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Kingfish Run is cranking up on Gulf west of Venice

Venice to Cedar Key

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Kingfish Run is cranking up on Gulf west of Venice

Postby dpinkham » Sat Mar 22, 2003 8:43 pm

Finally, at long last the spring king mackerel run has arrived. Over this past week there's plenty of reports coming in from Boca Grande to Anna Maria Island of kingfish making a good showing. This is great news for anglers, as king mackerel offer some of the fastest non-stop fishing action of the year.
For the past several weeks we've been steadily running through schools of baitfish showering on the Gulf's surface from 3 to 12 miles offshore. I figured that it was just a matter of a few days before the kings followed. Sure enough on Saturday, dragging the hardware paid off. By hardware I'm talking about trolling with planning boards and king spoons. This time proven fishing technique is probably the easiest way to scout for kingfish.
For those of you that are new to this fishing method here it is in a nutshell. For gear such as what rod and reel to use, start with a good stiff pole, and a level- wind reel that will hold at least a couple hundred yards of 30 to 50 pound monofiliment. For tackle you will need snap-swivels, planning boards, king spoons, and a spool of 50 to 100-pound monofiliment leader material.
Ok, this ain't brain surgery so I'll make this as simple as possible. Attach the snap swivels to both ends of the planning boards. Planning boards come in sizes from # 1 to # 5. The larger the number, the larger the size of the planner, and the deeper it will dive. I rarely ever use larger than a # 3 planner, although I do utilize both # 1's and # 2's, as well as the # 3's. When the kings are feeding at the surface I use the smaller planner. When I think the kings are down deeper, or I think they are on the move I go down deeper with the # 2, or # 3 planner.
Below the planner I like to use either 50-pound, or 80-pound monofiliment leader. At the business end I tie on a # 5 king spoon. The spoons come in a variety of colors so have fun when you're shopping at your favorite tackle shop. The old school of thought is to use dark colors in low light conditions and bright colors on sunny days. When you're at the tackle store you may as well buy a handful of the planning boards and plenty of spoons because kings have big teeth. It's a real bummer to get into a mess of kings only to find out your last spoon just got cut off.
When kingfish are feeding they will hit almost anything that even remotely resembles a baitfish. As a matter of fact I've seen days when we'd wished the bite would back off just enough so we'd have a few spoons left to finish the charter. I recall one stand-out half-day trip in particular. The kings were hitting anything as fast as we could get it in the water. Anyway, we lost 5 planning boards and 12 spoons. Like I said I was ready for the fish to turn off.
Well, that's the basics for this proven kingfish catching technique. You'll have to experiment how far out behind the boat to drag the hardware. Here's a good hint, if the planning board keeps tripping with no fish on then pull it in closer to the boat. Trolling speed varies depending on wind and seas conditions. I seem to do best between 4 to 6 knots.
Last week I mentioned that the blackfin tuna are running. We've also had decent success catching blackfin using this same trolling system. One more thing, when you do get a big fish on the end of the line be sure to keep the boat in gear thereby keeping the boat moving forward. This tends to keep the slack out of the line and increases the chance of actually catching the fish. This really is important when you get a big king or a blackfin tuna on.
Good luck and good fishing. Get out and go fishing cu'z it's good fer ya!
Capt. Dave Pinkham has been a fishing guide on the west coast of Florida for over 20 years. He runs his deep sea charter boat Legacy out on The Crow's Nest Marina at the South Jetty, Venice, Florida
dpinkham
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Postby Maverick » Tue Mar 25, 2003 8:00 pm

Capt. Dave..Thanks for to=hose tips. Let me ask a question, "why don't you use wire leader instead of mono at the spoon end of the planer?" I'm think I'm gonna get a couple and give them a try!
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Trolling for kingfish

Postby dpinkham » Wed Mar 26, 2003 8:51 pm

I really don't like to work with the wire so I'll stick with the mono-
Let me know how you do, Capt. Dave
www.charter-boatfishing.com
Capt. Dave Pinkham has been a fishing guide on the west coast of Florida for over 20 years. He runs his deep sea charter boat Legacy out on The Crow's Nest Marina at the South Jetty, Venice, Florida
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Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 8:31 pm
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