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Articles about fishing

King Mackerel Fishing

I. Setup

  1. Rod- Light Action, Sensitive tip with somewhat flexible backbone, you don’t want to use a grouper rod.
  2. Reel- Ideal reels for King Mackerel light tackle trolling…
    1. Shimano- TLD Star, Speedmaster, TR Series, Charter Special, Thunnus 1600F, BaitRunner 6500
    2. Penn- International 975, 225 LD, 545GS, Live Liner 5600L, 5500SS
  3. Line- ANDE 20-30 lb. Back Country Blue or Tournament Green and Yellow
  4. Swivel- Barrel swivel #10, yes you can use a bearing swivel if you so desire
  5. Wire- #3(32lb. Test) or #4(38 lb. Test) American Fishing Wire
  6. Bait Holding Hook- 2/0 or 3/0 Live Bait Hook
  7. Stinger Hook- No. 3 or No. 4 Treble, preferably 4X Sharp

II. Baits

  1. Live- Almost anything that wiggles, Spanish Sardine, Threadfin Herring, Cigar Minnow, Blue Runner, Ladyfish, Lizardfish, Mullet, and Shad.
  2. Dead- Sardine, Ribbonfish, Lures such as spoons and “Stretch 30’s”

III. Where to go

  1. Public Numbers- ALL of the artificial reefs hold Kings
  2. Hot Spots-The secret coordinate to catch the Smokers is…yeah right…anywhere there is a school of bait.  If bait is holding on a certain type of bottom, chances are there are Kings there. Troll over ledges, hard bottom, reefs, wrecks, and structure areas like the shipping channel.

IV. How to Troll

  1. Getting Started-Start the day by finding your bait.  Fill up the live well by catching bait at an artificial reef like the Betty Rose.  Then begin fishing by putting one line out while you are catching the bait. 
  2. If you get a strike, you found your spot.  If you don’t get a strike, begin to troll over the structure at a cruising speed of 2 knots, yes 2 knots.  This is when you want to put a second or third rod out staggering your baits.  A down rigger can be used to hold at bait at a certain depth like ½ the depth you are fishing.  Be sure to give your bait about 20 ft. of space from the down rigger clip.  Mix up the baits until you find the bait that the fish are feeding on. -Repeat this process and you’ll limit out!

Pura Vida Charters
5000 92nd St. N Slip #1
St. Petersburg, FL 33708

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