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Fort Pierce Kingfish 30-50ft

watergatorwatergator Fort Pierce Posts: 173 Deckhand
Anyone care to educate me on catching kingfish around Fort Pierce? I, along with everyone else, hear the daily report of “kingfish in the 30-50ft range” from Captain Joe, but I don’t really know how to make use of that. I’ve picked up one here and one there the last couple times I’ve gone, but definitely don’t know what I’m doing.

Do y’all just go zig zag troll from 30-50 and back and forth working north or south or is there more to it? 

I’ve been trolling lipped plugs and naked or skitmrted double hook ballyhoo mostly and a the fish other than Bonita have been on the plugs. 

Thanks for any help! 


  • MissedMissed O-townPosts: 383 Deckhand
    edited April 6 #2

    Get a planer, run a release off the back of it.  Toss out a double hooked or stinger hooked ballyhoo with a pearl baby on it's nose.  Put the ballyhoo about 50-75 feet back - make sure it doesn't spin (chin weight if necessary), connect to release, put that planer down about 25 feet and drag it at 5-6 knots.

    That or run two live baits on kingfish rigs off the back of the boat.  run one without weight and one with a 1 or 2 oz sinker.  Put em back about 100 feet and idle along - in and out of gear.

    If those two techniques won't work, you need to sell your boat.

    Planer & spoon
    10, 15, 18, 20 deep diving lure that has a wide wobble  I can't buy a fish on an xrap but have some other brands that get clobbered
    Live bait - slow troll some sardines or 6 inch mullet with a duster and double hook rig
    If you want big kings, you need big blue runners or goggle eyes or pogies - herring or sardines if you can't get the others.
    Drag a skirted strip bait thru pretty quickly - high speed stuff - we get em using a white squid and 3 inch strip hanging out the back
    How about chumming and catching them that way?  They come into chum lines just like spanish macks do
    You can also drift - ballyhoo works as good as a sardine or cigar minnow - double hook rig with a duster, you can just drift em or you can weight it with a 1-2 oz egg sinker above the leader.

    Watch for when you get bites when trolling a big lure - your rod tip will react but the hooks often don't take.  If you aren't watching, you'll keep going and miss the fun.  You need to circle back after another 300 feet or so, cross back thru and you'll often get another bite.  

    They do orient to structure and not just a depth. 
    Find the bait or some wrecks, ledges, etc. and you'll have fish.

    I have a favorite lure that catches most of the kings on my boat.  BUT still would prefer to just slow troll livies - you are idling along watching the tips of the two 7 ft ugly stick buggy whips as the bait swims along, then the bait gets nervous and the rod tip stops ticking along/goes still, rod starts to flex under weight, reel starts screaming.  Fun stuff.  We like to eat em too, so best of both worlds.

    Have fun.
  • watergatorwatergator Fort Pierce Posts: 173 Deckhand
    That’s an awesome write up as a how to for trolling for kings around here! Thank you for taking the time to put that together. Hopefully I’ll be able to spend more time out there this season and get into them a bit better. 
  • DrCokeDrCoke Posts: 174 Deckhand
    Find a reef or a wreck. Drift dead sardines or ballyhoos with 5/0 hooks x 3 hooks in a chain. Go no weight and 1oz weight.

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