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How to fish for King Mackerel

The King Mackerel is a schooling fish that can attack with high speed, powerful jaws and razor-like teeth. The King Mackerel are primarily open water fish that inhabit the top 250 feet of the water. In the months of July and August large King Mackerel move in closer to shore and usually stay until October. They are a challenging catch that puts up a spectacular fight by leaping and sky rocketing out of the water. They feed primarily on small baitfish and to a lesser degree on shrimp and squid.
The sport fishermen who seem most successful at catching King Mackerel do so by trolling. The most successful method is trolling live bait or artificial lures. When trolling, speed is the key. The key is that the bait or lure appears to swim naturally. Many big King Mackerel have been caught while the boat was almost idling.
Most successful tournament anglers fish exclusively with live bait. They use blue runners, shad, scaled sardines, threadfin herring, cigar minnows, ladyfish, bluefish and Spanish mackerel. The smaller 8 to 15 pound King Mackerel tend to concentrate in deeper water. They are attracted to structure, such as wrecks, reefs, and natural underwater pinnacles. 
An all round tackle set up for King Mackerel is a medium action fiberglass rod that is 6 1/2 to 7 feet and star drag conventional reel loaded with 20 pound line. Add a 6 foot monofilament leader with a 2 to 3 foot dark-colored wire leader that is 25 to 40 pound test. This is attached to the main line with a small black snap swivel. If live bait isn't working try an artificial lure such as the Got-Cha Lure, Huntington Eco Spoons, Sea Striker Clarkspoon, King Mackerel Duster, or the MirrOlure.


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