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Kingfish is found on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is also called king mackerel. Do you want to learn how to catch kingfish? Catching kingfish is challenging as they grow to be large, have good eyesight, and sharp teeth, and can put up a spirited fight when caught on the hook. In this article, we share information and tips to help you catch more kingfish.

How To Catch Kingfish
How To Catch Kingfish

How To Catch Kingfish

There are a number of fishing methods that can be used to catch kingfish. Kingfish is often found in open waters and using a boat to catch kingfish is popular. You can troll for Kingfish. With trolling, you move the boat slowly and let the line follow the boat with the bait hooked on. When you get a bite, you reel in the fish.

Kingfish have good eyesight and sharp teeth. If you use wire leader, there is a good chance that it will see the line and just might not bite. Additionally, if your line is too close to you, the kingfish may see you and will not come anywhere near your bait. Kingfish can also be caught near the shore around structures like piers, docks, jetties, etc. Jigging can also be used to catch kingfish.

Tricks For Kingfish Fishing
Tricks For Kingfish Fishing

How To Catch Kingfish In Florida

When fishing for kingfish look around structures such as wrecks, ledges, and oil platforms. Kingfish is a very mobile fish that is always hunting down schools of baitfish. Minnows, sardines, and silver eels are some of the baits that can be used when fishing for kingfish.

Lures can also be used to catch kingfish and soft plastics are a good choice. Trolling and chumming are fishing methods that are used when fishing for kingfish in Florida.

Best Bait For Kingfish

1. Pilchards

Pilchard is a small oily fish that is related to herring. It can be used as bait for kingfish and other fish like snook, wahoo, snapper, grouper, tuna, speckled trout, and many more.

2. Herring

Herring can be used as a good bait for migrating Kingfish. Herring is one of the popular fishes used by anglers to catch Kingfish.

3. Menhaden

Menhaden is a schooling fish and is used as a good bait to catch Kingfish and other fish like Bluefish, Jack Crevalle, Spanish Mackerel, Redfish, and Cobia,

4. Mullet

Mullet, like threadfin herring, menhaden, pilchards, and blue runners, is often used as bait to catch Kingfish.

5. Blue Runners

Blue runners are another silvery fish like mullet, pilchard, menhaden, and threadfin herring that is used as bait to successfully catch Kingfish.

6. Ribbonfish

Ribbonfish can be used as an ideal slow-trolled bait for Kingfish. It is very effective as bait for Kingfish when you troll just above the idle speed.

7. Cigar Minnows

Cigar minnow is also very good bait for catching Kingfish. It is popular with anglers who fish for Kingfish. Cigar minnows, with Spanish mackerel and Silver eel, are great baits for Kingfish.

8. Spanish Mackerel

Spanish mackerel is one of the best baits for Kingfish as they attract the biggest Kingfishes as they are also very large.

Tips For Kingfish Fishing
Tips For Kingfish Fishing

Best Lures For Kingfish

1. Spoons

Spoons that are well presented, are almost irresistible as a lure for Kingfish.

2. Cedar Plugs

Cedar plugs are very effective as lures for Kingfish. They are also inexpensive when compared to other lures. Moreover, they cast very well and can be used to catch many other fish besides Kingfish.

Kingfish Tackle

A medium or heavy rod with a length of 7 feet can work for catching kingfish. A conventional reel with 250 yards of the line will work for catching kingfish without it breaking when the fish pulls it. A spinning reel can also be used. A line with at least a 20-pound test will catch kingfish. Nylon braided leaders with a 45-pound test will support the kingfish. Don’t use shiny leaders as kingfish have very good eyesight and will spot the glint of metallic wires.

Kingfish Fishing
Kingfish Fishing

How To Catch Kingfish Trolling

Trolling can be used to catch kingfish. Move the boat about 3 to 4 knots to troll for kingfish. This will allow the boat to move slowly and carry the line. When trolling for kingfish, after covering about 100 yards, you can turn the boat around for another pass. If you do about 3 to 4 passes in the same area without any bites, check your bait if it is still on the line.

If the bait is still on the line, you might want to try another area. If the bait is skimming the surface of the water, slow it down by turning off the engine or lifting it slightly out of the water.

How To Catch Kingfish in the Surf

When fishing for kingfish from the shore, you can use bloodworms to bait the hook and cast it into the water. Look for structures like troughs, jetties, deep holes, and pockets to catch kingfish. When you get a bite, reel it in.

Kingfish Fishing Tricks
Kingfish Fishing Tricks

How To Catch Kingfish From a Pier

Kingfish can be found swimming closer to the shore at times and this gives you the opportunity to fish for them from a pier. You can use live bait, frozen or artificial bait to catch kingfish from the pier. It is always good to find out what bait works in that area and match the hatch. You can chat with other anglers or the people at the local tackle shop for bait information.

When you are fishing for kingfish from a pier, set up an anchor rod to the end of the fishing rod. Drop the anchor rod about 50-100 yards into the water and slowly reel it until it catches something. Then keep the fishing rod upright by putting it in a holder.

Fishing Kingfish Tips
Fishing Kingfish Tips

Kingfish Fishing Tips

1. Live bait is the best bait to catch kingfish.

2. Lures like artificial ribbonfish or spoons can be used to catch kingfish.

3. Kingfish can be found in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

4. The best time to catch kingfish is from June to October when the water is warmer.

Tips For Kingfish Fishing
Tips For Kingfish Fishing

5. Be on the lookout for a big group of boats congregated in a particular area. They may be fishing a school of kingfish.

6. Watch out for seabirds circling over the waters as they may be preying on baitfish that kingfish also eat.

7. Chat with the people at the local hunting and fishing shops to find out where people are fishing for kingfish. You can also talk to other anglers.

8. You can fish for kingfish during the entire day as kingfish bite from the morning to evening.

Kingfish Fishing For Beginners
Kingfish Fishing For Beginners

9. use a sonar device to check underwater structures for kingfish when you fish from a boat.

10. When you set the bait on the hook, set up the bait so that the fish is looking up the line toward the rid and steel. It makes the bait look like it is naturally swimming when the bait is in the water.

11. Attach the hooks near the head and tail of the fish when you set the bait on the hook.

Ideas For Kingfish Fishing
Ideas For Kingfish Fishing

12. Don’t fish with your line close to you because kingfish might not come to it if it is close to you.

13. Make sure the line on the fishing rod is attached to the line of your anchor with a downrigger clip so it doesn’t float away if you are fishing from a pier.

14. Set up an anchor rod if you are fishing from a pier.

Fishing Kingfish
Fishing Kingfish

15. When the bait is on the hook, drop it in the water gently and give it about 50 yards of the line so it floats away from you.

16. If you are fishing from a pier, leave the fishing rod alone so the baitfish swim naturally which will attract the attention of kingfish.

17. Trolling can be used to catch kingfish.

Fishing Kingfish Tips
Fishing Kingfish Tips

18. Troll the water at a very slow speed to catch kingfish.

19. If you troll an area for about 4 passes and don’t get any bites, try another area to troll for kingfish.

20. While trolling, if you notice your bait fish is skimming across the surface of the water, shut the engine off or lift it slightly out of the water to slow down.

21. Kingfish can strike your bait at 40-50 miles per hour, therefore the line will be loud when a fish is on it.

Fishing Kingfish Ideas
Fishing Kingfish Ideas

22. When a fish is on the line, reel it in slowly so avoid breaking the line or engaging in a serious fight with the kingfish.

23. Always watch the line to see how fast the reel is spinning. When it becomes quiet, start reeling in the fish.

24. Use a gaff to catch the fish and bring it into the boat.

Fishing Kingfish For Beginners
Fishing Kingfish For Beginners
What is the best bait for kingfish?
Pilchards, herring, cigar minnows, ribbonfish, and Spanish mackerel are some of the best baits for kingfish.
What tide is best to catch kingfish?
The best tide to catch kingfish is high tide. Additionally, the first two hours in the morning and late evening are the time kingfish will be feeding.
How do you catch a kingfish?
Use live baits, dead baits, or lures and troll if you are in a boat. When you get a bite, reel in the fish. If you fish from the shore, you can fish around structures like docks and piers with bait hooks on the line.
Can you catch kingfish from shore?
Yes, you can fish for kingfish from the shore using bait as they sometimes come close to the shore.
What is the depth of a kingfish?
You can fish for kingfish in depths of 90 to 130 feet.
Is kingfish a bottom feeder?
Kingfish are bottom feeders and prey upon sardines, mullets, worms, small crustaceans, etc.
Is a kingfish good eating?
Kingfish is a good fish for eating and it makes good fillet.

The Bottom Line

Kingfish is a challenging fish to catch as it is large and has good eyesight and sharp teeth. However, with knowledge of its behaviors, the right equipment, and bait. Additionally, kingfish is a good fish to eat and makes good fillet. In this article, we discussed fishing techniques and behaviors of kingfish to help you be more successful in catching it.

If you also fish for red snapper, grouper, and surfperch, then read how to catch red snapper, how to catch grouper, and how to catch surfperch to increase your chances of catching more fish.