Florida Keys Fishing

King Mackerel, Kingfish

King Mackerel, Kingfish

Florida and the the Florida Keys are home to several types of Mackerel year round. Mackerel are long slender fish with a mouth full of sharp teeth, that run in schools. Schools range in size and will consist primarily of fish around the same size. They are around all year but they are really around in big numbers in the winter months. Mackerel usually try to bite the tail of their prey when they attack, so when using a larger bait it can by very helpful to add a stinger treble hook to the rear of the bait. Mackerel have razor teeth and a bit of wire will be required in front of your baits in order to reduce cut offs. Sometimes for the spanish and cero mackerel, some 50# fluorocarbon with a circle hook will work well and increase strikes.

A lot of people think that Mackerel in general are not that good to eat, but personally if you eat them fresh I think they taste fine. They don’t freeze as well as other fish, and have stronger oilier taste. Many people like them smoked.

The king mackerel is the largest of the Mackerel family found in the waters around the Florida Keys. They range in size from 4 to around 20 pounds but sometimes ones a lot larger are caught. Good tackle to fish for Kingfish with would be medium to light rod spooled with around 20# test. Kingfish can be caught a variety of ways: some of the more popular ways are trolling spoons on planers or down riggers. They can also be caught on live bait. Pilchards are probably the best bait for the small fish, but ballyhoo will work too. People who fish for large King Mackerel often slow troll larger baits like blue runners or speedos.

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