Tampa kingfish advice

hey guys so my dad just bought a 257 seafox, I’ve done bottom fishing growing up, but never caught Pelagics other than tuna in the keys. I know Tampa’s not the best for it but does any one have any advice for kingfish? Not looking for spots except for general look for this, or even pelagics in Tampa in general


  • SuperMutuSuperMutu Posts: 409 Deckhand
    I’m no expert but if it were me I’d would troll with a couple lures that cover different parts of the water column. 
    Maybe an xrap 30 and something that covers that 10-20’ depth. 
    Like I said, I’m no expert.  I’ve only landed one king.  But, I’ve only targeted them one time.  I just apply similar tactics to what I would do back in Ohio, just scaled up for larger fish. 

    The king i did land was on a flat lined grunt.  I’ve had them pop off several times right off the back of the Hubbard’s boat using the xrap and planer/spoon combo. 

  • spdtspdt Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    I’ve had good luck floating baits 10 to 15 feet under a balloon. Caught them using live blue runners and frozen sardines. Good luck!
  • DigitalchaosDigitalchaos Posts: 73 Greenhorn
    Troll the egmont channel out toward whistler bouy fond bait find king fish . spoon behind #2 planer and diving plugs for artificial . or slow troll live bait on stinger rigs blue rumners cigar minnows thread fins large pilchards
  • trs912trs912 Posts: 156 Deckhand
    I'm definitely not an expert and I rarely target them, but I do catch them. 

    Since you said you generally bottom fish - When I'm bottom fishing I toss out a bait on the flat line and occasionally catch them.  I will put out a flat line without wire for non-kings and if it gets bit through, I'll attach some wire since I know they are in the area.  I've caught them at pretty much every depth I've fished.

    Agree with the other comments.  I see quite a few boats in the egmont channel. Gotta be a reason for that, right?  I've talked to a couple of them and they were slow trolling live baits.

    I'm somewhat surprised no kingfish experts have chimed in yet.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 11,127 AG
    I've run the channel to the whistler and caught nada, and there was no bait in sight.   Find the bait.   
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • suprastevesuprasteve Posts: 141 Deckhand
    Nearshore artificial reefs are usually good spots when the kings are running too. Nothing "secret" about them, they are listed all over the internet. The reefs tend to hold baitfish.
  • NitzeyNitzey Posts: 176 Deckhand
    When I lived in the Panhandle, would often catch king mackerel to bring home something to eat.  Plus, great fun to catch.  Classic way is dusters with dead cigar minnows.  Or could drift with cigar minnows (Spanish sardines or whatever is available).  Some on top and some rigs with weights to get them down a bit (usually more productive).  Sometimes even stinky old bait, barely able to stay on the hook, would work.  Live bait is always best, especially for bigger kings.  The biggest kings I have caught, 47 and 48 #, were with live cigar minnows and single circle hooks, and light fluorocarbon leaders.  No wire; big kings have big eyes, and they are smarter.  We also would troll with Drone spoons, either on a planer or a downriver, and a deep diving plug.
  • NitzeyNitzey Posts: 176 Deckhand
    I almost forgot, a fun way is to cast a metal spoon, Hopkins, diamond jig, for example, over a wreck  or productive live bottom.  The hit, when it occurs, is exhilarating.  You might wear out your arm before you get a hit, but if you get a hit, you will remember it for a very long time.
  • HookedUp330HookedUp330 Ida,MI. Tarpon Springs, FL.Posts: 16 Greenhorn
    As others have said live bait is hard to beat. But I rather troll. Live bait with get you bigger fish but trolling normal will get you more but smaller fish. My king set up is 2 rods with xraps one 30 and one 10 and a planer with spoon down the shoot. A rigged ballyhoo can be really good on the planner to. 
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