King Mackerel

Kingfish known to Floridians are an abundant and popular game fish to hunt year-round but peak season is March Through July. They like the warm water of the Gulfstream. These guys are aggressive strong fighters and eat just about anything you put in front of them that’s moving. Kingfish will be caught kite fishing, live baiting, and bottom fishing. However trolling is one of the most popular ways to target them, especially using planers with Bonita strips on Sea witch or colored skirt.

Anything silver and shines like a silver spoon or artificial lures are great trolled bait. When live baits are drifted on flat lines it is common for the sleek torpedo shaped body of the Kingfish to skyrocket out of the water to eat its prey, and they can be seen free jumping in the distance all the time. Kingfish have large mouths with extremely sharp teeth, it is common fishing practice to use wire leader to avoid cutoffs.

The Kingfish is not a deep water fish; they like to hang off the reefs edges and the Atlantic drop-offs. They like a good current edge or tide rip anything that will produce bait or food. In March it is common to see big schools of Ballyhoo showering the surface and most of them are being harassed by Kings in 40 or less feet of water.

We have caught Kingfish off reef edges in the Key West area in 20 feet of water trolling large lures while targeting Grouper. Kingfish get large and it is not uncommon to average 30 pounders on a full day Pompano Beach fishing charter, however average size is 15 to 25 lbs. with some going into the 50s. Kingfish are not the best eating fish because they are a little on the oily side but done certain ways like grilled it can be very tasty, the smaller ones are better table-fare and the larger one are known as smokers because they are very good to eat when smoked and actually some are used commercially for smoked fish spread.

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