Captain’s Corner: Trolling or anchoring up, kingfish bite is hot

Published April 13 2018
Updated April 15 2018

Are you looking for line-screaming action? Head offshore. The kingfish bite has been good, though high winds may require a wait for the water to clear. The best numbers have been about 5 miles out on the hard bottom. Trolling for kingfish works well; others prefer to anchor up and bring them to the boat. If anchoring, you will need a lot of scaled sardines to chum with. Consistently throw them out. Having the water saturated with bait will keep kings from moving on. The best technique is using 60-pound fluorocarbon leader with a No. 2 long-shank hook. If you are getting broken off a lot, lose the drag and stick it in the rod holder. Kingfish are notorious for running off a couple hundred yards of drag. Make sure you have enough line on your reels or they will spool you. After their initial run, pick up the rod and start tightening the drag. If trolling, use a bigger bait and a wire stinger rig. Remember, the King of the Beach is coming up and anybody can win.

Mike Gore charters out of Tampa Bay. Call him at (813) 390-6600 or visit