Sinker size – deep dropping live bait to kingfish

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What sinker size?

Deep dropping live baits to target kingfish between 40 - 200 metres is an awesome and really effective technique.

Getting your baits down quickly - but maintaining a natural bait presentation is an important aspect to the technique - so we've dedicated this lesson to sinker size.


How to catch kingfish - rig a live bait

Mustad - Fishing Advisor

General guide

As a general guide we use ball sinkers between 6 - 10 ounces - but how do you know what size to use, when and does it really matter?

Your sinker size depends on several things:

  1. the area you're fishing
  2. the depth the fish are at
  3. the terrain
  4. the strength of the current
  5. how windy it is.

As light as possible

Dropping live baits to kingfish while your boat is drifting requires timing. Your aim is to get the bait in front of the fish at the target depth as efficiently as possible, so your bait is swimming in the bite zone for as long as possible BUT on the flip side you also want your bait to swim as naturally as possible.

If your sinker is too heavy you'll get down quick enough, but the fish won't swim as naturally. Natural looking baits will entice more bites and the least weight possible also means you are able to feel how your bait is behaving. This is important so you can be ready to act when you get a bite and your line starts running out (see more on hooking up here).


How much weight you use could vary from day to day - even during the day. Think about the conditions you'll be fishing in and experiment with different weights. The weight you use is a trade off between how long it takes for your bait to get down and keeping it natural.


If you're fishing in under 80 metres use a lighter sinker, if over 80 metres try a heavier sinker.

Use your sounder to time how long it takes for the bait to get to the drop zone so you can get a feel for timing.

How to catch kingfish - rig a live bait


How fast is the current on the day? Start with a lighter sinker and time the descent, if it's taking forever to reach the zone and the drift is over before you get there, then try dropping earlier or increase the weight.


Is the wind impacting your descent time? Again, with experience you'll get a feel over time for how fast you're drifting, how long it takes to get the bait down and try adjusting your weight till you get an efficient drop coupled with lots of bites.

More kingfish lessons

Here's a few more lessons to help you target the mighty kingfish:

Rod, Reel & Mainline

How to make the deep drop live bait rig

How to rig a live bait

Hookin' up - the deep drop fishing technique

Easy PR knot


Good luck out there!

Mustad - Fishing Advisor


How to catch kingfish - rig a live bait
sliding ball sinker rig, deep dropper live bait rig, deep dropping live baits