It is important to respect our ocean, and only take what is given to us, and also to give back to it.
With this being said, make sure you know the regulations on Kingfish before going out, and only keep what you are HONESTLY going to eat.
Many fisherman in our era are what I like to call “Meat-Fisherman”, meaning if they hook a fish, it’s going to be gaffed, and its going to be kept, regardless of the species.
Now that I got that out of the way, let’s dive into some crucial concepts for the reel-screaming Kings of the Blue Abyss.
Finding Kingfish is not always easy, the ocean is vast, and sometimes I feel like I am trying to find that needle from the haystack; however, when you establish a pattern that is triggering active fish to bite, a one day outing can truly be rewarding. Let’s discuss how to establish that pattern to make that Kingfish reel scream like a 1,000 zippers being zipped for a prolonged time-frame.
- Have you found bait yet?: Kingfishing is ALL about finding what they want to eat. In my experiences I have found these fish to be just about as picky as a 5 year old child who is strictly on a candy binge. It’s all about finding that blue-water candy. Menhaden, Cigar Minnows, Ribbonfish, and Goggle-Eyes are all prized Kingfish Baits. Get your hands on some of them and slow troll in areas that have either a live bottom, or else sharp temperature breaks. I like to fish one big-fish bait on a down-rigger about 10feet above the bottom. This is where the large Kings like to roll. I also like to fish two long lines AT LEAST 100feet behind the boat. The other rod that Ian and Charlie Hoffman recommend to troll with is a flat line, they like to drop this back on top, just behind the prop-wash.
- Are you varying your trolling speeds?: Kings are fast, real fast. Since that is the case, I can not begin to explain how important it is to define that optimal speed level the trigger a bite. Usually, I like to troll anywhere from 2-3mph. This is a good general speed, it keeps live baits fine tuned and swimming realistically. If your bait isn’t swimming right, you might as well just pull it in, I can assure you that it’s worthless. If you are trolling frozen baits, such as Cigar Minnows, you will want to troll in about the 3-4mph range. That way your bait will have a realistic swimming action. Also, one last thing, if you are lucky, you might hook up with a bonus oversized Spanish Mackerel! The inshore cousin of the pelagic predator Kingfish
Love where we live and be thankful for the greatness of our remaining underwater ecosystems,