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Kingfish Bring Awesome Action Just Offshore !

     This is one of the best times of the year if you want fast fishing action. With the day light hours growing shorter, and the air and water temperatures beginning to drop, look for pelagic fishes such as kingfish to move through our area as they head southward toward warmer waters.
 King Mackerel, also known as kingfish often will swim in large schools along the Gulf Coast as they migrate north or south depending on the time of the year.   With the cooler weather just at our doorstep or along our beaches, kings will begin their trek southward toward the Florida Straits. This yearly migration brings these quick hitting, hard fighting silver speedsters into easy reach of anyone with a boat that is capable of running out into the Gulf ten miles or so.
There are several different fishing methods I use when targeting kingfish. One of the easiest and one my charter clients seem to enjoy most is trolling for them. To pick a good area to start trolling look for schools of baitfish working the surface. Often you will see kings free jumping as they are feeding near the surface.   Large spoons often called king spoons can provoke hits. I like to use planners to get the spoons below the waters surface. I use about 30 feet of 100-pound monofiliment line between the planner and the spoon. You'll have to experiment with planner size and trolling speed. Once you start getting hits, you can refine your technique. Down riggers can also be used to get your lures or baits down below the surface.
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    Slow trolling live bait or rigged baits such as sardines, bally hoo, cigar minnows, or blue runners is another excellent way to raise kings to the surface. Because they are such fast swimmers, I recommend trolling at 4 to 8 knots. The main concern is to keep you baits looking as natural as possible. 

    Live bait fishing for kings can offer some of the most awesome fishing this area can offer. Of all the years I've spent guiding folks on the Gulf,
catching kings on live bait is one of the most exciting, tackle busting, nonstop, and often guaranteed fishing I know of.  On the other hand getting the live bait can be a chore in itself. Let me assure you, it's well worth the effort. Live shiners work great, and can easily be netted along the beach or in the bay over the grass flats. For those of you that have larger boats like I do, getting in close where the shiners are can be risky business. The alternative is to catch livies out on the Gulf.  Sardines, blue runners, cigar minnows and other baitfish can all be caught on bait or piscator rigs. Basically this is a string of small (size 8 to 10) gold hooks tied together on a single line. You can buy them at most tackle stores or tie your own. 

    Now that you have your bait well brimming with live bait, it's time to
bend some poles! Try anchoring down over a piece of hard bottom in 40 to 50 feet of water. There really is no big secret to catching kings. Once you anchor down, cast several live baits out behind the boat. As long as you're there might as well do some bottom fishing while you're at it. By the way your baitwell is already at work chumming some kings your way. As the fresh water enters the well, it constantly washes over the bait. As the overflow is returned to the Gulf, along with it goes the sent of all those delicious baitfish. So give it some time. It never hurts to add some cut up fish pieces to the chum line either.

    Well, if you have any questions feel free to call me. I'd be glad to
help.   If you're not out fishing, you're wishing you were. Get out and go fishing cause it's good for you!

Written by Fish4Fun Partner:  Capt. Dave Pinkham
Florida West Coast Deep Sea Fishing Charters




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