When Do King Mackerel Run In Florida?

Meet the King Mackerel

Followers of warm temperatures above 68 degrees Fahrenheit, these pelagic species are found both nearshore and offshore in the Panhandles’s gulf waters, beginning in late March through mid-November, but primarily during the spring and summer months, peaking between May and October.

Florida is a popular destination for fish enthusiasts, and one of the most sought-after game fish in the region is the king mackerel. This prized species is known for its size and fight, making it a favorite among anglers. As with most fish, the time of year is particularly important when it comes to king mackerel fishing. Knowing when the king mackerel run in Florida can help ensure that you have the best chance of catching one. In this blog post, we will discuss when to expect the king mackerel run in Florida, as well as what conditions are ideal for finding these fish. We’ll also provide tips for locating and catching king mackerel during their run in the Sunshine State. With this knowledge, you can maximize your chances of success and put dinner on the table.

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.

1) Finding bait is critical to catching king mackerel

King mackerel will never be very far from the groceries. They feed in schools in open water, foraging on bait fish. The type of fish they feed on will depend on location and time of year. Scaled sardines, threadfin herring, blue runners, cigar minnows, pogies, and mullet are just a few of the more popular bait fish species that king mackerel feed on. Bait schools can either be seen dimpling on the surface or located using a bottom machine.

Anglers can purchase Capt Jim’s E-book, “Inshore Saltwater Fishing” for $5 by clicking on the title link. It is 23,000 words long and covers tackle, tactics, and species.

Along with the bait, king mackerel and other pelagic species will move. The movement is northward in the spring and southward in the fall. Some king mackerel will be caught in summer offshore. They are plentiful in the Florida Keys in the winter.

5) The correct leader is important when fishing for king mackerel

King mackerel have a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth, just like all other mackerel do. Wire leaders do not, however, have to be used all the time. The longer the leader, the better the action, within reason. A 20-foot section of fluorocarbon weighing 50–80 pounds works well for anglers trolling spoons. Very few cutoffs occur when trolling with these larger spoons. The length of the leader must be manually lined with the fish.

Anglers typically combine a shock leader with a small trace of wire leader when trolling plugs. The best rig uses a spider hitch or a Bimini Twist to attach 5 feet of doubled line. A 5′ piece of 80 lb flourocarbon leader is added. Finally, a short piece of wire completes the rig. When using a hook to free line live bait or pieces of cut bait, this works well.


What is the best month to catch mackerel?

The best time to catch mackerel is from May to June, though they are also frequently caught throughout the summer and occasionally even in the winter.

When can you catch king mackerel in Florida?

Season – Open July 1 – June 30. Harvest will be prohibited for the remainder of the fishing year if landings reach the quota. Trip Limit – 3,000 pounds.

Where is the best place to catch king mackerel?

The king mackerel can be found in the western Atlantic Ocean in tropical and subtropical waters.
  • Northeast, South.
  • Medium.
  • Ocean.

What time of year is best for kingfish?

  • Peak Season: September- November, April- May.
  • Best Charter: Half Day Offshore.
  • Best Technique: Live Baiting.
  • Best Bait: Goggle Eyes, Pilchards.
  • Table Fare: Good when smoked.

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