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West Palm Beach, Fl King Mackerel Kingfish Fishing


King Mackerel (Kingfish) fishing in West Palm Beach

King Mackerel (Kingfish) are one of the most targeted species in West Palm Beach. King Mackerel (Kingfish) hang around the nearshore waters of West Palm Beach most of the year, the best season for biggest mackerel occurs in the spring and fall. King Mackerel (Kingfish) can get extremely large and require heavier tackle to handle them. Although you will be using some heavier tackle for the Kings in West Palm Beach, they have soft tissue in their mouths so you need to use a lighter drag for strikes or the hook could pull from their initial run. King Mackerel (Kingfish) only have 2 big runs in them. When they first take your bait, and the one you need to be prepared for, is when they see the boat. Many times, when a Kingfish gets close to the boat, they will violently run from it which can result in the hook getting pulled.

Tackle Setups for King Mackerel (Kingfish) fishing in West Palm Beach

As there are a few different techniques used for targeting King Mackerel (Kingfish) in West Palm Beach, your tackle setup needs to match your technique. Pulling planers is a great way to target King Mackerel (Kingfish) and is a proven tactic for them as well. Planers create a lot of drag pressure on your rod and reel, so you need to have a setup which has enough backbone and enough drag to handle this pressure without being too heavy. You really want some give when a King Mackerel (Kingfish) takes your bait in West Palm Beach. If you are using downriggers, you can scale down your rod and reel as there is minimal pressure exerted from the bait in the water. This applies better to bump trolling or drifting baits off West Palm Beach. A 30-class reel paired with a medium heavy rod with a medium fast action is a good combo to start out with that will allow you to experiment with a few different techniques.

Catching King Mackerel (Kingfish) in West Palm Beach

How do you catch king mackerel in Florida? Where do you find Kingfish? These are the top questions that we receive from anglers targeting King Mackerel in West Palm Beach. You have heard the old saying of find blue water and find the fish… well that is not true with King Mackerel in West Palm Beach. These fish love the dirty water. Anglers will purposely fish the dirty water side of a color change if they think Kings are in the area. Kings are opportunistic feeders and they move many times in schools looking for baitfish around structure, drop offs and reefs. Take a minute to study the local reef chart and make a plan of area that you know have the type of structure that would hold bait. If you enjoy live bait fishing then you are almost guaranteed to get a few snakes in the boat. Put a couple on downriggers and bump troll around the area. Frozen Sardines and Ballyhoo also work well for kings and should also be slowly trolled around the area. Do not fret if you enjoy pulling lures, a Boone Kingzig or a Drone Spoon with a trolling weight in front of it will also get those kings to bite.

Tips for King Mackerel (Kingfish) in West Palm Beach

There are a few things that you’ll want to know before going King Mackerel (Kingfish) fishing in West Palm Beach. Kingfish make big first runs, meaning they run hard after strike and then do not continue the hard run when pulling them in. However, when they do see the boat, they will take off quickly. You want to have the longest gaff you are comfortable using so you can snag them before they get next to the boat. A 2 piece 15’ gaff is recommended to pick them up by many anglers fishing in West Palm Beach. Unlike fishing for other predatory species of fish where you are using larger hooks, you want to use the smallest hooks possible and always use a stinger rig as King Mackerel (Kingfish) frequently hit the back half of the bait. Finally, your drag setting can be the make it or break it component. King Mackerel have soft tissue in their mouth and too much pressure can cause the hook to easily pull from their mouths.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you use to catch Kingfish?

Live or dead baits slow trolled with a planer. Deep diving plugs and drone spoons also work well.

Where can I fish for Kingfish in West Palm Beach?

The Kingfish in West Palm Beach typically congregate around the 120' ledge but are many times find in shallower waters around structure.This ledge runs all the way up and down West Palm Beach where it abruptly drops from 90-120 feet.

What water temperature do Kingfish like?

Kingfish prefer water temperatures between 68-76 degrees. They are rarely found in water any colder than 65 degrees.

Should you bleed kingfish?

You absolutely want to bleed you Kingfish before placing them on ice. This will allow for the most clean and best tasting fillets possible.

How fast can king mackerel swim?

King Mackerel are extemely quick fish, like Wahoo. They are extremely fast in short distances reaching speeds of up to 40 mph and are known more as "sprinters" than "long distance runners." King Mackerel like their baits to be moving slow. Ideal trolling speed is just in gear at 1-3kts. Many Captains in West Palm Beach prefer bump trolling to keep the speed down to a minimum.

Can you catch King Mackerel all year round in West Palm Beach?

You certianly can catch King Mackerel (Kingfish) all year around in West Palm Beach. There are always good numbers of King Mackerel out there, even during the slow season of September-November. Prime time for the Kings is January-March with great action often persisting through july and august.

What leader do you use for King Mackerel?

Short sections of light wire is best used as bite leader for the King Mackerel (Kingfish). #6 (61 pound test) wire is used in sections generally around 12" infront of your bait or lure.

What is the limit of King Mackerel in West Palm Beach?

In Florida, you may keep 3 King Mackerel per harvester with a minimum size limit of 24" to the fork. The season for them is open all year around. (2020)

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