king mackerel fishing report

April Kingfish Report

April is upon us and that means its Kingfish time here in St Petersburg. With the gulf waters warming up and the migration of bait fish the kings will be right behind them. We have the biggest King Mackerel tournament of the year coming up so anglers will be dialing in there spots in the coming weeks!

Best Baits and Tricks for Catching Kingfish

Kingfish are a migrational fish and feed primarily on schooling bait fish. They are commonly caught while trolling live bait or artificial spoons and plugs. Free lining or slow trolling with live baits such as (Cigar Minnows, Herring, Sardines and Blue Runners) is a great way to hook the larger King Mackerel. We like using both spinning and conventional tackle with a 20-pound to 30-pound monofilament line is more than sufficient as long as you have enough spool capacity for the initial run after hookup. Kingfish make a long initial run commonly over 100 yards!

Where to find Kingfish

The Gulf of Mexico, both offshore and close to the beaches, is prime for Kingfish in the spring and fall, with the warm waters off St. Petersburg making for ideal habitats. You will also find them inshore in the shipping channels of Tampa Bay. Many anglers will fish areas of natural hard bottom holding baitfish that will attract the King Mackerel.

When Is The Best Time to Catch Kingfish?

Spring and fall are the best time to catch Kingfish in St. Petersburg as it’s the peak of their migration. During this time, the warm water temperatures make for ideal habitats but without the chaos of summer fishing traffic. Generally, early morning and late afternoon fishing are the ideal times to catch Kingfish. Be sure to check your solunar tables for best results.

The Suzuki Repower Fishing Report is sponsored by Suzuki Repower and Mastry Engine Center.

Capt. Matt Douglas
Yachtfish Fishing Charters
(727) 433-4200 
Capt. Matt’s Website

Matt Douglas Founder & Captain Captain Matt Douglas is the founder of YACHTFISH and is a licensed United States Coast Guard 100 ton Master Captain. Captain Matt grew up on the waters of Tampa Bay and lived and worked in Costa Rica for over 11 years. He has extensive experience in Central America, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and Florida. Captain Matt is a tournament-winning captain who has an intense passion for boating, fishing and creating life time memories for his Clients. These passions, combined with his experience, were the catalysts for YACHTFISH. Captain Matt is laser-focused on what he enjoys the most, and knows the best, in Tampa Bay, St Petersburg, St Pete Beach & Clearwater.