One day I was fishing for kingfish with my buddy Stan. He fell onboard and landed with his hand in the fish box. It went straight into a dead kingfish’s mouth and the injury was pretty severe. Not only did it require stitches, but it needed surgery as well. Be careful around these fish; whether they are dead or alive. They have very impressive razor sharp teeth that can inflict great damage. Kingfish are dangerous!
What makes Kingfish fishing in Fort Lauderdale so exhilarating?
These fish are incredibly fast and are known for their long, speedy runs once hooked. They do not tire easily and put up an enormous fight. Kingfish are fantastic adversaries and very challenging to catch. Their sharp teeth are responsible for many break offs and they are famous for their short strikes. They also swim in schools and have flourishing populations so you can catch many of them.
What do Kingfish look like?
Scales cover their entire bodies and they have olive backs, white bellies and silver sides. They are elongated and sometimes have a slight rosy hue.
How big are Kingfish?
These exciting fish are small to medium in size. They can weigh anything from 5lbs to 30lbs but have been recorded as big as 90lbs.
Where can you find Kingfish in Fort Lauderdale?
Typically caught farther down in the water column, these schooling fish are found just outside, or on the extensive reef system off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. They usually inhabit depths ranging from about 50ft to 200ft of water.
What baits are used for Kingfish?
These awesome fish are known to nibble and bite off the tail ends of your bait. Using the correct bait and rigging it properly is very important to prevent this. Live baits, dead baits and lures can be used to tempt kingfish. Live herring, shrimp, ribbonfish and squid work really well but ballyhoo is by far the preferred bait to use.
What tackle is used to catch Kingfish?
Multiple hooks and wire leaders are used to rig live baits. The wire cannot be cut off by their sharp teeth and multiple hooks help avoid short strikes and nibbles. We typically use a 20# spin or conventional gear. Their lightning runs are awe-inspiring on lighter tackle. When we troll planers we use slightly heavier gear and we can still feel their power.
What methods are used to catch Kingfish in Fort Lauderdale?
We troll baits to catch kingfish. They are very visual and rely on their sight when hunting; so a sea witch lure/bait strip combination is the most effective method, as is a spoon fished deep on a planer.
What are the regulations for Kingfish fishing in Fort Lauderdale?
There are set limitations on the amount of kingfish that you can catch, as well as their size. Anglers may only take two fish home with them and they must measure 24in from the tip of the nose to the fork of the tail.
Do you have a favorite recipe for Kingfish?
The smaller fish taste great when fried. They can also be marinated in Italian dressing and grilled. The larger fish are best smoked and made into a fish dip.