What Bait To Use For King Mackerel?

Silvery live baits such pilchards, threadfin herring, menhaden, mullet and blue runners are preferable to dead baits, according to virtually all top tournament anglers. However, live bait is not always easily obtained, so these same anglers also bring frozen baits such as cigar minnows, ribbonfish and Spanish mackerel.

Butler claims that hardtails surround every platform in the Gulf. “We fish around the rigs a lot, and before we start, we’ll put 70 or 80 baits in the well.” We can always throw a sabiki rig up by the well and catch a few more if we need more. ” Advertisement.

Schmidt is a charter fishing operator (captmarkschmidt. com), and because king mackerel from both the Gulf and the Atlantic stocks winter off Key West, he is in the thick of things. According to him, fishing is best in Key West between December and early April, depending on when the water cools off and then warms back up after the winter.

Schmidt’s rigging differs from the tournament pros. “I use a single rather than a treble hook and a smaller stinger hook when fishing for large blue runners.” It’s easier on the fish,” he says. “Conditions dictate whether I anchor or drift. I’ll anchor if it’s windy and choppy and difficult to get a good drift. I’ll try to anchor on them and chum if there are a lot of fish I’m marking in a small area. If the fish are dispersed and difficult to locate, I’ll slow troll and drift. When we find pilchards, we will use them as bait and chum when we anchor up in a likely location. This can send kingfish into a feeding frenzy, which is quite the sight to see.

Terminal Tackle: Wire leaders are a must. Most kingfish pros fish wire between No. 4 and No. 7, depending on water clarity. The lead hook is a single J-hook or circle hook, and the stingers have one or two treble hooks. Since kings typically bite the stinger leader when feeding, it is typically a little bit heavier than the main leader. Advertisement.

According to him, you must always use fresh baits, so special handling is necessary. He explains, “I use 75 baits for a 50-gallon livewell because I use 112 pogies per gallon of water.” He continues, “You have to reduce the number of baits in the well if the water is really hot, which it frequently is in the height of summer.

9) Trolling feathers and skirts will produce fish

Skirts and feathers are used as lures when trolling for species such as king mackerel and others. They troll directly at the surface and create a commotion that entices game fish to approach them. They are most often brightly colored. They are frequently used in conjunction with a natural bait of some kind, especially ribbon fish and ballyhoo. More people use these lures in South Florida and the Keys.

Chumming For Kingfish & Spanish Mackerel

What Bait To Use For King Mackerel?

Chumming while attempting to attract kingfish is not one of the fishing techniques that you want to be sparing with.

If you’re using a mesh bag, make sure the holes are large enough to allow the chum to quickly exit since you want to be generous with it.

Capt. The Menhaden Tournament Chum is Hubbard’s preferred chum, though he has also had success with other types.

Additionally, if someone is chopping up sardines and tossing them over the side of the boat, make sure they only toss out one chunk at a time rather than several.

Here’s why: fish won’t follow the boat if you start tossing out handfuls of sardine chunks.

They’ll instead pause and fill up on the handful of chunks you just threw away.

He enjoys chumming for kingfish, but there is one circumstance when he won’t: when the sharks are bad.

If there are sharks nearby, you can bet they will find your chum slick because sharks have better senses of smell than mackerel, and the taxman would love to make an appearance.

Finally, one last tip about chumming…

If you’re chumming and slowly trolling, make sure you’re trolling in circles.

If you go in a straight line without ever retracing your steps, this will be much more effective than that.

Which leads us to our next point…


What is the best bait to catch kingfish?

Your most likely and accessible baits would be squid, slimie mackerel, and yellowtail scad (yakkas), though a live bonito or mac tuna shouldn’t be disregarded. Catch the baits that the Kings are likely to eat and present them as naturally as you can, matching the hatch whenever possible.

How do you rig up for king mackerel?

King mackerel are carnivores, feeding on fish, squid, and shrimp. They have been seen leaping out of the water in search of prey because they are voracious feeders. Juvenile and larger pelagic fish feed on smaller king mackerel. Adult king mackerel are consumed by bottlenose dolphins and large fish, such as sharks and tuna.

What do king mackerel eat?

Mackerel can be caught using slow trolling baits and anchovies or sardines make good bait. Shiny lures and topwater lures are what draw this species of mackerel, but small poppers may also be effective.

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