the trailing hook will get him.
Also tie a foot or so of bright orange surveyors tape (1 in wide stretchy plastic tape, no adhesive} in front of the ribbon fish. It does make a difference.


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