Quick Tips Fishing For Fall Smoker Kings
Fall is the best time for fishing for those big Smoker King Mackerel. The river channels and nearshore structure is filled with them. They’re just a short ride out the inlet and that makes it easy to fish for what might be your biggest fishing story of the season. Check out these great tips by Southern Kingfish Association 2015 National Champion and 2019 SKA Division 9 Single Engine Champion, Captain Eris Jones on fishing for Fall King Mackerel:
First, start with checking the water temperature charts. These best range will be between 68 and 73 degrees with the warmer water being better, especially for the bigger Kings. These toothy monsters like to feed over reefs and this means Wahoo can also serve as a great by-catch since your rigged already.
Speaking of rigs, 20-25 pound mono with wire leader of 38 to 44 pound test is best. Again, you’re fishing for fish that are bigger, and have razor sharp teeth. Live bait is the bait of choice. While it can sometimes take you a few hours to get fresh bait it will provide far greater results and proves to be a good investment of your time. If you have trouble getting bait in a cast net, then make sure you have a rod rigged with Sabiki rigs and then jig for live bait. Just for insurance throw in a pack or 2 of frozen cigar minnows in your cooler before leaving the dock.
Rig your spread the way you prefer and remember that clutch speed or slower is key. Make sure to check you drag. A big King hitting a line with the drag too tight means an instant breakoff. Monitor your baits to be certain they’re swimming correctly, keeping in mind that the King Mackerel always strikes the baits from below. It’s always a good idea to have your baits ready. Trying to make rigs in the open can be difficult or even sickening and prove to be a rookie mistake. Have variations of rigs ready to go with easy access.
Tactics like chumming can really help. Listen to radio for chatter. While most of the experienced fisherman will keep the information to themselves, the less experience angler will see a big fish being caught by a nearby boat and shout it out over the radio. Most of all, if you’ve not had a hit in a few minutes…..move to another location. They’re out there and finding them in the Fall is easy.