How to Fish for King Mackerel

by Christine LaFleur
Florida offers some good spots to fish for king mackerel.

Florida offers some good spots to fish for king mackerel.

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If you love the thrill of catching a big fish that puts up a fight, try fishing for king mackerel. It is not uncommon for king mackerel to weigh up to 20 pounds. These fish are found near shore and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. They swim in schools and migrate closer to the Florida panhandle from south Florida in spring. The best places to fish for king mackerel are near piers or ledges, because those are places where the fish used for live bait like to hang out. A popular method for fishing for king mackerel is float fishing.

Items you will need

  • Fishing pole
  • Float fishing rig
  • Bait, such as strips of king mackerel, sand eel, squid or garfish
Step 1

Find a suitable location for fishing king mackerel. One of the best places to do so is off of a pier when there is a strong incoming tide.

Step 2

Go out to the end of the pier with your rod, reel, fishing rig and bait.

Step 3

Assemble a float fishing rig and attach the bait to the hook. Float fishing is done with a float and a weight. The float will allow you to suspend your bait at a depth determined by you. The float will also serve as a bite indicator. When the fish bites the hook, the float will go underwater. Some of the best bait to use for catching king mackerel is fresh strips of king mackerel. You can also use eel or garfish.

Step 4

Cast the fishing line between 5 and 30 yards from the pier.

Step 5

Wait for a bite. When a fish bites your hook, the float will disappear under the water.

Step 6

Reel in your catch. The difficulty of reeling in the fish will depend on the size of the fish. King mackerel can reach up to 20 lbs. or more, and they will fight you as you try to reel them in.

About the Author

Christine LaFleur began her writing career in 2010. She has a featured blog on the What To Expect website, where she writes about her experiences in pregnancy and parenting. LaFleur holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Photo Credits

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