Southwest Florida Fishing Report: Kingfish, king mackerel arriving – Naples Daily News
Kevin Weber landed a large red grouper using a hand-sized pinfish while fishing northwest of Naples.(Photo: Submitted)
Better late than never, kingfish or king mackerel have arrived off the coastline of Naples, Marco Island and the Ten Thousand Islands. Following food source and an optimum water temperature range of 68 to 76 degrees, the fall north-to-south migration is in full swing
While a scattering of king catches have been recorded within the nearshore arena, the biomass of the largest mackerel species routinely caught in our waters is staged up offshore beyond the 20-mile mark. A fun target species on light tackle, kings can be fooled with a variety of live baits, lures, jigs and flies.
Possibly the easiest method to hook up with a king mackerel is to troll a planer/spoon combination over and around active areas of natural hard bottom. Standard sized planers for our region are Nos. 3 and 4 used in combination with a silver, 6-inch trolling spoon. Hook-ups come quickly when trolling planers and spoons, therefore be prepared for mackerel mayhem.
A great fish to put in the smoker or cut into steaks for the grill, Gulf king mackerel regulations require a minimum size limit of 24 inches fork length and a two-fish-per-harvester-per-day limit. Get on the kings quick anglers, these schools move fast and will certainly be well south of the area in a few weeks time.
Closer to shore and in the shallows, pompano, speckled and silver trout have truly responded to the cooler water temperatures. Tube jigs, colorful soft plastic jigs and free-lined live shrimp have been the go-to bait up and down the coast.
Adding to the inshore light tackle mix has been some outstanding cool water snook and redfish action within the southern reaches of the