How to Catch Kingfish

Kingfish are a popular species of fish found primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, but also along other points on the American coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Ranging from under 10 pounds (or 4.5 kg) to more than 30 pounds (or 14.5 kg), they are often sought after by recreational fishermen and are sold at market for consumption. Although learning how to catch Kingfish can be difficult, the right equipment, bait and strategy can result in successful fishing of kingfish.

Steps

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    Acquire your bait.
    • Only use live bait for kingfish. Larger fish like porgies are best, though minnows will also work. As you will be using at least two trolling lines or even double baiting, you will need lots of bait.
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    Prepare a bucket to keep the bait alive and ensure that water temperature does not vary drastically from the area where you will be fishing.
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    Prepare your rods, leaders, hooks and lines using action rods and lightweight, dull-colored line. Heavy line or line that shines will scare away kingfish.
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    Locate a good spot for kingfish by checking with locals.
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    Look for birds hovering over the water as a sign of schools.
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    Direct your boat to the outside of the school rather than the middle, going slowly to avoid scaring away the fish.
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    Slow your boat to idle speed when you have located kingfish.
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    Set up at least two trolling lines running about 20-30 feet (or 6-9 meters) behind the boat.
    • They should be far apart from each other and run straight in the water.
    • A good spot to hook a porgy is at the nose. Double baiting, especially if using fewer trolling lines, will increase the likelihood of a kingfish biting.
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    Hook your live bait.
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    Proceed slowly, making sure that the bait are swimming below the surface of the water in a natural way.
    • Do not allow bait to skip along the surface and replace bait as it tires or dies.
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    Grab the rod when you feel a kingfish on the line.
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    Allow the kingfish to move along the side or in front of the boat as you pull in line and reel in slowly only when you do not feel the fish pulling.
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    Gaff the fish when you have successfully brought it alongside the side of the boat.
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    Pull it into the boat and store it for the rest of the trip.

Tips

  • If you are still going too fast for kingfish to bite, throw buckets or other objects out on lines to increase drag and slow the boat down.
  • Allow some porgies to swim freely in the water alongside your boat as this will increase the likelihood of kingfish being attracted by your bait.

Warnings

  • Do not attempt to reel in kingfish too quickly. They are prone to escape from hooks with ease and will only be brought alongside the side of a boat if they feel that they are still swimming naturally.

Things You'll Need

  • Two or more action rods
  • Lightweight, thin wire leader about 3-6 feet or 1-2 meters for each line
  • Monofilament fishing line
  • Large fishhooks
  • Live bait (preferably porgies)


Article Info

Categories: Fishing