All about Spanish Mackerel / Kingfish

All about Spanish Mackerel / Kingfish

Kingfish, also known as king mackerel, are commonly found in the southern waters of the United States, especially along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast. The best time to fish for Kingfish in the southern US depends on several factors such as water temperature, weather conditions, and migration patterns.

In general, Kingfish can be caught year-round in the southern US, but their abundance and behavior may vary depending on the season. During the summer months (June-August), Kingfish are more likely to be found in shallow waters, where the water temperature is warmer. During the fall (September-November), Kingfish tend to migrate to deeper waters offshore.

However, the prime time to catch Kingfish is typically from late fall to early winter (November-January). This is when Kingfish are migrating south and can be found in large numbers off the southern coast. During this time, Kingfish tend to congregate around structures such as wrecks, reefs, and oil rigs, which provide shelter and food.

It's also worth noting that Kingfish tend to be more active during the early morning and late afternoon when the water is cooler. Therefore, the best time to fish for Kingfish is often during these times of the day.

There are several ways to fish for Kingfish, depending on your preference and the type of equipment you have available. Here are a few common methods:

  1. Trolling: Trolling is a popular technique for catching Kingfish, especially when targeting larger fish. It involves dragging a lure or bait behind a moving boat at a slow to moderate speed. Kingfish are attracted to fast-moving lures, so using a spoon, skirted bait, or diving plug can be effective.
  2. Live Bait Fishing: Fishing with live bait is another effective way to catch Kingfish. Common live baits used for Kingfish include threadfin herring, mullet, and blue runners. Live bait can be caught using a cast net or purchased at a bait shop.
  3. Vertical Jigging: Vertical jigging involves dropping a heavy jig to the bottom and then rapidly jerking it up and down to imitate a wounded baitfish. This technique can be effective for catching Kingfish that are holding near the bottom.
  4. Chumming: Chumming involves using a mixture of ground-up baitfish and fish oil to attract Kingfish to the boat. Once the fish are attracted, anglers can use baited hooks or lures to catch them.
  5. Fly Fishing: Fly fishing for Kingfish can be challenging but rewarding. It involves using a specially designed fly rod and reel to cast a fly line with a weighted fly. Flies that imitate small baitfish or shrimp are often effective for Kingfish.

It's important to note that Kingfish have sharp teeth, so using a wire leader is essential to prevent the fish from biting through your line. Additionally, Kingfish are regulated by state and federal fishing regulations, so be sure to check the regulations for the area where you plan to fish.