What's up with the Kingfish?

Strange how our fishing is soooooo unpredictable. We have an insane shrimping season. Then the mahi never really showed up in usual force. We had an awesome cobia season, but the kingfish havn't shown up in any numbers on schedule. The tarpon are finally here, but the masses seemed to scoot past us and congregate in Georgia. What gives? Are any of you noticing real clues that can explain any of this? The water is a bit colder than usual this year right? More salinity? What can help explain these things, and where the heck are all the kingfish at? It seems like the king fishing is harder than it's ever been this time of year, but how is that possible after so many other great fishing seasons?
Any ideas? Are they still offshore? What needs to happen before they will show? I thought the full moon would have the smokers all over our beach, what gives?
Tony Eden-
Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
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Replies

  • TeaserTeaser Posts: 257 Officer
    Kings are hot down here in Palm Beach, last two trips we boated eight. 120ft of water.
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,199 Admiral
    Whoa, I heard another report from down south but last time everyone ran down there they all struck out!
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
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  • willybigboywillybigboy Posts: 217 Deckhand
    you don't think it has anything to do with overfishing?
  • Sky KingSky King Posts: 313 Deckhand
    The kingfish are showing their displeasure with the NOAA snapper ban and the resulting reduction in available baitfish! :)

    David
    Signature3.jpg
  • Special Agent BarneySpecial Agent Barney Posts: 64 Deckhand
    It is because of all that brown sludge that was on the water a month ago....which in reality was....now how did sea snake put it?.....yeah it was Corrine Brown's "leavin's". And since I took two dunkings in it, and know first hand how bad it smells, I snuck up to her house and pumped barrels of it, from her septic tank, and have secretly spread it in the water. All to keep you away from our snapper!...and kings!!

    Not much gets by this special agent from NOOA.
    I wouldn't mess with me if I was you ! :n
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,199 Admiral
    Sky King wrote: »
    The kingfish are showing their displeasure with the NOAA snapper ban and the resulting reduction in available baitfish! :)

    David

    Ha! I know the snapper pop. is hurting everything else visiting the reefs, these days you have to be an expert at NOT catching red snapper to catch anything else. Crazy times. Overfishing? I would lean more towards mother nature, something else is going on. But I know the commercail guys have been hammering them the last few years extra hard.
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
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  • PhinaticalPhinatical Posts: 864 Officer
    I thought the water warmed up faster than normal this year. Not sure I have heard of it being colder than normal.
  • ElementElement Posts: 1,749 Officer
    Don't know but I've never seen so many pogies as I did in Apr/May - it was insane. I thought that the kingfishing would be on fire with all that bait around, but now that I think about it, maybe all that bait was not a good sign. After all, if there's THAT much bait around, nothings eating it.

    I've seen the commercials (in the past) circle wrecks over and over again, hauling fish after fish until it's dried up and they move on to the next spot. That certainly doesn't help anything but I doubt it's anything new either.

    NOAA/SAFMC DISCLAIMER: Fishing over time is always cyclical depending on lots of environmental issues like water temps, ocean currents, salinity levels, etc.. The ocean is vast, so just because they are not hot within a boat ride of our local inlets right now does not mean that the species is overfished or currently undergoing overfishing.
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,199 Admiral
    I tottaly agree with that! Maybe thier just late? Dont know about average water temps, but there have been quite a few coastal thermoclines. People down south have been freaking, but it seems the 'cline has lifted. Any day now they will show up in force?
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
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  • Black WaterBlack Water Posts: 227 Deckhand
    La Nina may or may not have something to do with the strange fishing. Tornados, droughts, and too much rain in some regions. You know how moons, tides, and weather affect our fishing luck. Tides have been low in the river and I am already catching shrimp at night. No quantities yet and as long as there are no hurricanes or major rains we should be good again for shrimp. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5x8dJ57xkk
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." :fishing
  • CaptnathanstuartCaptnathanstuart Posts: 689 Officer
    all those guys ran down there during the buster/rodeo struck out because of thermocline that was present... You would think they would have been bright enough to check the water temp....I didn't fish but had talked to a couple of friends from the area who told me the water was 74 to 75 degrees..too cold!
  • ReelWarriorReelWarrior Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    I'm going to say that overfishing of our local kingfish stocks is the #1 reason why kingfishing has been on the decline since 2009. You can't catch over 300,000 lbs of fish off one area and expect the population to withstand it. Sure we have a migratory population of fish from south to north every year(and this years run is off), but we also had another equally large population of fish that "wintered" in 100-150ft every year and migrated east to west. The fish were pounded so hard offshore over the last two years that they never really showed up this year for the guys. Now I don't think it is just a coincidence that the commercial boys and now the recreation guys are having such a bad season. It is obvious that the lack of fish is connected.

    sorry for the rant, but I saw this coming the day I rolled up on 30+ commercial boats one day in the winter of 09.
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,199 Admiral
    30+ commercail boats in one view? I've never seen anything like that! I think the most I've ever seen in one place is like 3 or 4 boats. Where the hell did all these boats come from, or the better question is, who is responsible for such an advertisement? Seems the local guys catching them would keep things under wraps. I know our waters have been **** of kings the last few years, but I've never heard of anything like that before, scary stuff!
    Makes me think about snapper. Even though they are rediculously abundant, I hope they ease into limits because we are on the radar now like never before, everyone knows how rediculous our snapper population is. I'd hate to see it exploited.
    Talked to a couple differant captains today that have been working it hard, no kings to speak of.
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
    Boattronics.net
    Over 80 seperate, recent reviews from captains on this forum-
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  • Sunday's moneySunday's money Posts: 111 Deckhand
    the commercial guys came from all up and down the east coast
  • Jagsare1Jagsare1 Posts: 211 Deckhand
    Element wrote: »
    NOAA/SAFMC DISCLAIMER: Fishing over time is always cyclical depending on lots of environmental issues like water temps, ocean currents, salinity levels, etc.. The ocean is vast, so just because they are not hot within a boat ride of our local inlets right now does not mean that the species is overfished or currently undergoing overfishing.

    I don't know where you got that but I have been preaching that for years. I believe that most things are cyclical. 10 years ago, we routinely caught yellowfin tuna this side of the gulf stream, not any more. 6 or 7 years ago in the Bluewater Tournament, you needed a 50 lb dolphin just to get on the board...this year, the board was full of small fish. Wahoo fishing has been on a steady decline the last few years, IMO. From a pelagic viewpoint, it looks like sailfish have been getting better here. Recreational swordfishing had a resurgence 6 or 7 years ago and has virtually disappeared again. Maybe the entire fishing community is looking in the wrong place but I believe that for whatever reason, we are on a down cycle.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Jagsare1Jagsare1 Posts: 211 Deckhand
    I'm going to say that overfishing of our local kingfish stocks is the #1 reason why kingfishing has been on the decline since 2009. You can't catch over 300,000 lbs of fish off one area and expect the population to withstand it. Sure we have a migratory population of fish from south to north every year(and this years run is off), but we also had another equally large population of fish that "wintered" in 100-150ft every year and migrated east to west. The fish were pounded so hard offshore over the last two years that they never really showed up this year for the guys. Now I don't think it is just a coincidence that the commercial boys and now the recreation guys are having such a bad season. It is obvious that the lack of fish is connected.

    sorry for the rant, but I saw this coming the day I rolled up on 30+ commercial boats one day in the winter of 09.

    Tend to agree. I also agree with your thoughts about a resident population as well as fish that migrate through. Every year, there are quite a few big wahoo caught on the party grounds. Those are resident fish and not migrating. I didn't quite see 30 but I did see a bunch of the kingfish boats at Elton a few times the last 2 to 3 years.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Posts: 5,199 Admiral
    I'm with Tim on the cyclical opinion. I think that mother nature has 100 fold the impact that we can make, no matter how hard we try. For whatever reason, not a good season, but I don't think it is a direct result of comercail fishing. I have no reason to be biased, just an opinion based on my own junior observations.
    However, I did witness first hand, how my commercail customers switched from bottom fish, to kingfish and others to try and hang in there when the bottom closures put most of them out of business. Suddenly, guys that had bottom fished thier whole lives were now pulling a full spread of spoons for kings. That's right, nothing fancy, but an entire spread of spoons. Must have been effective because a good day was over a thousand pounds of king mackeral.
    I hope I'm right on the cyclical opinion! An impact like that in just a few years due to overfishing is just plain scary. But I think they either havn't shown up just yet or it is an off season due to good ole Mother Nature. I think she is better at taking care of herself than we realise.

    I sure hope that 30 boat comment was an exageration Lyle! I've never seen anything remotely close to that. I have noticed a few boats were here from out of town though. "What ya fishing for?" I would ask.... "Kingfish".............
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
    Boattronics.net
    Over 80 seperate, recent reviews from captains on this forum-
    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?5295-Recent-Boattronics-reviews!
    Please call with any questions or a free estimate for the lowest price/best work available!
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  • locked and loadedlocked and loaded Posts: 38 Greenhorn
    Things are definitely cyclinder, but I'm with reel warrior on this one. I have seen pictures of the piles of mackerel stacked up on the decks of the commercial boats. Saw a pic of one from 09 caught out at Elton that was 58 lbs gutted. It was a monster. Boattronics, good question as to how the word got out about that, and the answer lies in these initials, RS. He is responsible for the mackerel massacre the past few years. I guess he didn't realize giving up those numbers to those South Carolina guys was a bad idea. Anyways, that's why I believe the fishing is so bad. The offshore bite is worse than anyone has ever seen and it's why we are all having this convo right now. A good bite from migratory fish is still coming and should be a good one. Until then, good luck.
  • Fishin Blue WaterFishin Blue Water Posts: 219 Deckhand
    I don't really have a dog in this fight, as I don't a lot a kingfishing anymore. However, I have to note that the large commercial take off our coast the last few winters is a direct result of poorly thought out regulations by our esteemed regulators. For those of you that don't know, mackeral cannot be caught commercially down south in the winter. This forces the commercial boats from down there to move north off our coast. The result? All of the pressure on the fishery happens in a concentrated area. Once RS started hammering the fish out at elton it was only a matter of time before the fleet followed. Fish houses will tell everyone who is catching the fish. This way the other boats can find where that boat is fishing and bring more fish to market and increase the volume of product and sales to the fish house. It isn't rocket science here folks. This is a direct result of our regulators not understanding the impact of their ill advised rules.

    Now, whether the poor mackeral fishing is due to the commercial take or the cyclical nature of fish in gerneral I don't know.

    Brian
  • Final ApprovalFinal Approval Posts: 9 Greenhorn
    Well I do know when the Kings show up I will be ready! Tony from BoatTronics did a great job on my boat rewiring and fixing what was a mess. Everyhting working great now!!! Hope they show up soon. Putting her on the trailer for a run down South Friday! Wish us luck!!
  • JaxBirddoggJaxBirddogg Posts: 152 Officer
    I'm with Lyle on this. We rolled through the spot he's talking about in 2009 and we saw EASILY 30+ commercial boats hauling king after king after king. We were coming back home and couldn't believe the pile of boats in there.
    27' Cape Horn.... "Mojo"
  • tommydtommyd Posts: 36 Deckhand
    Water temp on the beach in south St. Auggie was 72-74 out to about 55ft yesterday... bbbbrrrrr!
    Capt. Tommy Derringer
    www.InshoreAdventures.net
  • CaptnathanstuartCaptnathanstuart Posts: 689 Officer
    tommyd wrote: »
    Water temp on the beach in south St. Auggie was 72-74 out to about 55ft yesterday... bbbbrrrrr!

    There's your answer........
  • TravellerTraveller Posts: 84 Greenhorn
    I was wondering about the water temperature. Could the 80-81 degree readings we've been seeing for the last couple of weeks be a thin layer of warm water on the surface, and down a few feet is colder water than the kings want to swim in?

    The commercial massacre being talked about is beyond comprehension. It's like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs and then expecting it to lay more eggs next year.
  • No LimitsNo Limits Posts: 113 Deckhand
    Last few days Ive seen a few out of St Lucie Inlet.... very scarce...
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Evans Escape
    Stamas Marine
  • CaptjeffcrabtreeCaptjeffcrabtree Posts: 231 Officer
    i think there here. i havnt had a bad trip yet...
    Captain Jeff Crabtree
    Right Spot Charters Inc.
    Skeeter/Yamaha Pro team member
    [email protected]
    904-759-1033
    http://www.rightspotcharters.com/ Call me for any of for inshore nearshore and offshore fishing charters!!!
  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,437 Admiral
    Right now....it's all about the water temperature.....just as they were about to hit the beach, too:mad:

    When that water temp is steady at 80 or so degrees, and drops to 74 overnight, it's kady-bar-the-door, for a while....cause those kings won't bite until they get acclimated to it again. Most will find warmer water, while others will hang around, they just won't bite. I don't understand it, but they just won't...I have seen fish swim right along under my boat, during a thermocline, and they will not bite...just swim there, like a cuda or something....and it was definitely kings, seen it many times too.

    Then again I have caught fish, down off Naples in March.....where we looked for and hoped for 65 degree water....and caught 'em!!.....so go figure.

    It's not the 74 degree temps that make them not bite.......It's the sudden drop that screws 'em up.

    Sometimes they'll find another place to go that has enough food and warmer water to keep 'em happy. But if there's no food to go to, they'll hang right here even during the coldest thermoclines....and you'll think they are gone.....as long as the bait stays here through it too.

    But if it's a strong thermocline, and the bait disappears too, you might as well go sea bass fishin' , cause that's all you are gonna find. That and Cobia :Rockon

    Just sayin'.....

    Steve
  • WildLinesWildLines Posts: 551 Officer
    Jagsare1 wrote: »
    I don't know where you got that but I have been preaching that for years. I believe that most things are cyclical. 10 years ago, we routinely caught yellowfin tuna this side of the gulf stream, not any more. 6 or 7 years ago in the Bluewater Tournament, you needed a 50 lb dolphin just to get on the board...this year, the board was full of small fish. Wahoo fishing has been on a steady decline the last few years, IMO. From a pelagic viewpoint, it looks like sailfish have been getting better here. Recreational swordfishing had a resurgence 6 or 7 years ago and has virtually disappeared again. Maybe the entire fishing community is looking in the wrong place but I believe that for whatever reason, we are on a down cycle.

    I tend to agree that fishing is cyclical. I also agree that bluewater fishing seems to have been worse the past 3-4 years......but the bottom fishing seemed to be some of the best during that time...wonder if that will flip around.
  • Kingfish ShootoutKingfish Shootout Posts: 96 Deckhand
    45 pounder caught today in the Kingfish Shootout. Follow all of the results at www.kingfishshootout.com/results....
  • Afishy1Afishy1 Posts: 676 Officer
    Sea Snake wrote: »
    Right now....it's all about the water temperature.....just as they were about to hit the beach, too:mad:

    When that water temp is steady at 80 or so degrees, and drops to 74 overnight, it's kady-bar-the-door, for a while....cause those kings won't bite until they get acclimated to it again. Most will find warmer water, while others will hang around, they just won't bite. I don't understand it, but they just won't...I have seen fish swim right along under my boat, during a thermocline, and they will not bite...just swim there, like a cuda or something....and it was definitely kings, seen it many times too.

    Then again I have caught fish, down off Naples in March.....where we looked for and hoped for 65 degree water....and caught 'em!!.....so go figure.

    It's not the 74 degree temps that make them not bite.......It's the sudden drop that screws 'em up.

    Sometimes they'll find another place to go that has enough food and warmer water to keep 'em happy. But if there's no food to go to, they'll hang right here even during the coldest thermoclines....and you'll think they are gone.....as long as the bait stays here through it too.

    But if it's a strong thermocline, and the bait disappears too, you might as well go sea bass fishin' , cause that's all you are gonna find. That and Cobia :Rockon

    Just sayin'.....

    Steve

    Steve you have a PM.
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