Author: Mike Milewski
Our Team (Team Reel Dreams) was fishing the Team Sargent KDW out of Palm Beach this past weekend. Our main focus in all of our tournaments is targeting kingfish. First let’s talk about where we are trying to target our fish. In general here in South Florida (Palm Beach area) we spend most of our time king fishing from Loran Tower (Hobe Sound) to Delray Beach and in water depths of 60ft-135ft. Two key factors are staying focused structure and bait.
For this tournament we started our day just outside the Palm Beach inlet in 117ft of water. 6:30am lines were in and no bites! As 7:05am approached we decided to make a move north to the Juno ledge. We get to the Juno ledge get our spread out and ziiinnggggg goes three reels!! I am thinking this is going to be a great day! Well everyone knows how that goes. We lose two fish after two nice runs and we are down to only one king left. Five nice smoking runs and he gets sharked!!!The Tax man wins again!! Set back up on the same spot, but can’t buy a bite.
30 minutes goes by and as we were thinking about making a move to the north bang!! Our downrigger goes off!! However this fish is not acting like a king fish and has a ton of weight to it. Needless to say we fight this fish for 50 minutes and pop!! Bye bye mystery fish!
After this and an empty fish box we head to a few spots off Jupiter. Set up our spread and within a few minutes reels are going off!!! BUT its Bonita heaven!! Landed three Bonita’s which were part of the tournament and I could always use some extra bait.
By now it is starting to get late since this tournament we had to be in line for weigh in by 1:00pm. We made a move just north of Jupiter and set up for the last time of the day. Within 15 minutes our down-rigger goes off!!! I knew right away it was not a King but after a great 45 minute fight on king fish tackle a massive amber-jack lands on the deck!
It was a great day lots of action, but did not land the king fish we needed. Fingers crossed we get one in the next tournament.
I will be going into detail in an upcoming article about all our tackle and bait used to find and land kingfish. However here are some basics to follow when tournament fishing for Kings. The key to hooking up with a smoker king is Frisky Live Bait!! Treat your baits like gold!! Here in south FL goggle eyes, blue runners and speedos work the best. Pilchards and sardines will work, but the bigger the bait the bigger the fish or so the saying goes. Dead sardines will work and having a ribbon fish on your downrigger is another great idea as well. Our team uses 30 class outfits, 25ft or more of bullbuster 30lb fluorocarbon leader which is then tied to a bullbuster swivel that has a standard kingfish stinger rig. Our spread for this tournament was two baits down deep one at 30ft and one at 65ft and two flat lines one long and one short.
Thanks to bullbuster line and terminal tackle were able to land some nice fish this past weekend during our tournament.
Until next time….
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