Kingfish are providing an offshore experience for inshore anglers. Large boats, long runs and heavy tackle aren't necessary to achieve that big-game feel. Most seaworthy craft capable of running through a light chop can get you to the fish. For tackle, 20-pound conventional-style outfits have been the standard for years and are favored by most competitive teams. Lighter inshore spinning rods in the 10-pound class that see most duty catching redfish or snook are fine for the average angler offshore seeking kingfish. The one constant for any rod-and-reel combo is it must have a smooth drag. Kingfish hot spots are no secret. Most are common knowledge and have published coordinates that can be researched. If you're just getting started, artificial reefs are a good place to begin. Most are holding schoolie-sized kingfish that are a perfect match for the lighter inshore gear. While you will rarely find a tournament winner at an artificial reef, you will find plenty of fun. What these smaller 8- to 12-pound fish lack in size they make up for in abundant numbers.
Brent Gaskill runs Summer Vacation Charters out of the St. Petersburg area and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (727) 510-1009.