TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The 30th annual Fall King of the Beach fishing tournament is Saturday out of Madeira Beach in Pinellas county and it is perfect time (and weather). The fall migration of king mackerel (or king fish) is in full swing right now and there are some big ones out there to catch.
The best part about kingfish is that you can find them very close to the beaches. An east wind is even better because it keeps the waters along the immediate coastline calm.
Captain Kyle Applefield with Loaded Down Sport Fishing told News Channel 8’s Amanda Holly you don’t have to go far to look for kingfish. He said, “less than a mile offshore, wherever there’s bait, birds, mackerel working and life, you have a good chance at catching a nice kingfish.”
He said it is best to slow troll with a stinger rig, wire leader with some hooks attached to it, because the king fish have incredibly sharp teeth. Most tackle shops will ship sell these pre-made so all you have to do is hook up your bait.
Applefield said good fresh live baits is key and making sure they stay alive while you troll is crucial.
Kingfish are a little oily for some people but they do make a great smoked fish and can make a delicious smoked fish dip.