Kingfish Fishing With Live Bait

Posted on August 24th, 2013 by Mike

All up and down the east coast of Florida has a great kingfish fishery where anglers can expect to do fairly well.  The bag limit is just 2 fish per person; however we believe this is the perfect limit to help conserve this fishery.

When fishing for kingfish the bait of choice is usually live bait such as a pilchard or threadfin herring.  You will always want to use about 6 to 12 inches of wire on a single J hook.

Generally the depth of choice is 90 to 120 feet of water although king mackerel can be caught much shallower and much deeper.  We find that the bigger fish can sometimes hold in 200 feet of water near an edge with good bait and water clarity.

Fish this rig in the rod holder with a few pounds of drag so when the fish hits, all the angler has to do is pick up the rod and start reeling.

Some professionals claim that treble hooks are the way to go, however we do not like them here at SFC as they tend to foul hook fish you would normally release and kill fish with gut hooks and such.

If the bite is not too strong you can consider going to monofilament leader for more bites, however we recommend you hook the bait fish in the nose and slow troll with drag for this method.  You want the fish to hit this bait and get nothing but hook in the corner of the mouth.

If not even a slow trolled bait with mono leader is working, than it is time to bring out the jig rod.  You can jig a small pilchard jig up and down throughout the deep depths and find the fish.  It is hard for a kingfish to refuse a bait that is working all zones.