King Mackerel

King Mackerel

King mackerel are one of our favorite fish to catch.   They are known for their explosive strikes and aerial displays.  Once on the hook, a mackerel can rip tons of line off the reel quick.  Double hook ups are common.  If you are suffering from low adrenaline levels, this fish will get your heart pumping.

King mackerel are migratory pelagic fish.  They will arrive in our area when the water temperatures start to rise in April and will stay until November.  Mackerel can be found in the open water, but they like to congregate near food sources.  Most submerged structures that hold fish will also have mackerel patrolling the outskirts of the reef looking for easy prey.

We catch kings by trolling near the surface or deep below the surface, depending on conditions.  We prefer trolling with live baits, but artificial baits can produce good strikes.  Another method is to drift live baits behind the boat while bottom fishing for reef fish. It gets busy when the bottom fish are biting strong and the mackerel are zinging line off the reels.

The average king mackerel is 10 to 15 lbs.  A tournament contender will be around 50 lbs. or more with the Florida state record holding at a whopping 90 lbs.  When it comes to king mackerel, a large fish can be anywhere, so treat every strike like it’s a tournament winner.

King mackerel are a good eating fish.  They eat well grilled, baked, fried or smoked.  Our favorite way to enjoy mackerel is in a smoked mackerel dip.

Mackerel are the primary target on 4-hour trips, but can be caught on any trip.

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