As Summer Arrives, Offshore Anglers Can Look To Rod-Bending Action For Several Species
By Capt. Joe Palermo // June 16, 2016
King Mackerel Fight, Tenacity Legendary
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – As the heart of summer arrives, offshore anglers can look forward to excellent rod-bending action for several different types of species.
Dolphin, Amberjack, Grouper, Cobia, Sailfish and several other species will all satisfy our offshore hunger.
However, if anglers want to experience great offshore action, they may look no further than a few miles off of the beach for King Mackeral, Jacks, Tarpon and Bonita.
There are very few fish along the East Coast of Florida that can match the fight and tenacity of the King Mackerel.
Perhaps this is the reason Kings top the list when it comes to big-money tournaments throughout the South.
Their size, strength, speed, and acrobatics when “skyrocketing” bait makes Kings one of the most sought-after species for both charters and self sustained anglers.
Kings Very Desirable For the Table If Properly Handled and Prepared
Kings range drastically in size. On a normal day they can range anywhere from 6 to 45 pounds with an average of 10 to 15 pounds.
The regulation size for King Mackerel is 24 inches to the fork.
However, most of our population will be well over the minimum.
King Mackerel are normally found around bottom structure, ledges, wrecks and any hard bottom that holds bait in 25 to 100 feet of water.
However, in the summer months, the big females come to the beach to spawn and dine on bait pods. Most of these fish are anywhere from 45 to 10 feet deep and are often where pods of bait congregate.
The most productive technique for these fish is live bait trolling on the surface or with downriggers.
Typically, we use pogies, commonly known as menhaden, but live sardines, cigar minnows, blue runners, or tinker mackerel work great as well.
The key is to troll the baits fast enough to cover ground, but slow enough to swim naturally with the boat. This technique is deadly and will often trigger multiple hookups at the same time.
As a charter captain, there is nothing more satisfying than presenting a bait on the surface, watching the fish ambush it by “skyrocketing” 6 feet in the air as my customer grabs the rod, and the fish that screams 50-100 yards off of a reel in just a few seconds.
Kings are also very desirable for the table if properly handled and prepared. Unfortunately, these fish have a reputation of being oily and strong tasting.
However, with the proper care and preparation, this fish will quickly reach the top of your favorites.
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