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It’s All About Kingfish in Miami

Kingfish Kingfish Kingfish ! We have had the best run of Kingfish off Miami and Miami Beach since the BP Gulf Disaster. We have been able to catch full limits of kings on almost every trip this week. Some days we were able to limit out in less than an hour. The fish are mostly school size kingfish, most ranging from about 4 pounds to 12 pounds. Kingfish are a hard hitting fun game fish. The are also known as King Mackerel, as they are the largest member of the Mackerel family. Kingfish are fast predators who like to ambush baits and slash them with their razor sharp teeth. Kingfish will also “sky” or jump out of the water like a missile to attack a bait fish.

Miami Kingfish on the Troll

This time of year, late summer and early Fall we see the best Kingfish catches trolling. We fish Bonita strips on double hook rigs with mylar and small skirts. I like to use blue, silver, white and pink skirts in combinations of colors. For example I was fishing a blue and silver four inch “bug” skirt with a pronounced eye in the skirt. I add a mylar insert under or behind the bug and another over the bug. Behind the lure set we fish double hooks with an over size swivel on the ring of the hook. We open the eye of the hook to add the trailer hook and the swivel. On the swivel we tie on a small piece of copper wire to hold the tip of the bonita strip. We choose the hook size to match the size of the bonita strip. We fish this rig on a long 60 pound leader attached to an Old Salty planner. The planer size is chosen to match the rod and line and how deep you want the bait to fish. For lighter outfits we fish a number 4 and the heavy outfits a number 8.

Every day we fish small feathers and flat head lures in the short riggers to target the Bonita. We then take the bonita’s and filet the side, trim the meat down and cut proper strips. The Bonita strips are tied to the copper wire first then hooked where the hook naturally lines up. Most important is the the strip lies flat and will swim strait and true. This rigg works so well when the Kingfish are in town that the hardest part is having enough strips to keep up with all the bites !

Capt. Jay Cohen

Capt. Jay owns and operates the Miami fishing charter Capt. Jay’s Deep Sea Fishing. Capt. Jay has fished Miami for more than 40 years and holds several I.G.F.A world records and has won multiple tournaments, including the METT tournament and the fun fish boat in the Miami Billfish tournament. Capt. Jay discovered a new species of tilefish and had the honor of naming the fish (Bahama Tiger Tilefish).