Setting up a boat to fish for king mackerel with kites isn’t complicated.
Kite rods should be placed in holders on opposite gunwales; some boats use outrigger lines to fly kites. Set fighting rods in holders between the short kite rods spooled with 200 yards of light but strong braid, as heavier monofilament may cause problems keeping kites aloft.
If you want to fish multiple baits beneath two kites, place bait rods in stern rod holders or in right and left gunwale holders .
To put a kite in the air, after attaching a snap swivel from the kite and hooking a ball-bearing swivel from the kite rod line into the snap swivel, hold the kite in the center with wind direction toward the boat’s stern, release it and let air currents carry the kite aloft. Let out about 100 feet of kite line.
On a fighting rod’s line, tie a Bimini twist a couple feet above a 3-inch oval-shaped orange float, but first add a stainless steel or ceramic ring between the float and Bimini twist. Thread the line below the float through a 1-ounce barrel swivel to add weight and keep the leader and bait vertical, add a plastic bead, then tie to a swivel a 15-foot leader of 30-pound monofilament. Tie 3 feet of Seven-Strand wire leader to live-bait rigs, and then attach a baitfish to the hooks.
The next step is clip the ring into the kite rod’s release clip and toss the bait in the water. Put the kite reel into free spool and let it pull the first bait skyward. When the float reaches the release clip, allow the bait to drop to the surface of the water, then engage the drag.
Do the same thing with the second release clip: attach a float, leader and bait line to the release clip and free spool it back. Release clips on kite lines usually are set at least 60 to 80 feet apart to keep baits separated.
“If you want to fly two kites and have three baits in the water on each side, you can tie a small barrel weight to the outside corners of the kites, which will make them fly to the left and right, which helps keep baits separated,” guide Toby Fulford said.