Quick Tips Fishing For Winter Kings
With winter already here, it seems to slow down our offshore fishing and this includes fishing for King Mackerel. Some may think that the Kings are gone until next season and that may be true if you fish close to shore. The fact is the Kings are still off the coast, just further offshore and ready for a fight. You just have to find them.
First, start with checking the water temperature charts. The warmer the water the better, especially for the bigger Kings. These toothy monsters like to feed over structures, as does Wahoo, which can also serve as a great by-catch since you’re rigged already. The King Mackerel and Wahoo many times feeds in the same places and off of the same types of bait. Look for breaks in the warmest water and find that structure I was talking about.
Speaking of rigs, 20-25 pound mono with wire leader of 38 to 44 pound test is the 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 will be 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. . 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 is easier than you think. Just be safe with the longer distance and make sure you file a float plan.