Commercial Fishing For Kingfish
Summertime in South Florida means the the waters in 70-150ft are generally teeming with pelagics. Even though this report is a little late, the fish are still out there. What I'm referring to is King Mackerel (Kingfish), Dolphin, Tuna and bonito primarily with a few Cobia and Wahoo mixed in. The 120-130 ledge in Jupiter and Palm Beach holds a lot of life on it from March-August or just until the start of the mullet run. The Kingfish bite is red hot from March- August, but the giant spawning fish are primarily caught in April and May. June, July and august provide for good numbers of fish, especially when trolling planers.
"Triple hook rigs with live sardine are definitely the go to method"
I got the chance to go out on my buddies boat and do some commercial kingfish fishing. We got into a good mess of fish from 6-40lbs with a ton of bonito (False albacore) Mixed in. The bite was unreal with multiple double and triple hookups between us, on both live and dead sardines. We caugth the majority of our fish in 115ft durign the hottest part of the day and the rest in 70ft in low light conditions. It makes sense the fish go deeper midday and come back in shallow to feed in lowlight conditions to ambush their prey.
The triple hook rigs with a live sardine are definitely the go to method for drifting with live sardines. It allows you to fish very heavy drag ,without the risk of hooks pulling and you can fish fluorocarbon leader instead of wire, increasing the amount of bites you get. We fished 60lb fluorocarbon leader, which offered the perfect balance between abrasion resistance, strength and a low profile to trick weary fish. We fished 30-50lb bullbuster monofilament mainline topshot, with 50lb braidbacking. We also caught a few muttons while king fishing as all the sardines and scales falling down to the bottom, chum up the water. It really is amazing to see just how alive the ocean becomes offshore here in the summer.
The trickiest part about fishing offshore this time of year, isn't hooking or fighting your fish, its getting them in before a shark does!! Anybody who has fished from Boynton to Jupiter knows the struggle is real!! Just wanted to share some pics and videos on here to show you guys what the meat missions are all about! Hope everyone enjoyed.
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