The fall migration of king mackerel along our coast signals the time for flats-fly fishermen to change gears for variety.
Kingfish can be caught easily on a fly rod. The key is finding them and keeping them close to your boat. Artificial reefs and wrecks are the best spots to target because they always will hold bait. Most are well within reach of a flats boat, provided the weather is good. Anchor on the reef or wreck and hang a frozen chum block over the side. You can spice up your chum line with some live bait and menhaden oil.
If you can chum the kingfish to the top of the water, a floating line will do. More than likely you will find your best action below the surface using an intermediate or sinking fly line in the 9 to 10 weight range. Tie a 6-foot piece of No. 30 monofilament directly to your fly line and connect a short trace of No. 3 or 4 single strand coffee-colored stainless wire using an albright knot. If you are fishing IGFA specifications, add at least 15 inches of your class tippet. Connect to your wire trace using a haywire twist a 4- to 7-inch baitfish imitation streamer fly on a 2/0 to 4/0 hook in green, white, blue or a combination.
Once your chum line goes to work, make long casts, allow your line to sink and strip it back to the boat quickly. Be ready for some fast action, and don't be surprised if a speedy bonita visits your chum line and grabs your fly.
_ Bill Miller guides out of Tampa and Boca Grande. Call (813) 935-3141.