Luring kings: Recently, I was asked which lures should be used for king mackerel, and whether color selection matters. Many hard-bodied lures will work, but if you lose them, it gets costly. The most popular trolling lure for kings is the silver spoon. It's about 5 inches long and comes with a strip of tape providing color options.
Choices: Which color, at what time of the day? In the early morning the sun strikes the water's surface at an angle that usually reflects most of its light, so little reaches the depths. At that time I use a dark color, such as blue or purple. As the sun rises to mid morning I switch to lighter colors, such as green or chartreuse. Toward noon, switch to plain silver, and on slightly overcast days perhaps gold. In the early morning there is not enough light to flash off the spoon; it's the contrast that makes them effective. The same rule applies on cloudy days, dark for dark. In bright sun, light for light.
Pro tip: You get to your favorite artificial reef only to find 30 other boats. The incessant "pop-pop-pop" from the exhaust is certain to make the kingfish less willing to bite. Leave the area and search for ledges to find kingfish. Also, watch for schools of baitfish on your bottom machine when you don't see them on the surface. The kings follow the bait.
Larry Blue charters the Niki Joe from Madeira Beach Marina. Call (727) 871-1058 or visit CaptainLarryBlue.com.