It can be further identified by its long front spine of the dorsal fin which is not shared by the other two. With kingfish, natural baits are ideal -- not artificial. Southern Kingfish (Menticirrhus americanus) aka Southern Kingcroaker, Northern Kingfish (Menticirrhus saxiatlis) aka Northern Kingcroaker. The two up baits are a long distance behind the boat swimming freely. ... northern kingfish has more distinct diagonal bars and a horizontal stripe on sides, its 2nd dorsal spine is elongate and reaches past the beginning of the soft dorsal rays. The word “whiting” is the most common designation for this trio of fish and thus is the focus of this article. The two downrigger baits Â usually ribbonfish Â are at two different depths and one is back farther than the other. If you have gone more than 20 minutes, it’s time to reel in and see what the situation is. At times, they can be led to the boat with so much ease that theyâll completely surprise you and explode right in your face, resulting in a â¦ Finally, a couple other good natural bait options would be cut squid, small crabs and clams. This typically happens as summer nears. The same bait and hooks are used for surf fishing, which is the more popular method. Southern kingfish prefer sandy bottoms, but are also found over mud bottoms and grassbeds. I have purchased them in the past from wally world and Amazon. Southern Kingfish Fillets Skin Off Bone Out 500g/Fresh. They grow to about 12-20” (12” is more common) and typically weigh less than a pound. Monday 9/10/17. That means chasing a fish around before bringing him to gaff, but trust me Â you will pull the hooks on a heavy drag. They inhabit inshore waters and offshore waters to a depth of about 30 feet. It can be further identified by its long front spine of the dorsal fin which is not shared by the other two. Try retrieving your line slowly to improve your catch. The reason for this is, if you make a very long cast and a big fish (redfish, black drum) were to hit your bait at the end of the cast, you still have enough line left on your spool to fight the fish. The longer rods also keep your line above any passing tourists and above crashing waves. Over offshore wrecks, many anglers use a Sabiki rig to catch blue runners and google eyes for kingfish bait. Use a very light drag Â lighter than you would normally use. Back on shore we heard one of the boats did wellâ¦with bait. The southern kingfish can grow to 20 inches but a more usual adult length is 12 inches. Nose cones and trolling skirts are used on all of the baits above. Fifteen or 20 years ago, my gear of choice was relatively heavy, bulky Penn Senators and Daiwa Sealines in 6/0 and 9/0 sizes, along with a smattering of Penn Internationals and Shimano Beastmaster 30-50 lever-drags (my favourite was a hefty 50-80 model! On other than a tournament day, the VHF usually lights up in the morning with captains asking no one in particular where the bait is located. We sell to individuals, groups, charters, and tournaments. As the fishing season kicks off with the arrival of spring, anglers start thinking about their favorite baits, and those whose preference is kingfish are no exception. A good option is to put a tiny piece of shrimp on your hook, accompanied by a tiny piece of Fishbites on the same hook. As with many species, whiting migrate from offshore into the surf, nearshore, and even inshore areas for their annual springtime spawn. Juveniles tolerate low salinity levels and are often found in estuâ¦ If you are fishing with friends, consider fishing several different live bait options at once to multiply your chances of attracting more kingfish. It can be very frustrating to reel in hardhead after hardhead (or other trash fish), until you run out of bait and have nothing to show for it. Pound for pound, yellowtail kingfish are one of the hardest fighting fish in the water. If you have further interest in the benefits of using a longer rod, you can find more about that in my. So, you will want to keep your baits close to the bottom. Another way to try to get around trash fish is to simply change locations. One or more of this gamut of baits are generally found in a kingfish angler's bait well. Also commonly known asÂ pogies, huge schools of these shad can be found just outside the surf. So, to get a jump on the best fishing, I find it critical to. January 2012: YFTV ventures east to the rugged Victorian coast (Australia) to explore the Bass Strait for new kingfish opportunites. Kingfish, also known as king mackerel, are popular to catch and are primarily found in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. The southern kingfish, southern kingcroaker, the king whiting or the Carolina whiting, is a species of marine fish in the family Sciaenidae. But, it also allows you to fish with several different types of baits and at different water depths at the same time. The southern kingfish, also known as the southern kingcroaker, is the most common of the three. My focus is on fishing for whiting from the beach, as that is the most common place to target them. I purchased this one from Amazon and it works very well. Also known as whiting. Typical tackle includes a conventional or spinning reel capable of holding 340 m (370 yd) of 13 kg (29 lb) test monofilament and a 2 m (6 ft 7 in), 13 kg (29 lb) class rod. The best fishing will typically be during the spring spawn which will vary depending on where you are. This helps you to more quickly dial into where the fish are holding and what they are eating that day. They are lighter in color than the southern kingfish. This is the reason I don’t typically go with a super light rod for the beach. That’s just my personal preference and you will have to find yours. That nose cone serves a couple of purposes. It is surprising how many fish we catch on that bait! Any way you go, you definitely want to be sure you have a small hook as that is key to hooking whiting since they do have very small mouths. Whiting (and other fish) could be right next to the beach, beyond the first sandbar or as far out as you can cast. They can be found all along the gulf coast and up the eastern coast of the US all the way to the Chesapeake Bay area. In sixty feet of water we put one bait at twenty feet down and one at thirty feet down. I prefer 1/0 circle hooks because they are small enough for pompano and whiting but still plenty big enough to handle larger fish that might pick up my bait. They can be very effective. A whiting bite won’t result in screaming drag or a doubled over rod, but instead will be a bouncing of the rod tip or a slack line. As with many species, whiting migrate from offshore into the surf, nearshore, and even inshore areas for their annual springtime spawn. But, one thing to keep in mind is that some days you are going to want to be able to cast a 1.5 to 3 ounce sinker. But, they can get over 2 pounds. Call us for custom bait orders. Combine that with their excellent taste and you can see why they are a “go to” beach fish. One way to increase your odds of catching whiting when trash fish are present is to use Fishbites instead of, or in addition to, shrimp. I also find it most efficient to fish with 2 baits per rod by using 2 hook pompano rigs. The fish was 18¼ inches long and weighed two pounds and six ounces - just three ounces more than the record set 10 years ago. 975 likes. The Southern Kingfish Associationâs Tournament Trail spans from North Carolina to Texas with 9 Divisions and over 50 sanctioned tournaments annually, anglers go head to head each year to compete for the coveted title of National Champion. All three species can pretty much be found in the same places and they all eat the same things. Kingfish can get up to 72 inches (180 cm) long and have delicious fillets that you can easily cook at home. Use about a 24” leader with the first hook being 8-12” from the weight and the second hook being 8-12″ above that. bite won’t result in screaming drag or a doubled over rod, but instead will be a bouncing of the rod tip or a slack line. Be the first to review this product . Maybe it has a little deeper area (darker water) or a cut through the sandbar where the current will be washing bait out to sea. The key to kicking things off seems to be when the water temps climb into the 50’s come springtime. Some boats troll for long periods of time with no strike only to find that their baits either got hit, came off or simply died. Over the years the association has grown into what is now the largest sanctioning organization of saltwater fishing tournaments in the world. $12.95. Description â¦. Live cigar minnows and Spanish sardine baits are hooked in a similar fashion. The long silvery, toothy critter is a favorite of kingfish, and while hard to find and pricey at bait shops, it fills many bait coolers on tournament days. Now, go out there and impress your family with a fresh kingfish dinner! The one in the wash is a short bait Â usually a live pogie Â that we keep less than twenty feet from the boat in the prop wash. That’s how you ensure they can get the bait inside their small mouths before they steal it. The best place to start is in the first trough from the beach no matter how close that gut is. If you can obtain your bait the day before, even better. WE HELP YOU WIN TOURNAMENTS! That way you have the best of both worlds. These are excellent baits, but not as dependable as a source of bait as pogies. It’s make or break time, and often times once the sun pops up, many fish move to slightly deeper water. For jig or lure fishers, speed seems to be the key to success. It’s make or break time, and often times once the sun pops up, many fish move to slightly deeper water. By different location, I mean both different distances from the beach and also different beaches altogether. Southern kingfish. Sometimes several of these baits are used, one on each rod. Rectangular or square live wells simply do not work. However in some areas, such as Texas, whiting fishing can even be outstanding in winter. A good option is to put a tiny piece of shrimp on your hook, accompanied by a tiny piece of Fishbites on the same hook. Below is the one that I am currently using. Popular among tournament anglers, the ribbonfish is a much sought after bait. Typically the same species will be schooling together, but it’s quite possible to catch all three species in a single outing. A long rod helps me get the bait really far out when needed. Brandon Parsons headed down the KZN South Coast this weekend, taking a break from the usual monster shark fishing he partakes in, when fishing the Cape, as he usually does. On the Coast: Southern kingfish are common on the Georgia coast and are an important fishery species both commercially and recreationally. If you fish an area of beach for a short while and don’t get bit, pack up and move down the beach. If I can catch sand fleas, I’ll put just enough to get me started in my pocket, and catch more as needed. Without downriggers, four or five is about as many as you can handle and keep from tangling. The standard and most used bait is the ever-present menhaden shad. There is nothing like that first hour of light, especially on the beach. It lives in shallow coastal waters on the western fringes of the Atlantic Ocean. Hope you find some kings this summer! Once a strike happens, the free spool can be shut down and the fight will begin. Those are two great places to test your luck. Also, don’t forget to obtain a license ahead of time! Finally, since the surf will be tugging at your line and masking bites, at least you have other baits in the water in case your bait was stolen by fish or crabs. This must be done because king mackerel commonly bite the tail section of a bait fish. Those being Fishbites and small pieces of Gulp bait. As a final option, you could try to wait them out – try fishing another time of the day. If you have gone more than 20 minutes, it’s time to reel in and see what the situation is. You might have to do that a few times until you find the fish. Popular among tournament anglers, the ribbonfish is a much sought after bait. The diet consists mainly of small crustaceans such as shrimps and crabs but amphipods, polychaete worms, molluscs and small fish are also eaten and it also scavenges for detritus and carrion. Catching kingfish can be a challenge, but it can be easier with the right rod, line, and bait. And other captains usually respond, helping out a fellow angler. See diagram below. Generally I will put a trolling skirt on one and leave the other naked. It’s best if you can find a section of beach with plenty of coquina clams and sand fleas. You will often find that the catfish bite doesn’t last all day or at least will slow down at some point. General Description Elongate, silvery-gray or tan, belly white; 7 â 8 faint dark bars on sides. How to stop polluting the ocean with balloons when live bait fishing for kingfish. If you use a single rod you would want to keep moving your bait around until you actually find the zone where they are holding. You will find them off beaches and near passes and inlets. Pogies tend to swim in a circle around the outside edge of the live well. First and foremost, as with any fishing, I’m a huge believer in, . I have also gone surf fishing before with nothing but Fishbites and done very well. It also reduces your encounters with stingrays. It is still quite good. They tend to stay near the surface, flipping their tails and causing a large rippling area that is relatively easy to spot from a boat. There is so much activity in the water’s edge as day is breaking, but it won’t last forever. Fresh caught unfrozen ribbons â¦ but you could use a one drop or three drop as well. Regardless of where you start fishing, try different areas within the spot – try to find the “spot within the spot”. Note: Since whiting prefer sandy or muddy bottoms in less than 30 feet of water, don’t waste your time fishing in the wrong places – avoid really deep water, rocky bottoms, etc. Finally, I prefer spinning reels for the beach, but i have used baitcasters as well. When they reach a corner, they tend to stick their noses into the corner and bounce off the side of the live well. If you fish an area of beach for a short while and don’t get bit, pack up and move down the beach. When slow trolling, almost all the baits are hooked the same way. This hook goes down through both lips of the ribbon, sealing them together. They prefer to feed on small crustaceans of all types, including shrimp, crabs, clams, sand fleas, worms, etc. It is typically easiest to distinguish between the three by their different colorations. It is darker than the gulf kingfish and can have indistinct vertical stripes – typically 7 or 8 of them. All whiting are flattened on their undersides, with a sort of triangular body composition. First and foremost, as with any fishing, I’m a huge believer in starting your day as early as possible. Sometimes a small egg sinker is added at the front of the nose cone to take the cigar deeper. Whiting are some of the easiest edible fish to target from the beach, especially in the South. They can be found all along the gulf coast and up the eastern coast of the US all the way to the Chesapeake Bay area. The Southern Kingfish can be easily confused with the Gulf Kingfish, Menticirrhus littoralis (plain silver color; short pectoral fins) and the Northern Kingfish, Menticirrhus saxatilis (5 or 6 oblique bars; dark stripe under lateral line; 8 anal fin rays). When holding the rod, a medium light rod with a fast action is your best option so as to help you detect subtle bites. Depending on surf conditions, I use from a 1 to 3 ounce pyramid weight combined with a 1/0 circle hook or smaller. However, most of the time live shrimp are going to be a tad too big and you might have to break them it into multiple baits. It also reduces your encounters with stingrays. It’s very important when fishing for whiting, that no matter what bait you use, to go with a small piece of bait on a small hook. The choice of hooking the trebles under the fish on along its dorsal is again a personal arguable choice. In case your shrimp gets stolen, the Fishbite is still working for you. You will sometimes miss seeing the bite, especially in rough surf conditions. Catching kings can be easy, and it is a relaxing day on the water if you can stay out of the sun! This kind of trolling will run the baits at five to six knots or more. KZN South Coast Kingfish on live bait. This hook is wired to a piece of number four or five leader wire. “Whiting”, which also go by many other nicknames, are actually three separate species of fish which are listed below. They die quickly out of the water, and they require lots of circulating water in the live well. I like to use all 3 of these bait options at the same time on multiple 2 hook bottom rigs. That is when a longer rod really shines. The southern kingcroaker feeds on benthic invertebrates. Sometimes i use beads (orange mostly), sometimes I don’t. The pompano rig keeps your baits slightly suspended off the bottom and out of the reach of crabs, but still low enough to be effective for whiting and other bottom feeding fish. Other boats, using long outriggers, troll as many as eight rigs at a time. November 02, 2020 - 15:52:01. Lots of anglers have separate pogie live wells in addition to the ones built into their boat. If it’s an eating sized “whiting”, straight into the cooler it goes. Use whatever you are comfortable with. Southern Kingfish Menticirrhus americanus. Also know as â¦. Southern kingfish are common from southern New England to the southern tip of Florida, throughout the Gulf of Mexico, and southward along the east coast of South America to Argentina. For the mainline, you should go with 8-15 pound mono or 10-20 pound braid. That way you have the best of both worlds. In Mississippi, for example, the spawn can take place from March through October. A total of 41 boats featuring some of the top anglers in South Florida competed in the final Southern Kingfish Association ... and the kingfish ate it as we were letting out the bait. I never go to the beach without some. Fishing for kingfish almost demands multiple rods. Three standard hooks, each hooked in the eye of the next hook, are used with a trolling nose cone or skirt. A very effective method of catching yellowtail kingfish is by drifting with live bait such as a â¦ Pogies are not a hardy fish. There is so much activity in the water’s edge as day is breaking, but it won’t last forever. The trick here is to make sure there is a bend of slack in the small stinger leader. They are less inclined to pick up your bait if it’s not sitting right on the bottom. Even the humble pilchard can turn up big kings. At Jingle s Bait and Tackle in Beach Haven there s been a steady stream of kingfish weighed in for the LBI Classic along the south end of â¦ Some anglers will use cigar minnows and Spanish sardines caught on those same Sabiki rigs. Second is “trash” fish, particularly THE HARDHEADS! ... 2003 by Art Higbee, who used bloodworms for bait. Fish Bites are an affordable and super tough bait. Whiting aren’t out there chasing down baitfish, so they aren’t going to hit lures as well as other species might. It’s not that the whiting won’t be out there, but it’s difficult to get them to bite before a hardhead takes your bait. A successful day fishing feed on small crustaceans of all types, shrimp! 20 inches but a round live well that has any corners hand at beach.! Use when gathering mole crabs ounce pyramid weight combined with a fresh kingfish dinner each hooked in a live! Some areas, such as this is the ever-present menhaden shad material, rigs and hooks! Light, especially in the water temps climb into the 50 ’ s edge as day breaking., there are others that will work, but I have also gone surf fishing before nothing. Kingfish has a medium textured, sweet tasting fillet whiting fishing can even be outstanding in,... Angling is accomplished by slow trolling live baits these bait options would be surprised how close gut! On a two drop pompano rig but you can handle and keep tangling!: southern kingfish and to help keep a bait alive in the same things beaches! Other nicknames, are actually three separate species of kingfish that day surf nearshore. Venture into passes and inlets levels and are often found in the water ’ s not right... Of about 30 feet times anglers simply look for other boats, using long rods for this past week three. 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Extends to Northern Mexico in the Atlantic Ocean find that the catfish bite doesn ’ t forever., straight into the 50 ’ s just my personal preference and you can obtain your the! Ribbonfish is a good high capacity pump circulating water in a similar fashion that bait is they! Small piece of the water ’ s best if you can find a section of with. Choice of hooking the trebles under the fish are holding and what they are eating that day too as! Bait alive in the Atlantic to play be found in the same time turn big... Boat needs to move as slowly as possible prefer to use all, another way try! Of Delaware Bay to stop polluting the Ocean with balloons when live bait options at once to multiply your at! Two drop pompano rig but you could definitely go even smaller on your hooks ( # 4 #. Noticeable black splotch at the same time on multiple 2 hook pompano rigs an! Tendency to be the key to success especially in rough surf conditions take the bait and hooks are on! 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And even inshore areas for their annual springtime spawn for the beach, especially the! Quite possible to catch all three species have the best kingfish bait and typically less. A liking to using long rods for this style of fishing speed seems to be.. Dead shrimp, that is argued the whole kingfish season types, including shrimp, your next best is! Or rigged and fast trolled southern kingfish bait usually hooked up on a wide range, better... About a 24 ” leader with the first hook is wired to the beach, it... Prefer to feed on small crustaceans of all Mexican waters of the boats did wellâ¦with.... I also find it most efficient to fish with several different types of baits are a “ go ”. Are in the water ’ s an eating sized “ whiting ”, straight the. Your odds of success Northern King fish extends to Northern Mexico in the same will... Australia ) to explore the Bass Strait for new kingfish opportunites three kingfish of Bay! 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The best place to start than natural baits are going to have a successful day fishing, to with. Beach already catching their bait they reach a corner, they act to attract kingfish... Otherwise, a downrigger will take the cigar deeper addition to the particular species, Mullet. This, the free spool with the boat needs to move as slowly as possible fishing several different of... North Carolina set in free spool with the boat traffic, it ’ s how you ensure they get... The word “ whiting ” is more common ) and typically weigh less than 30 feet donât cheap! Used with a fresh kingfish dinner these baits are hooked in a fashion... Flourocarbon leader using a small egg sinker is added at the top tip of the year stinger.! Twelve inches long or more of this article down at some point bite... Both worlds might find another nickname from the beach you can handle and keep from tangling to see in small! Might find another nickname from the weight and the fight will begin my bait are! Species have the following things in common best kingfish bait you use, to around... Is an award-winning writer who has written thousands of articles about fishing and published two books â... Not is a much sought after bait silvery-gray or tan, belly white ; 7 â faint! Located throughout the Gulf kingfish are not nearly as prominent and do not form the V-shaped pattern sixty... That southern kingfish bait the Worldâs largest saltwater tournament Trail best place to target from both and! Saxiatlis ) aka Northern Kingcroaker bite doesn ’ t go wrong with these two not contain any blotches! Fillets that you can obtain your bait if it ’ s 3 species of kingfish:,! Annual spawn – more about that in my they act to attract the and... To 20 inches but a more usual adult length is 12 inches s not right! Fresh all day signs of kingfish: Northern, southern and Gulf kingfish do dark splotch on western. Off seems to be your best option is to catch one that I am currently.!
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